Greetings to the many thousands of readers over the past month from across Canada and the United States, as well as countries including the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, France, India, Australia, Japan, the Ukraine, Mexico, Romania and the Netherlands.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

An invasion of jack o'lanterns

   One-Tank Trip for Oct. 22-16

   By Jim Fox

   Take a bow pumpkins, you cultivar of a squash plant and considered to be a fruit.
   A type of winter squash, pumpkins have been made into jack-o’-lanterns as in the Irish tradition since their discovery in the St. Lawrence region by French explorer Jacques Cartier.
   They star this month in such events as Pumpkinferno, Lego Halloween Brick or Treat, Stratford’s Pumpkin Trail and Pick of the Patch provincial park pumpkin carvings.
A gaggle of jack-o’-lanterns at Pumpkinferno at Haunted Harbour.
   Pumpkinferno Haunted Harbour (also known as Discovery Harbour) is at 93 Jury Drive in Penetanguishene Thursdays through Sundays from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. until Oct. 30.
   It promises this year to have “more terror” and “double the scenes and scares.”
   Organizers say visitors will “experience the phenomenon of hauntingly magical and stirring outdoor exhibits of hand-carved pumpkins, all set against the night-time backdrop of Discovery Harbour.”
   Beware, though, as “new characters will be lurking about in the expanded Terror Zone.”
   Each year, the only survivors of a pumpkin curse dating back to 1815 are the evil spirits that reappear to defend the site against the rise of Pumpkinferno.
A fiery dragon made of pumpkins is guarding Haunted Harbour.
   The harbour traces its roots to the original British naval and military base in Penetanguishene built to safeguard access to Upper Canada after the War of 1812.
   The Terror Zone is not recommended for children younger than 12 as “it’s an absolutely amazing scare zone if you dare to enter.”
   There is a maze for younger children to enjoy, crafts and a refreshment stand along with a small retail area.
   The wearing of masks is not allowed in the park.
   Admission costs $8 with a non-perishable food item; free for children to age five. discoveryharbour.on.ca; (705) 549-8064

   Pumpkin building
   Lego fans are getting some assistance in building pumpkins for Halloween at home.
   Master Model Builder Noel Straatsma from the Legoland Discovery Centre Toronto is getting into the spirit by putting together a step-by-step tutorial slideshow for kids.
Halloween building at the Legoland Discovery Centre Toronto.
   “Every Saturday and Sunday this month, including Halloween day, little ghosts and mummies can also experience themed decor, spooky entertainment, costume contests, building contests, scavenger hunts and much more at the Discovery Centre,” said publicist Stephen Murdoch.
   The Halloween Brick-or-Treat attractions include a haunted display challenge, spooky creative build, monster mash scavenger hunt in Toronto Miniland and a boo crew costume contest.
   Visitors can also jump inside the “world’s spookiest box of Lego bricks.”
   The centre is at 1 Bass Pro Mills Drive in Vaughan, off Highway 400 north of Toronto.

   Stratford’s happy trails
   Hop on the Savour Stratford Pumpkin Trail as culinary artisans and shopkeepers invite visitors to sample their fall pumpkin flavours.
   This self-guided seasonal trail is available through Oct. 31 and includes a choice of six of the 14 locations on the personalized tour.
Picking out that perfect pumpkin along the Savour Stratford Pumpkin Trail.
   Trail passports cost $25 and provide an opportunity to savour pumpkin cupcakes, creamy pumpkin fudge and pumpkin pie spice brittle.
   There is also pumpkin frozen yogurt, seasonal chef-made pumpkin desserts, craft beer, spiced tea and coffee.
   Shops also have pumpkin scented natural soaps, decorative flameless pumpkin candles and fall napkins.
   The pumpkin trail is “a fun way to spend your day out in Stratford,” said Kristin Sainsbury, executive director of the Stratford Tourism Alliance. visitstratford.ca/pumpkintrail; 1-800-561-7926.

   Boo, who?
   Hearty families who are still camping at Ontario Parks are welcome to decorate their campsites, dress in costume and shell out candy to trick-or-treaters for Halloween.
   Algonquin Provincial Park has a weekend of activities on Oct. 28 and 29.
Some spooky campers at Bronte Provincial Park. (Ontario Parks photo)
   The fun begins on Friday night with a “surprise new activity” and then on Saturday, a naturalist at the visitor centre will guide visitors through “an amazing collection of animal skeletons dating back 100 years.”
   At the Mew Lake Campground, a spider wiener and marshmallow roast is planned along with Pick of the Patch pumpkin carving and contests for the spookiest campsite and best costume.
   The grand finale is a guided evening wolf howl at the Old Airfield. ontarioparks.com/events


Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A gastronomic getaway to Ottawa and Montebello, Quebec through the fall colours

   One-Tank Trip for Oct. 15-16

     (c) By Jim Fox

   It’s the ultimate road trip at this time of year.
   That’s the drive through the spectacular fall colours of Algonquin Provincial Park en route to an epicurean adventure in Ottawa and nearby Montebello, Que.
The changing colours make for a spectacular ride through Algonquin Park. (Barbara Fox photo)
    The hills are alive with reds, yellows and oranges and should remain vibrant for the next two weeks or so.
   Turn after turn, we were treated to spectacular sights along the 56 kilometres of Highway 60 cutting through the park from near Huntsville to Whitney.
  Tea Lake at Algonquin Park with a backdrop of fall colours. (Jim Fox photo)
   There are many great photo opportunities at lookout spots, including the Visitor Centre with an outdoor balcony, numerous lakes and hiking trails.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Toronto designates Bloor Street West, Bathurst to Bay, a Cultural Corridor

TORONTO, October 6, 2016 - The Bloor St. Culture Corridor is thrilled to announce that the City of Toronto has designated Bloor St. West, between Bathurst and Bay streets, a City of Toronto cultural corridor.
City Councillor Joe Cressy said, "Culture is at the very heart of this corridor. Within the neighbourhood, arts and culture have always been there, and the Bloor St. Culture Corridor has put a stamp on it. This is tremendous for the city, it's tremendous for the organizations who have long given life and vibrancy to the corridor, and for our residents as well. This is an arts district for the whole City of Toronto." 
Councillor Michael Thompson, Chair of the City of Toronto Economic Development and Culture Committee, said, "Recognition of this area as a cultural corridor will enhance the neighbourhood's 'brand' and have a significant impact on its economic, as well as cultural, development. As the corridor evolves and flourishes, its success will strengthen the arts and culture sector across the entire city." 

Harbourfront Centre celebrates life and legacy at Day of the Dead festival, November 5–6 (2016)

(News Release)
TORONTO, ON (October 11, 2016) – Harbourfront Centre is excited to announce the return of Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos), a festival of reverence for those who have left the world of the living. Presented by Scotiabank, the two-day festival will explore Mexico’s most popular cultural celebration with live music, theatre, art installations, family activities and more.

The festival begins Saturday afternoon with the Canadian premiere of Mexican collective Colectivo Cuerda Floja’s captivating show Post mortem, a witty western gothic about death using puppetry (títeres). Post mortem, supported by AMEXCID and the Consulate General of Mexico in Toronto, tells the story of a man seeking his way back to his beloved with only death standing between them.

Later, audiences are in for a treat as Viva Mexico Mariachi gives an explosive concert of Mexico’s most beloved traditional music, featuring the powerful vocals of Cecilia Guerrero. In addition, over the course of the weekend, visitors can feast their eyes on stunning ofrendas, altars to the departed and a key part of the celebration, which will be on display throughout the site.

Experience a new Halloween event at Fanshawe Pioneer Village

(News Release)

October 12, 2016  London, Ontario -  Follow the crooked signpost to The Midnight Village. Enjoy the terrifying treasures of Fanshawe Pioneer Village after dark on this new walking tour. Let the glow of a ghostly lantern lead you to discover the scary secrets of old London town.

Meet some of the creepiest, eeriest citizens of London's past. Serial killer Dr. Thomas Neill Cream, spree killer Henry Sovereen, axe murderess Phoebe Campbell and several other spooks. The Midnight Village meanders off the beaten Village path to explore the hidden corners of London's past.

Enjoy fall at Blue Mountain Village

This weekend, over 2000 athletes from 44 countries will compete in the World Obstacle Course Racing Championships at Blue Mountain! Find the full schedule of events and register for Sunday's Open Course at ocrworldchampionships.com.


Rascal Flatts, Jeff Foxworthy and more headed to Casino Rama in 2017

Another Exciting Entertainment Season Kicks Off at the Great Indoors
First concerts of 2017 added to Casino Rama Resort event line-up

RAMA, ON (Monday, October 10th, 2016) – Long known as one of the premier entertainment destinations in Ontario, Casino Rama Resort has earned its reputation for presenting world-class concerts & events one outstanding performance at a time.

Highlights from the just released 2017 shows includes performances by country super group Rascal Flatts, popular comedian Jeff Foxworthy (in a brand new tour) and two outstanding production shows that will have the audience spellbound by the captivating feats performed live on stage.

With the announcement of the first shows of 2017, fans can expect more of what they love about the line-up at the award-wining Entertainment Centre – an eclectic mix of artists giving the audience a memorable night, in an intimate venue noted for its great sound. 

The first additions to the 2017 Casino Rama Resort concert line-up include performances by:

Neil Goldberg’s Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy
Saturday, January 14
Sunday, January 15
Tickets are $37/$47/$60
Created and directed by Neil Goldberg, Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy is inspired by nature’s unpredictable creations, brought to life with soaring aerialists, spine-bending contortionists, acrobats, jugglers and musicians. Astounding feats combine athleticism, theatre and imagination and are enhanced with spectacular costumes and striking visual effects. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Doors, they are a opening in St. Thomas, Ontario

   One-Tank Trip for Oct. 8-16

   (c) By Jim Fox

   If summer whizzed by too quickly to do it all, it’s still not too late to catch an event – the last one of the season – in St. Thomas before the doors close.
   Known as the “Railway City,” it’s opening the doors to the public for tours at 15 heritage landmarks next Saturday (Oct. 15).
   It’s one of the Doors Open events presented by the Ontario Heritage Trust featuring “unique and most fascinating cultural sites to explore the stories hiding inside.”
   This free event will have the sites open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., while the St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre is open until 5 p.m.
   St. Thomas was settled in 1810 and is “filled with some amazing examples of built heritage landmarks that have survived over the years,” Doors Open organizers say.
Visitors can tour the Old St. Thomas Church from 1824 that’s the oldest brick structure in St. Thomas.
   Visitors can tour heritage landmarks including Old St. Thomas Church built in 1822 and take a guided tour and delve deeper into history at the library, museum and archives.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

$5,000 in prizes for five county championship tractor pull at the Norfolk County Fair

Simcoe The Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show is excited to announce that competitors in the 5 County Championship Truck Pull will share in $5,000.00 in Prize money at the Norfolk County Fair in Simcoe. 

This is a premier competition where the best truck pullers from Elgin, Brant, Haldimand, Oxford and Norfolk County will rev them up and drag the sled in this first regional Championship local class pull on Tuesday October 4th (2016) 6:00pm at the Grandstand of the Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show.

Last year’s local pull class was won by Norfolk’s Kyle Meiszner of Norfolk and he has already registered to keep his title.  Fair Committee Chair Kyle Woolley announced the prize today where the winner in both Gas and Diesel class will each take home $1,000.00, 2nd Place $500.00,  3rd Place $400.00, 4th Place $300.00, 5th Place $200.00 and 6th Place wins $100.00.

CIBC Run for the Cure at the Toronto Zoo

Running and walking at Canada's premier zoo in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation!
The Toronto Zoo is extremely proud to be the venue, for the Scarborough Chapter, CIBC Run for the Cure Walk/Run. The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure at the Toronto Zoo promises to be an exciting, powerful and unforgettable experience for everybody involved. Runners and walkers can make a wild day of it with over 5,000 animals, the only pair of giant panda cubs in Canada, lots of zoo babies and more!
The CIBC Run for the Cure is Canada’s largest single day event in support of breast cancer research, health education and advocacy programs. This new partnership between the CIBC Run for the Cure and Canada’s premier zoo is extremely exciting so grab your runners and strollers and don’t forget to sport your finest flamingo pink attire!

Nuit Blanche set to transform Toronto overnight with art

News Release

Global Rainbow (Photos from Nuit Blanche Toronto)

   The 11th edition of Nuit Blanche Toronto is on Oct. 1 (2016) and some of the program highlights will be extended throughout Thanksgiving weekend along with travel packages.
   Nuit Blanche Toronto will transform the city from sunset to sunrise with nearly 90 art projects from more than 300 local, national and international artists.

Inside Out
   The event will run from sunset (officially 6:58 p.m.) on Saturday to sunrise (7 a.m.) the next morning.
   The all-night celebration of contemporary art features four distinct exhibitions located at four sites:

Thursday, September 29, 2016

String Bone Presents! announces second season of “Live at Revival House” concert series

News Release

Kick-off October 14 with award-winning line-up of Canadian musicians

Stratford, ON  String Bone Presents! announces the talent line-up for the second season of the Live at Revival House concert series in Stratford, Ontario. Curated and directed by Canadian singer-songwriter Barry James Payne (aka String Bone), who also performs with the Celtic-fusion band Rant Maggie Rant, the concert series features a dynamic line-up of award-winning Canadian musicians.

“We saw such a positive reaction to the first year of our concert series and I couldn’t be more thrilled for the music we have planned for this season,” explained Barry James Payne. “Revival House is fast becoming a roots music fan’s mecca in southern Ontario. Last year, we had concert-goers from as far away as Ottawa and Peterborough, and many from Toronto/GTA, as well as communities closer to home, such as London, Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Sarnia and Windsor. Also, we have partnered with some great local accommodations to offer affordable overnight stays.”

The 2016-2017 concert dates and artists as follows: