Explore that small town vibe as the Festival wraps up this weekend

Weekend two is in the books and what a weekend it was!

Were you there when Gordie MacKeeman climbed on a bass – and kept fiddling? Or for Mairi Rankin’s piano story in Portland that had people crying with laughter? Were you with us at a Chef’s Table event, savouring culinary creativity together at long harvest tables? How about for the two sold out and very special Harry Manx shows in Pakenham and Merrickville? Or when Cassie and Maggie got toes tapping and audiences cheering while fiddling and step dancing? How about in Delta when the Redhill Valleys brought down the house?

We’re moving forward to weekend three! It’s hard to believe this is the last weekend of shows in your small halls for this fall. We’re looking forward to making more musical memories. Take a peek at the schedule for this weekend here.

So far, artists, media, audience members and communities have been loving the small halls vibe, talent and cherished spaces which make the amazing music come alive with their ingrained history and heart. Did you see the Xplornet tent at a handful of shows, too? Be sure to pop by to say hello this weekend in Dunvegan, Maxville and Elgin!

So, you have your tickets – why not extend your visit to explore some of Eastern Ontario’s intriguing small towns? It’s easy to explore and celebrate small town charm and community – by discovering it! Here are some suggestions for authentic experiences to get you in the spirit for week three.

Spend time in…

Almonte – This is one of most picturesque and unique downtowns along the Mississippi River.  Enjoy shopping and dining on Mill Street and then visit the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum National Historic Site to discover static and working displays of textile equipment and processes focusing on the region’s heritage, culture and the role of the textile industry in the development of Canada.

Matawatchan – Explore Matawatchan surrounding the show – with nature in abundance. This is a great place to unwind and simply enjoy.  Get your camera ready as the mighty Madawaska River makes for beautiful photos. The sunsets here are gorgeous! There will be a cash bar at the hall during the show and refreshments at intermission. Dine before the show at nearby restaurants Calvyn’s Pub & Eatery by the Madawaska River or The Pine Valley Restaurant. *Note: Please print driving directions prior to arriving – cell service is limited.

Brockville – So much to do here! Be mesmerized by the lights and marvels on a walk through the  historic Brockville Railway Tunnel, the first such tunnel in all of Canada. Stroll along the waterfront to watch ships sail by or even visit the Aquatarium, Brockville Museum or Fulford House to learn hands on about the St. Lawrence River and early life in Brockville. Beginning at 5:30PM, the Fundraising Team at St. John’s United Church will be offering a ham dinner in their newly renovated Church Hall. Honey glazed ham, summer salads, delicious home-made desserts, hot & cold beverages will be available. The cost is $20 per person but only 75 spots will be available. Reserve your tickets in advance by emailing: jane.dargie@bell.net. Cash bar available.

Maxville – Stop in at Muir’s Bakery to savour a family-owned tradition since 1929. Established in Montreal, Muir’s features Scottish sweet and savoury delights such as meat pies, steak/kidney/mushroom pies, Empire or Princess cookies and of course Haggis! Get a treat to go and then visit King George Park to sit and enjoy it while embracing fall!

Seeley’s Bay – Stroll down Main Street and taste sweet treats from the local chocolatier; discover Haskin’s Point as a beautiful vantage point along the Rideau Canal, or stop in Centennial Park for a picnic! For the more adventurous, this is also an excellent location to put in your canoe or kayak for a leisurely paddle before the show!  Watch around town for several storyboards to learn more about the history behind this vibrant small town, which is a satellite location for Le Boat. Nearby, Lyndhurst is hosting an Art and Culture Tour event and Delta is hosting its Harvest Festival! Spend the day touring small town events and settle for the evening in Seeley’s Bay.

Combermere – Before the show, from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM, a pub style dinner (chicken wings, ribs, salads and tarts) will be served at the lower level of Combermere Hall. $14.00/person. Cash bar available. Combermere is known for Madonna House and gift shop but be sure to look for the Sinking of the Mayflower Steamship lookout, which gives tourists an overlooking view of the lake where the Mayflower sank on the night of November 12th, 1912!

Beachburg – Nature is grand in Beachburg and surrounding area! Feed your adventurous side and hop aboard a whitewater rafting experience nearby. Visit a real blueberry farm in a neighbouring town, complete with family friendly activities and fresh ice cream. Nearby, Westmeath is home to one of the most pristine sand dune and wetland complexes along the southern Ottawa River, at Westmeath Provincial Park. It’s located on Bellow’s Bay, and even features a rare, active sandspit!

Rankin – Before the show, hop over to Pembroke or Eganville to dine, explore shops, book a spa appointment to relax or even just grab a coffee and kick back to have a good chat with a fellow ticketholder. If nature is your thing, the Shaw Woods Education Centre would make an interesting stop before the show – with trails featuring ancient old-growth forests, rivers and more.

Dunvegan – If you’re into local history, be sure to stop by the Glengarry Pioneer Museum which offers a glimpse into Ontario’s Celtic history. This includes a number of building which recreate what an early eastern Ontario settlement would have been like. Before the show, enjoy a roast beef dinner at 6:00 PM with mashed potatoes and all the fixings, salad, buns and dessert with tea and coffee for $20. Reserve your space by calling Ben at 613-525-4006 or by emailing  wood_guy_ben@yahoo.ca. Due to space limitations, the meal will be limited to 45 people. Cash bar available.

Elgin – Take the heritage walking tour available through Rideau Lakes Township, go bowling at the five-pin Elgin Bowling Centre next door, taste the best small-town pizza around made at the local restaurant down the street, pop into a local shop for antiques or savoury items. Take a drive to the end of Davis Lock Road to see the locks working in a quiet setting along the UNESCO World Heritage Site Rideau Canal! Before the show, be sure to take a moment to read the plaques beside the Red Brick Schoolhouse to learn about local history. After the show, starting at 5:30PM, a Harvest Dinner will be held at the Lions Hall. Ham, baked beans, root vegetables, scalloped potatoes, dessert and beverages. $17/person, youth 12 and under $5. Reservations for tickets required by Sept. 23 and can be purchased here through EventBrite or directly by calling 613-359-6031 or 613-359-5607.

Tatlock – Lace up before the show and discover nature by being immersed in it! Explore local hiking trails, like the Baird Trail and even one up Blueberry Mountain! Find out more here. This area is a nature lover’s paradise and there is an avid birding population here so take the binoculars!

Don’t have your tickets yet? See our full schedule here and rally your friends. Please note that ticket purchase over the phone is also an option and can be easily done by calling 613.402.1425.