Quirky, wacky, far out, odd – no matter the term you’d choose to use, we have one more to add to the list: wonderful. There’s a wonderfully fun feeling in going against the norm and embracing something just a little ‘different’ and the communities across Ontario’s Highlands are doing just that with festivals and events planned this summer.
So hop in your VW bus, get All Shook Up, don your tartan, pack your breath mints and fall in love with the quirks and charm of these unique events.
When: June 7-10, 2018
Where: North Lanark Agricultural Fair Grounds, Mississippi Mills
Each summer, hundreds of VW Buses converge on the quaint town of Almonte to celebrate their love of these timeless camper vehicles, enjoy campfires filled with laughter and singalongs, and show off their skills during classes like tie-dying and yoga. Register your own VW Bus to attend this year, or just head to the area to witness this throw-back festival.
When: June 23, 2018
Watch as tartans creating a sea of plaid whiz by you during this World Record run, and cheer on your favourite tartan’d pooch during the first ever Dogs of the Tartan Cross Parade. Celebrate the community’s Scottish roots as you sip some suds from Perth Brewery and feel the excitement of the day ramp up to the sounds of self-professed Celtic Rock Warriors, Mudmen.
When: June 30, 2018
Where: Railway Heritage Park, Sharbot Lake
Stomp and swing to railroad-themed tunes and celebrate the summer season the way it was meant to be celebrated: with a barbecue. Discover the new updates Railway Heritage Park and stroll the Railway Heritage Walkway to explore the past.
When: July 6-7, 2018
Where: Head Lake Rotary Park, Haliburton
Spend the weekend enjoying not only some good, clean, fun, but also incredible talent. Laugh along as you watch teams battle each other, and gravity, in a struggle to stay up against this special blend of soap’s best efforts to keep them down. Indulge in a variety of flavours from unique food trucks, and work those calories off by swaying to the sounds of David Bowie, the Stones, the Beatles and the Tragically Hip played by some of the most talented regional artists and world class tribute bands.
When: July 6-8, 2018
Tap into your childhood memories at the Midway all weekend long and celebrate three major modes of transportation: wheels, water, and wings with a Classic Car show and motorcycle rally, Paddle the York River Races and challenges, and an annual fly-in breakfast at the community airport.
When: August 18-19, 2018
Where: Parham Fairgrounds, Parham
Reconnect with your family and learn more about where your food comes from in this community with rich agricultural connections. Watch as local farmers show off their best cattle stock, cheer on your favourite horses during the horse pull, and just try to hold in your ‘awws’ during the Pet Show filled with children and their animal buddies.
When: June 30, 2018
Where: Back Forty Artisan Cheese, Mississippi Station
Away from any city lights and along a winding country road lies something completely unexpected: an artisan cheese shop making up some of the finest cheeses you may ever taste. Celebrate the variety of flavours at their season opener while you sip on suds and wine, sway to the music, and indulge in the true delicacy that is deep fried cheese curds.
Garlic Festivals across Ontario’s Highlands
It’s said it’ll keep the vampires away, and if that’s not enough of a reason to celebrate this ‘stinking rose,’ there’s also its incredible flavour and the way it can add something special to just about any meal. Get your fill of garlic, discover tips for working with and preparing this punchy bulb, stock up on garlicky products, and sample unique flavours at these three Garlic Festivals.
When: August 24-26, 2018
Where: Tweed Municipal Fairgrounds, Tweed
This is the perfect opportunity to slip on your Blue Suede Shoes and marvel at the twinkling of sunlight against rhinestones while belting out some of the King’s classics performed by tribute artists from around the world.