October is such a special time in Ontario. The month is a celebration of bringing in the harvest, beautiful fall skies and of course those gorgeous trees. Get out with the family to enjoy your local festivals. Here are a few to get you planning:
Blue Mountain Apple Harvest Festival, October 5-8
There are few more spectacular autumn drives in Ontario than those through the apple orchard countryside of the Beaver Valley and along the Georgian Bay shores through Clarksburg, Thornbury and Blue Mountain. These three vibrant communities host an autumn apple-focussed festival from Friday evening through to Monday. Festivities include high energy music and fireworks (Blue Mountain) to arts activities (Clarksburg) to local apple based cuisine and the salmon run (Thornbury).
Ste. Marie Among the Hurons Thanksgiving Festival, October 6-7
This festival celebrates local flavours and local art for two days of family fun. The wide-ranging art show includes Native drum and leather works, wildlife art, while the food fair focusses on homemade preserves and sweets. There are pumpkin carving competitions and an historical encampment. Costumed interpreters describe the 17th century mission and there will be a traditional planting of the Three Sisters.
Oktoberfest, Kitchener, October 5-13
Billed as the second-largest Oktoberfest in the world, and celebrating its 50th year, the Kitchener festival offers a full slate of German music, food and beer in Festhallen, but the festival includes a wide range of athletic and cultural events to boot. The pinnacle is the Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade, which begins at 8:30 am at Weber and Frederick streets in Kitchener and culminates at Bridgeport Road in Waterloo. Check the website for the full calendar of this very busy and entertaining two weeks.
Ball’s Fall Thanksgiving Festival, October 5-8
For over four decades, this popular festival has raised funds for conservation programs. Over 170 vendors offer quality artwork, artisanal foods, and live entertainment. Held at the beautiful conservation lands, there is a plenty of room for outdoor fun for the whole family.
Pumpkin Festival, McLean Berry Farm (Buckhorn), October weekends
This surely must be the place for a family to run off some energy. The festival includes live family entertainment, plenty of farm animals, not one but three mazes, an obstacle course, pumpkin bowling and wagon rides. Note: closed Thanksgiving Monday.