Volume Header Oct14
Oct14 Photo 1 - Blue Mountain
"Fall View from the top of the Blue Mountains"

The Joys of Fall...

With the fall season now underway, I thought that I would devote this INSIDER Newsletter issue to "all things fall"... fall colours, fall fairs, pumpkinfests and fall events. Over the years Judi and I have traveled across Ontario seeking out the "magic of fall" and taking lots of photos along the way. I think the best Ontario photos are taken in the Autumn. In a way it is too bad, with all its colours, that the Autumn is so short. I think of "Autumn" as the "Fall Period" that contains all the colours. It seems that if you "blink", that you've missed the most spectacular scenes. This year, Judi and I set out to explore new country-side, determined to find the best, most colourful scenery possible. I think we found it in the Blue Mountain area. Vast forested areas, colourful mountain ranges and the blue waters of Lake Huron all combined to make the experience breathtakingly memorable. Photos and article of our "Blue Mountain Fall Tour" will be posted on the Ontario Visited website shortly. In the meantime, for this month's INSIDER, I have combed our photo archives and posted them on the side columns of the newsletter. I hope that you enjoy viewing as much as Judi and I enjoyed taking them!

Oct14 Photo 2 - Toronto Zoo

"Photo from Our Toronto Zoo Fall Tour."

Fall Colours...

As I mentioned above, the best fall (Autumn) colours are very illusive, especially "City Travelers"! Timing is everything! Over the years Judi and I have tried to make our timing just right. Sometimes we have been successful, traveling and exploring on the "perfect" day, but other times, not so much! However, chasing the "Dream" is always a pleasant adventure. Last year we made a determined effort to go out and find the most definitive "fall colours". I think that for the most part we succeeded. However, the colours, when we traveled, weren't as co-operative as they have been in other years. The other challenge that we always face is that we live too far south from the "real" action! When we hear that the colours are in their "prime", we are too often not available or the weather is not "right"! This year, things are different! We are residing, for a while, in the Blue Mountain (Thornbury) area. What an opportunity! We are right there for the "prime-time" colours! So far, we have taken advantage twice, driving far into the "Mountains", for a "Blue Mountain Fall Tour"! It's hard to believe that there is so much beauty in one place. I know that other parts of Canada have their uniqueness, and we hope to explore them too. In the meantime we are here, in the Blue Mountains, exploring and taking hundreds of photos. We will share many of them with you soon.

Oct14 Photo 3 - Norfolk Fair

"Watching the 6-Horse Hitch at the Norfolk County Fair & Horse Show."

Fall Fairs...

If you have never been to a fall fair, you've really missed an exciting part of the Ontario landscape! The great thing about fairs, is that they reflect the communities in which they are held. Judi and I have had the great privilege of visiting many Ontario fairs. We have also been honoured to meet many fair volunteers at the annual Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies (OAAS). These wonderful volunteers work extremely hard to preserve Ontario's (Canada's) rural heritage. Visiting a fair is like taking a "snapshot" of rural life... farm animals, show rings, home baking, preserves, agricultural products, farm implements and equipment displays and so much more! Many fairs have added a lot of fun and interesting activities, especially for kids! Unfortunately, some community leaders do not appreciate their community's rural heritage. This too bad, because "heritage" is what "binds" a community together, it gives it "purpose". Hopefully more thoughtful minds will prevail and community fairs will flourish! To find out more about OAAS and the fairs they represent or if you want to know when an individual fair takes place, visit the OAAS website at http://www.ontariofairs.com/.

Oct14 Photo 4 - PEC Pumpkinfest

"My late brother 'Chuck" at the PEC Pumpkinfest pumpkin weigh-in."

Pumpkin Festivals...

What's orange and has a funny face? A pumpkin, of course! Fall fun, for me, means PUMPKIN festivals... carved pumpkins, corn mazes, haunted houses, scary scarecrows and fields of bright orange pumpkins. And then, there's "Pumpkin Pies", hot and just ready for a little whip  or ice cream! Ontario is fortunate to have so many farms and communities that feature fun-filled "Pumpkinfest Adventures". Judi and I have been fortunate enough to visit a number of them, especially in eastern Ontario. One of my favourites is held each year at the McLean/Buckhorn Berry Farms. Sam McLean and his family always throw a great "bash". Going there is a "blast", especially when they fire the "Pumpkin Canon"! Another favourite is the Prince Edward County Pumpkin Festival held in the Village of Wellington. When my brother was alive, he would wait each year with anticipation. He was part of the team that organized the "Pumpkin Competition" and was in charge of the "weigh-in"! He also participated in the Pumpkin Festival parade. He and his wife, Flo, would ride high up in their truck, towing a load of pumpkins behind and waving at the crowds of people that lined the street! Yes, "fall" is definitely a time for fun and great memories!

Oct14 Photo 5 - Balls Fall Festival

"Arts and Crafts each year at the Ball's Falls Thanksgiving Festival."

Fall Events...

Fall certainly is the time for many events. Yes, there are the Fall Tours, Fall Fairs and Pumpkinfest, but there's a lot more happening. Most of the Heritage Villages have fall event. Lang Pioneer Village Museum in Keene holds a Fall Colours Tour and a Historic All Hallows Eve. Fanshawe Pioneer Village in London hold Thanksgiving  at the Village and Haunted Village Hayride. Westfield Heritage Village in Rockton celebrate Thanksgiving and organize Haunted Halloween. This is just a taste of what all Heritage Villages offer in the fall. Museums and Historic Sites also offer a wide variety of events, as do Zoos and Wildlife sanctuaries. The Toronto Zoo, for example, has their Toronto Zoo Celebrates Fall! and Boo at the Zoo. There are a lot in individual events taking place this fall. There are the traditional events, such as the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest, Fort Fright (aka Fort Henry - Kingston) and the Ball's Falls Thanksgiving Festival. Then there are the fun-filled local events that attract visitors from far and wide. Events such as the Port Elgin Pumpkinfest and the Bala Cranberry Festival. Please note that the above is just a small outline of all that happens in each fall. To find out more visit one of the many Ontario event calendars. The Ontario Visited Event Calendar and Finder are in the process of being revamped and are being updated daily. If you know of any event that needs to be added, please e-mail me the information (gary@ontariovisited.ca)

 Oct14 Photo 6 - Blue Mountain

"Fall Colours... you've got to love them!"


Judi "Scoop" McWilliams

To Tweet or Not To Tweet...

I don't know whether you've noticed lately, but Judi (ask "Scoop") has been Tweeting "up a storm"! It turns out that Judi is a "natural" TWEETER! It took a lot of encouragement at first, but now she's a regular "machine"... who knew? As a result (very positive), more and more people are following her. Now that she has the "bug" (or, should I say the "bird"), you should take advantage of her enthusiasm! Yes, she does have plenty to say herself, but she needs MORE! So, if you have event news you want to share or if have an event that needs promoting, send "Scoop" the information by e-mail (judi@ontariofestivalsvisited.ca). If you are not following her now, you might want to! She's TWEETING lots of great festival and event news! (FestivalNomadCA)