Thursday, May 25, 2017

Here Are 5 Must-See Festivals & Events in Ontario This Summer

How are your summer plans coming along? Will you be travelling far, or sticking closer to home? Other than our annual trip to Newfoundland to visit family, I like to keep my summer trips fairly local. The bigger travel plans I save for when I need to get away from our freezing cold winters.

For many of us, staycations, day trips, and camping have become the focus of our summer plans. And for those of us in Ontario there is certainly no shortage of options of places to go and things to see. From now until the fall you'll find a great array of festivals and events around the province, with something to suit every taste.

“From music lovers, to cultural history buffs, foodies, and beer and wine enthusiasts, there is certainly something for everyone this season,” says Gabriel Mattacchione, President of Beyond Oz Productions, who are presenting the Ever After Music Festival in June. “That’s the great thing about Ontario – you don’t have to go away or travel far and wide if you’re looking for a great time or something to do this summer.”

For a full season of fun, friends, laughter and one-of-a-kind memories, be sure to check out these cool festivals and events taking place across several cities in the province:

Ever After Music FestivalJune 2nd–4th, Kitchener

Because what’s a summer without best friends, outdoor music concerts, and camping?! This one is for all you music lovers and experience chasers! For one full, extraordinary weekend of electronic dance music, visit one of the area’s most prominent electronic music festival experiences, taking over Bingemans’ 30 acre campgrounds. With an impressive lineup including performances by Bassnectar, Excision, Zeds Dead, and a juicy hip-hop injection in the form of French Montana, the Ever AfterMusic Festival will be a mecca of stunning visuals and extraordinary sounds.

Toronto’s Festival of Beer — July 28th–30th, Toronto

At Bandshell Park inside Exhibition Place, beer fans from across the country will gather to celebrate their favourite golden beverage. This year, Toronto's Festival of Beer will be celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday by showcasing various breweries from across Canada, and offering food curated from some of Canada’s amazing Top Chefs that showcase the culture from our various provinces.

Canal Days— August 4th–7th, Port Colborne

For those looking for a little taste of history and culture, the Tall Ships gather in Port Colborne each August holiday weekend, for a jam-packed, four-day celebration. This annual marine heritage festival will include vendors, buskers, food merchants, and many attractions including a fully supervised children's area featuring live entertainment, a carnival midway, and a live bird of prey and reptile exhibit. Tall Ships moored along the canal wall will be open for exploration, and special cruises are available on these historic ships, including a day-long journey from Lake Ontario through the canal locks.

Canadian National Exhibition— August 18th – September 4th, Toronto

TheCanadian National Exhibition (CNE) is Canada’s largest annual community event – and a fantastic family event as well! The CNE offers a wide variety of entertainment and events including Bandshell concerts, celebrity chef demonstrations, an aerial acrobatics and ice skating show, a working farm, parades, a three-day Air Show, Midway rides and games, wacky fair food, international food and tons of shopping! Be sure to come out and experience one of Toronto’s major annual highlights.

Niagara Grape & Wine Festival—  September 8th-24th, St. Catharines

What a better place for oenophiles to visit this summer than the Niagara Region? The Niagara Grape & Wine Festival is a celebration of Niagara and the bounty of harvest. The Montebello Park food and wine experience truly showcases all that the region has to offer, as the park comes alive for two weekends in September. Experience regional cuisine presented by top local chefs and sip and savour VQA wines, while enjoying Canadian talent on the Centre stage.

This is just a taste of all that's happening, and with so many events, festivals and celebrations going on this season, it’ll be awfully hard to be bored.

“No matter what you are into, you’ll definitely find something to do and enjoy this warm season,” adds Mattacchione. “The time is now for making lifelong memories and summer 2017 is certainly the place to start.”

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