Thursday, January 21, 2021

The Great Ontario Communities Series (Colborne)

 During the past 14 years Judi and I have visited almost 200 Ontario community festivals and events. The majority have been planned and managed by dedicated community volunteers. As a salute to these wonderful communities and their hard-working residents, I will be writing a series of blogs entitled “Great Ontario Communities”. These blogs describe the communities we have visited and will tell you about some of the interesting things we have experienced and the people we have met. The seventh article is about Colborne, also located on the north shores of Lake Ontario.

COLBORNE – Just east of Cobourg lies the Village of Colborne. Since 1850 the population has grown to approximately 2,210.  It’s in the Cramahe Township part of Northumberland County. This is the home of The Big Apple Restaurant and Hoselton Aluminum Sculptures.  It is also the home of the Colborne Apple Blossom Tyme Festival held each spring.  Colborne is located on County Road #2 (formerly known as Highway #2).  It is also part of the well traveled “Apple Route”.  If you are looking for an alternative eastward route to Highway 401, this is the way to go!  However, if you do decide to go this way, make sure you leave enough time to visit both the Big Apple and Hoseltons!  The Big Apple is a wonderful attraction that offers visitors lots to do.  There’s fun for the whole family.  Here are some of the things to do … Visit the life animal zoo including a walk around the pond,  mini golf, climb the Big Apple and see for miles, enjoy home cooked meals, especially the “Pies”, large interesting fun gift shop, watch the pies and treats being made right in the factory.  Just south of the Big Apple is the Hoselton Studio.  It’s open most days to the public.  Here you will discover some amazing aluminum sculptures.  These sculptures are collected around the world.  In the village itself, Colborne offers several quaint shops to visit.  There is also the Colborne Art Gallery that showcases local arts and artisans.  Finally, if you are looking for something fun and interesting to do, make sure you visit Colborne during their APPLE BLOSSOM TYME FESTIVAL.

Friday, January 15, 2021

The Great Ontario Communities Series (Cobourg)

During the past 14+ years Judi and I have visited over 200 Ontario community festivals and events. The majority have been planned and managed by dedicated community volunteers. As a salute to these wonderful communities and their hard-working residents, I will be writing a series of blogs entitled “Great Ontario Communities”. These blogs describe the communities we have visited and will tell you about some of the interesting things we have experienced and the people we have met. The sixth article is about Cobourg, located on the north shores of Lake Ontario.

COBOURG – Fortunately Cobourg was Judi’s and my hometown for many years. It is located on Lake Ontario between Toronto and Kingston. We have lived worked here for 20 years and love the area. Cobourg’s closest neighbour is Port Hope. While there is much rivalry between the two towns, they really compliment one another. Both are tourist oriented, but in different ways. Port Hope is a town of antique shops, historic buildings and Bed and Breakfasts. They cater to an “older crowd”. Cobourg on the other hand seems to be more upbeat and caters to a “younger crowd”. Its beautiful sandy beach is one of the best on Lake Ontario. Its harbour attracts boaters from both Canada and the USA and its unique downtown waterfront RV Park offers both long term and short-term campers first class camping facilities! Cobourg attracts all those who love the water and want to enjoy its many pleasures! Judi and I enjoy walking along Cobourg’s waterfront trail most mornings. There is always something different to see and hear! At one time Cobourg hoped to become the capital of Canada. They even built a magnificent edifice, Victoria Hall, for that purpose, but it was not to be. Cobourg prospered, however and today it is the hub of Northumberland County. The county has its newly built offices here. There is a new first class regional hospital close by. A regional shopping mall just celebrated its 20th anniversary and the local Wal-Mart just expanded. Cobourg also offers its residents and visitors plenty of activities. It is the home of several well attended festivals, such as the Cobourg Waterfront Festival (ten’s of thousands visit this event each year), the Cobourg Highland Games, the Cobourg Winter Festival, the Northumberland Ribfest and the fun and sun filled Cobourg Sandcastle Festival. It is also the home of many sporting events. On most summer weekends you will find some sort of tournament, softball, soccer and beach volleyball to name a few! There is even a new community centre planned for completion in 2011. Cobourg is an exciting place to live and to visit!

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Nomad’s Top Ten Festival Tips (Part 2)

  1. WATER – It is very important to bring water with you. Not all events have water available. This is particularly important in the hot summer months! Without enough water in your system, you can easily become dehydrated quickly! Using a refillable water bottle is best, especially for the environment!
  2. TAKE A PICTURE OR FIVE – Capturing the memories of a great event is so easy and inexpensive these days because of digital cameras! You no longer have to worry about wasting “film”! A word of caution, though, make sure you have enough memory space on your “Memory Card” and that you have an extra set of batteries.
  3. CLOTHING – Always plan your clothing for the event you are visiting! This goes for both clothing and footwear. If it’s a summer event, remember to bring a hat and sun block. If it’s the winter, “layer” your clothing so that you can “strip” down or up depending on how hot or cold you feel! As for footwear, make sure you wear your most comfortable walking shoes or boots.
  4. BRING CASH – Many festivals and events only accept cash for their admittance fee. The same goes for food booths, amusement rides and parking. Make sure you bring enough cash to cover all contingencies! Some festivals and events do offer ATM machines, but most don’t.
  5. WASHROOMS – If you are like some of us (me), knowing the location of event washrooms is a must! Some events mark the location of their washrooms on their program and that’s great! However, you can’t always count on that convenience, so make sure you ask festival staff where they are located. If that’s not possible you might want to reconnoiter the grounds while you still can!