Archive for the ‘locales’ Category
From Cobourg to Brighton along the Lake Ontario Shore, apple orchards abound. And in Spring time they put on a Blossom Show that confirms Summer time is is marching right in. So Colborne ON, smack dab in the middle of this Apple corridor, puts on an Apple Blossom Tyme festival to beat the band wagon. See highlights of last years festival and Saturdays action here and then Sunday’s carshow and kids fun here.
Here are some favorites from the 4 day event starting Thursday May 24th and finishing on Sunday May 27th. Saturday is crammed with over a dozen different events, all free and scattered over 3 blocks in downtown Colborne.
Vintage Tractor, Gas Engines, Antique Farm Machinery & Tool Show
If you want to see vintage tractors and farm implements that still work mighty fine, this show has them all. Tools for sawing and lumbering, old gas engines that powered the well or help turn the pulleys and elevators; and tractors of every make and model back to the late 1930′s. And just like the cars that show on Sunday these farm wares are spiffed up and in good shape.
But a nifty add on is the Kids Tractor Pull that starts at 11:30 and often goes until 1:00PM
This little pedal tractor moves some impressive weights. See the photos from last year for testament to what some tiny tots are capable of pulling. And given the sprinkles and coolish morning, such prodigious pulls were doubly notable.
The second attraction is the Kids Spelling Bee starting at 10:00AM at the Old St. Andrews Church, on the North Side of the main fair along King St.
Now I have an abiding interest in Spelling Bees that goes beyond the coverage on TV for the big Spelling Bees in Canada and the US. Spelling Bees plus Geograpy and History quizzes were a regular part of grade school and a great motivator. But the Apple Blossom Spelling Bee offers another incentive => bigtime moolah for Primary – grades 1,2,3; Midlevel – grades 4,5,6 and Senior students -grades 7,8. It is $100 for 1st, $75 for 2nd and $50 for third – not too bad for less than hours work. And as Cramahe taxpayer I am anxious to see how well my tax dollars are being spent on primary education.
My next favorite event starts at 11.00Am and is the Owls and Birds of Prey exhibition.
This is seriously cool for kids of every age from 6 to 96. See what looks like the owl flinching – that is the ability of owls to pivot their heads at astounding speed [they have to because their eyes are set in one position so they must rotate their heads]. Owls rely on keen binocular vision and superior audio tracking to locate their prey. All this information and a lot more comes from Chris Ketola of The Centre for the Conservation of Specialized Species. Chris can not only fill you in on owls but other birds of prey like hawks, falcons, etc. Even more fascinating is the work the Centre does in preserving injured and orphaned birds of prey. Check here for more info on owls.
Well among the Saturday activities, my next favorite, the Soap Box Derby,
at 10:30AM with registration and goes til about 2:30PM at the extreme east end of the Festival at King E and Elgin. There are again three age groups: Juniors: 5-7 yaers old, Intermediates: 8-10 years old and Seniors: 11-13 years old. But no moolah this time, kids have to speed their way to victory.
You can build your own racer [Contact Marie Lachner at 905-355-2162 for details] or use one of several supplied soap box derby racers. The action is fast and furious. It is just like drag racing – short tracks and acceleration is the name of the game. So hold that Derby racer straight and steady on course.
There are half a dozen more great events on Saturday including the Hot Diggity Dog Flyball Contest, the Beautiful Baby Competition, the Holcim Quarry Visits, Facepainting in the Park and more.
Now We Get to Sunday
No doubt about it the highlight of Sunday is the 9:00AM to 3:00PM Car Shine and Show.
You would have to go to Barrie in the late Summer or Hershey PA in the Fall to get so many and varied roadsters. True Barrie and Hershey are easily 10 times the size but they lack the variety and sheer friendliness of the car buffs at Colborne.
And the variety of makes is great. I had a enthusiastic converstaion with a guy who had bought and renovated a GMC Midrange Dump truck… flashy, red and fascinating.
And there is always ample room for special mods:
But the big time photo taking opportunity is at the end of the show when all the cars parade on out – and you get to see the cars rolling:
Very fine. Enough said.
But there is more up at the Gazebo with afternoon Song Shows in the Park:
The Gazebo is in the shaded park and is the perfect place to relax, have a picnic, while enjoying the kids play area and the music talent that entertains from Noon to 3:00. And there is a Saturday show from 10:30 to 4:00PM with Dancing in the evening from 7:00 to 9:00 on Saturday as well. Lots to do in the park.
And just to confirm that there are Carnival rides in the Parkside as well:
The Gable Brothers Carnival and Rides open the Festival on Thursday evening May 24th and continue through to closing on Sunday May 27th. It is fun like going to THEx except in Springtime. In sum, if you get the idea that there is lots to do at the AppleBlossom Tyme Festival – let me just note I have only covered half of all the events and fun going on at the Festival. Check out the official website here. Remember the Festival is halfway between Cobourg and Brighton in Colborne on Highway 2 or at the BigApple/Colborne stop off the 401 – a perfect early summer family get away.
Heading Out from the Apple Blossom Festival
If you are heading back to Oshawa, Toronto and points West consider the Grafton Inn just down Hwy 2 in Grafton for some fine dining. Continue on down the apple orchard road 10 more kilometers to Cobourg for more excellent dining choices like the Mill Restaurant or the ButterMilk Cafe for family food. If you are looking for entertainment head North to Warkworth for an Evening of Sizzling Blues and Jazz at the Lilac Fest. In sum, Apple Blossom Tyme Festival means an opportunity to enjoy the trappings of the Northumberland Hills country.
For over 20 years Colborne Ontario takes advantage of its location next to Lake Ontario in prime Apple country and presents the Apple Blossom Tyme Festival indicating thefull start of Spring. Okay, May 27th-29th is not the official start of Spring, Planting on farms is passing full swing as is the trimming and prepping of fruit trees. Now Nature and the Bees Business awaits flowering and pollination – perfect time for a fest to launch into Spring with a festival geared for fun for the whole family. But most important of all, Spring flowers and blossoms are in full beauty and bloom.
And the Apple Blossom Tyme Festival does not disappoint with three days crammed full of activities and events to please the whole family. For the kids, there are the carnival rides and games, a live owl exhibition, soap box derby in 3 age groups, a spelling bee also in 3 age groups, kids tractor pull, Irish road bowling contest, and firefighter challenge contest among others. For the family, there are the Cramahe Heritage Walks, the Beautiful Baby contests, the classic car shine and show, and the vintage tractor show and contests. For art lovers, there are the Art Studio tour, the Twindmill Antiques Shows, Salem Quilters Comfort display, the Crossroad exhibition at the Colborne Art Gallery, the Hoselton Scupture Tour and Sale, and more.
And the Apple Blossom festival is easy to get to. If you coming from Mississauga or the Toronto GTA its about 135km and less for those starting in Whitby, Oshawa, Peterborough, and Lindsay. The 401 is the fastest way – take the 497 exit for Colborne at the Big Apple turn-off and just follow the road 3kms into town and the Festival. For those wanting to see the Apple Blossoms coming from Toronto and West, turn off at Cobourg and take Highway 2 for the last 30 kms to Colborne through farm and Apple country to Colborne.
In the evenings there are concerts and dining starting with the DJ Dance Party at the Keeler Center at 8:00PM to 1:00AM on Friday [$10 tickets at the door] , the Apple Blossom Tyme Legion Dinner from 4:30 to 6:00PM on Saturday at the Royal Canadian Legion Center, and the Paul MacDonald Concert at 7:00PM Saturday at the Colborne Art Gallery[$20 tickets with a silent auction after the concert of donated art works].
Events that occur on one day only are highlighted below:
|Events on Saturday May 28th only
Antique Tool exhibition – 9:00AM 4:00PM
Tractor Show and Races – 9:00AM to 3:30PM
Slow Tractor Race, Pop Can Race, and Tractor Parade with commentary throughout the day.
|5 Apple Blossom Baby Contests – 8:30 to 10:AM||Holcim Ogden Quarry Tours – 10:00AM to 3:00PM|
|3 Spelling Bee Contests – starting at 10:00AM
Prizes of $150-1st, $75-2nd, $50-3rd for all 3 contests
If you are like me the annual Spelling Bee and Geography + History Quiz were very important dates every year. School and family traditions rested on being a beeutifull speller. But the only prize was a small certificate of ranking not the big bucks available to Apple Blossom Spelling Bee-ers.
What is Irish Road Bowling? It is an ancient sport, dating back to very early times, that has been played in Ireland for years! Teams bowl “Bullets” underhand through a designated obstacle course approximately 3 miles (on the roadway). The first team to the finish line with the least amount of “Bowls” wins! This is a family friendly event.
|Live Exhibition of Native Owls – 12 Noon||SoapBox Derby, 3 Divisions – 12:30PM|
|Comfort Quilt Show – 10:00AM to 4:00PM||Big Apple Pie Eating Contest – 3:00PM, Juniors and Seniors|
|Events on Sunday May 29th Only|
|Classic Car Shine and Show Contests – 9:00AM to 3:30PM||Ecumenical Worship Service – 11:00AM|
|TwindMills Market Antiques Extravaganza – 9:AM to 4PM||Closing Day – 3:30PM
As one can see the Apple Blossom Tyme Festival is full of fun for the whole family. Click on any image above to get further details. Also here are additional information resources:
Driving Instructions and Map
Events Schedule for the Festival
Map of Colborne with Event Locations
Forms for contests like Soap Box Derby
Apple Blossom Tyme Festival Website
Looking for a country outing this Victoria Day weekend? Consider the Warkworth Lilac Festival – three days of events in Northumberland county with lots to do. The Lilac Festival starts with a Friday evening of Sizzling Jazz featuring Chelsea Bennet and Beverly Taft – $20 at 7:45PM. Saturday follows with the Lilac Classic Car Show from 10AM to 4:PM at the Warkworth Arena. Take noontime off for a presentation by Mark Cullen featuring a Garden Talk – $20 at St. Andrews Presbyterian.Cap off the day with the Rock & Roll Cadillac Dance at the Warkworth Arena – $25, 8:30PM.
On Sunday May 22nd there is a free BMX demonstration, Up Up and Away, at the Warkworth Arena at 12 noon. That evening, there is Into the Night, the Lilac Festival Evening Walk featuring musical interludes from the WestBen Musical Chorus – $20 at 7:30PM. See the website for all the details.