Come Wander
Take a Detour to these Unique Festivals

I was driving down the road the other day, when I saw a sign I often dread, “Detour Ahead.” Being that I sometimes cut things close (okay, maybe more than sometimes), coming across this sign almost always means I’ll be late to wherever I’m going.

As I continued down the road, additional signage let me know that the reason for this upcoming detour was not the typical kind. It was not for construction, and thankfully not the result of an accident, but for a festival; a celebration so joyous that the main drag was closed down for the day. So I asked myself, “Why not embrace it?”

Maybe this sign was telling me what I really needed: a detour from the everyday rush I’m often in.

Too often it seems we’re scrambling to get from one destination to the next; too busy to appreciate the moments in between. But why? What’s the worst thing that’s going to happen if we take a minute to smell the roses, embrace a detour every now and then, and just stop rushing? Maybe in taking a break from our every day, we’ll find ourselves laughing until it hurts, dancing with new friends, and having our breath taken away by moments of incredible beauty.

Maybe by throwing away our schedules, even for a day, we’ll be able to just be.

Below are five of my favourite unique music festivals, just in case you want to take a detour from your everyday.

1) Palmer Rapids Twin Music Festival

With stars lining up on both a country stage and a blues stage, this is two full festivals, each taking place on its own stage, just a 3 minute walk apart. And to cap it all off, the festival takes place on the banks of the beautiful Madawaska River.

2) Hike Haliburton

Consisting of more than 80 guided hikes, this weekend event has something for everyone; arts, culture, heritage, and even foodie experiences, just to name a few.

3) Calabogie Blues & Ribfest

The name sums this event up, but it’s even more than you can imagine. Incredible music, delicious food, and a ton of laughter and dancing, all taking place in a beautiful setting.

4) Madawaska Valley Studio Tour

More than an opportunity to uncover local artwork and hidden treasures, this is an opportunity to meet the artists and get a glimpse at their studios; where magic happens.

5) Front Porch Shenanigans

The front porches of Stirling come to life during this festival, transforming into stages for live local bands and singers to perform from. Visitors can wander Front and Church Streets to take in a free afternoon filled with more than 20 live musical acts.

Stories

Moo-ve Over, Vodka

Discover Vodkow, the new beverage from the Dairy Distillery causing a stir in Almonte, Ontario.

The Best Baked Goods

Discover some of the best bakeries in Ontario’s Highlands and their tasty treats.

A Day in Ormsby

Discover why Ormsby Ontario is worth exploring on your next road trip.

A is for Apples

Meeting cider kings and discovering great things in Hastings County.

Concerts with a Community

In September each year, the spirit of community comes alive all across Ontario’s Highlands when the Festival of Small Halls rolls in.

Roam If You Want To

Follow along with Chris from Travelling Mitch as he wanders through Haliburton Highlands and Hastings County on the Rustic Roamer Road Trip.

Ground to Glass

Discover how four craft drink makers harness Mother Nature’s flavours to elevate their beverages in Ontario’s Highlands.

5 Senses of Nature

Leave the city behind and immerse yourself in the natural charm of Ontario’s Highlands.

Where Am I?

Devour an Ottawa Valley tradition and feel your taste buds rejoice with Wes’ Chips in Arnprior.

Where Am I?

Discover the big things happening in the small towns along the Rideau Canal.

Top 4 Summer Treats

Top 4 summer treats that are worth the stop on your next Ontario’s Highlands road trip.

The Rustic Roamer

I’m a Rustic Roamer. I wander to discover authentic moments, to embrace the spirit of locals, and to understand the stories of the communities and countryside that I visit.

Where Am I

Explore the sweet moments and ageless beauty of Perth, Ontario.

Maple Mania

Discover one writer’s quest to discover what makes Lanark County so sweet with Maple Mania.

Life is a Highway

Two wanderers explore 135 kilometres of hidden gems in Hastings County.

The Ultimate City Escape

Explore these three ways to escape the city, slow down, and absorb rural life in Ontario’s Highlands.

My Hometown: Haliburton

After years of travel, read the story of why Emily returned to Haliburton to officially call it her home.

Journal of a Foodie

Take a journey through Ontario’s Highlands on a road trip that will satisfy your inner foodie.

Summer Brews

Take a trip around Ontario’s Highlands to these micro-breweries to discover your perfect summer beer.

A Different Kind of Detour

Take the road less traveled through Ontario’s Highlands to these unique festivals that are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Good Food, Great Company

The Good Food Tour, a delectable walking tour in Almonte the showcases a story and the local flavours.