Tag Archive: Elora

  1. We Remember

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    November 11thRemembrance Day is honoured in many ways locally each year and if you find yourself in Fergus or Elora over this weekend, we invite you to take part in our many events.




    Without a doubt, the most spectacular display to honour our fallen takes place on front lawn of the Wellington County Museum and Archives.  In partnership with our local Legions, we honour the 526 fallen from Wellington County. Those who died in the First World War, World War Two, Korea and Afghanistan are remembered with a marker on the front lawn.

    This informal and poignant tribute takes place at dusk on November 10, (5:30pm) and the candles will remain lit until November 12. Candles are provided by the Museum and everyone is encouraged to attend.


    Listen for the pipes

    Early on Sunday, November 11th,  members of the Fergus Pipe Band will be taking part in the 100th Anniversary of Armistice by performing at the Fergus Legion.

    At 6am pipers will perform the piece Battle’s O’er to commemorate the end of World War One and pay tribute our fallen. All our welcome to start the morning of Remembrance with this important event.



    Remembrance Day Services

    Elora – Remembrance parade Nov. 11 starting at 11am, followed by a ceremony at the cenotaph in front of our municipal offices.

    Fergus – Remembrance parade Nov. 11 starting at 10:30am, followed by a cenotaph service.

    Salem – Remembrance parade, Nov. 11, starting  at 9:30am; with a service at the cenotaph.





    Bells of Peace

    This Remembrance Day marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

    On Nov. 11 1918, after four long years, the guns had fallen silent. In their place, across Canada church bells rang out to share the news that the Great War, regarded at the time as “the war to end all wars,” was finally over.

    To commemorate the occasion, The Royal Canadian Legion, in partnership with the Government of Canada, is encouraging all communities across the country to participate in the Bells of Peace initiative.





    Elora – Knox Presbyterian Church will ring its bell on Nov. 11 at dusk.

    The Legion is awaiting confirmation from other churches in Elora.

    Fergus – The Fergus Legion will ring the bell from the WWII corvette HMCS Fergus, usually on display in the club hall, in front of the Legion at 5pm on Nov. 11.

    St. James Anglican Church will also ring their bells.

    We invite you to join us as we gather to remember. #LestWeForget


    Photo credit to Bill Longshaw and Olivia Rutt.

  2. The Monster March

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    Gather all ye MONSTERS!

    It’s Monster Month in Elora and everyone – and we do mean EVERYONE – is invited to join in this awesome Halloween tradition!

    The Monster March is a family-friendly, all about the fun, non-motorized parade through the core of downtown Elora.

    No matter the weather, the spirits will gather and the Monsters will roam the streets for a celebration of the best holiday on the social calendar!

    Dress up the kids! Dress up the adults! And hey, don’t forget your four-legged creatures too!

    But do take note – This year’s parade has a new start location because there will be some cool new additions to this year’s fun!

    Get your friends together and meet up at the location of One Axe Pursuits (24 Henderson Street) – where surprises will await the crowd!

    Then follow the pack as the Monster March winds its way through downtown Elora and heading to Bissell Park.

    Show off your costume in the Twilight Zoo Zone plus enjoy free hot chocolate, cider, popcorn & fruit treats at the Bissell Park Shelter.

    Please bring non-perishable food or cash donations for the Centre Wellington Foodbank to the Elora Library where they will be collected by volunteers from the Tutu In You youth group.

  3. Leave the city behind.

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    You don’t have to travel hours north for spectacular autumn views. We have them too! Visit Elora and Fergus.



    Autumn leaves. Elora Gorge. Grand River. Belwood Lake. Elora Cataract Trail. Shops. Great restaurants and pubs. Scenic views.
    Maybe you’ve seen it all before, but have you seen it in October? It’s awesome.

    The fall colours are ever-changing, accenting our spectacular natural vistas with bright colours of reds, oranges and yellows as the Grand River ripples throughout the heart of Elora and Fergus, flowing out of Belwood Lake and the Shand Dam, making for picturesque views as it winds through the high limestone cliffs and forested edge of the Elora Gorge.





    Whether you want to immerse yourself in nature and capture it all with your lens, or you’d prefer to take it all in from a pub or a café, or you just want to spend a day with friends shopping and touring two of the prettiest towns in southern Ontario – you’ll love the view here.


    We asked some locals what makes the fall season special in Fergus and Elora. Here’s what they had to say:

    “OMG everything? Every walk is absolutely gorgeous with autumn leaves. The Elora Farmers’ Markets are also full of amazing food.” – Kate G.

    “Biking on the trails, just like in every season, but in fall, it’s particularly beautiful to tour these trails.” – Brian C.

    “Monster Month! Keeping Halloween real in Elora. And fall is beautiful here. We love taking walks along the Gorge, through the trees.” – Chris M.


    Might we suggest a few awesome ways to get all your autumn feels in here:


    • Bring your bike, or grab your hiking boots, or hey, walk the dog along the Elora Cataract Trail. You can journey from the shores of Belwood Lake and the heights of the Shand Dam all the way Fergus, Elora and beyond. Clear, clean and peaceful trails surrounded by nature. Through forests, farms and two beautiful towns, you’ll get away but still be near.
    • Explore the Elora Gorge without even leaving the village of Elora. Just follow the signs for the best views. And don’t be shy! Ask a local. They know the best spots.
    • Check out the view of the Grand River in downtown Fergus. The walking Milligan Footbridge offers a beautiful view in either direction.
    • Watch out for Monsters! Don’t worry, they won’t bite. Look around Elora for these freaky, spooky hand-crafted monsters by renowned Elora artist Tim Murton, part of his Twilight Zoo creations and the inspiration for Monster Month, celebrated each October with great enthusiasm in Elora. We choose to put the fun into Halloween, rather than the fear. Bring the kids and find your spirit too!
    • Shop our two historic downtowns for unique treasures with friendly service, not because we have to be nice, but because we just genuinely are friendly folk.
    • Pubs, restaurants, drinking establishments (because it sounds way classier than ‘bars’ and we are quite classy here) and let’s not forget Elora’s own brewery. Cheers to you, autumn!
    • Find your way to the Trestle Bridge, part of the Aboyne Trail adjacent to the Wellington County Museum and Archives for an incredible view of the Grand River and the colours of the season. Tucked in between Elora and Fergus, the views in every direction make this is a destination spot.
    • Make your Saturday morning complete with a trip to the Elora Farmers’ Market to enjoy seasonal bounty of harvest season.




    Come enjoy the sweater weather with us! And be sure to share your adventures with us on Instagram @visitelorafergus @bythegrand #visitelorafergus #bythegrand. 












  4. Thanksgiving in Sensational Elora

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    The best weekend of the fall season is here and the best place to be? Also here. Right here, in Elora. Why? Because it’s sensational!

    This long weekend boasts many fine traditions for friends and family to gather and celebrate the harvest.  In our community’s social calendar, it brings two of our favourite fall events – and we’d love for you to join us!




    Sensational Pumpkin Day is a FREE family event held in Elora’s Bissell Park, at the Elora Farmers’ Market. The event is all about celebrating the end of the harvest season with all kinds of fun, interactive activities for all ages.  Bring the family and get ready for some fun!

    • Prizes for best carved/decorated pumpkins (lots of pumpkins on site!)
    • Giant pumpkin carving demonstrations – to be raffled
    • Mapleton’s Organic Dairy pumpkin ice cream
    • Face painting, Highland dance demonstrations, Zumba
    • A bouncy castle
    • Music with Juneyt

    PLEASE bring a donation of a non-perishable food donation for the Centre Wellington Food Bank too!





    Soup’s on!  Get ready to slurp up some hot, delicious and creative soups for the annual Sensational Soup-off and Empty Bowls event, a yummy Thanksgiving weekend tradition.

    Held at the Wellington County Museum and Archives, in the Aboyne Hall, the event invites local soup-makers to stir it up for a good cause. From professional Chefs with delectable skills to amateur foodie enthusiasts, including some award-winning youth entries, with homemade recipes that are tried and true, they’ll face off in a bowl-to-bowl competition – and best of all, you get to be the judge!

    Your ticket allows you to sample from this amazing buffet of soups made with local and sustainable food.  Your vote dictates the winner!

    $15 Adults
    $5  Children
    $35 Family
    $25 Bowl

    All proceeds from this event go to support the Centre Wellington Food Bank and Centre Wellington District High School‘s Breakfast Program.



    For more information visit Sensational Elora.



  5. The Elora Fergus Studio Tour

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    The Elora Fergus Studio Tour.

    Inspiration behind every door.


    Take the day. Take the weekend. Hey, take two!  Because exploring the Elora Fergus Studio is a true highlight to the fall season around here. It’s like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” for grown-ups!  So grab your map, mark your route and head out to explore some of the finest artists in and around Fergus and Elora.

    The Elora Fergus Studio Tour is a free self-guided tour that welcomes you into the workshops of local artisans. See art in various stages of creation, including pieces that are not always shown in gallery settings. Meet the makers. See unique creations. Ask questions. Get inspired.

    Here’s just a few of the fine art mediums you’ll find on the tour:

    • Watercolours
    • Photography
    • Sculpture
    • Stained Glass
    • Jewelry
    • Pottery
    • Weaving
    • Encaustic
    • Glass
    • Mixed media
    • Blown glass
    • Painting
    • Collage
    • Wood turning


    Let’s face it, we’re all curious about creative spaces where artists make their art, because we are all curious about the process, the tools and the inspiration.  Now’s your chance to find out about it all.

    Start your tour at the Elora Centre for the Arts, a heritage building lovingly restored as a creative arts hub in the community.  Here you’ll find:

    The Elora Centre for the Arts will host an opening reception for the Elora Fergus Studio Tour  on Thursday, Sept. 13 from 7pm to 9pm in the Minarovich Gallery. This free exhibit will be on display through to Sept. 30, 2018.

    So many artists. So much time. Two weekends. 40 stops. Choose your inspiration.

    Studios are open from 10am to 5pm – September 22 & 23/ September 29 & 30.


  6. Centre Wellington Derby Nights

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    Locals love harness racing and we hope you will too.

    Come catch the action at this year’s newest series of races – Centre Wellington Derby Nights!

    A trio of Friday race nights at Grand River Raceway will celebrate our unique community, featuring a race named exclusively for Township of Centre Wellington residents and offering $1,000 in cash prizes.

    Plus for everyone:
    • BBQ specials ($2 hamburgers & hotdogs, $1 pop)
    • Drive a racehorse with the Hands On Horses Program (30 spots)
    • 10 races including Racing Under Saddle with RUS Ontario
    • Kids’ activities and barn tour in The NEIGHbourhood

    Admission and parking are always free.


    N0B vs. N1M in the Centre Wellington Derby:

    This summer, the residents of Centre Wellington will head to the track, bearing their postal codes with pride as they compete for $3,000 in prizes and bragging rights as the champions of Centre Wellington Derby NightsPresent your proof of residence at the Registration Table between 5:30 – 7:30.

    The track will host a trio of these events: June 29, July 27 and August 31. The feature race of each evening will be designated as the Centre Wellington Derby and the eight horses in the race will be randomly assigned to a postal code (N1M or N0B). The Centre Wellingtonians representing each postal code are registered for a draw following the race where 10 residents representing the winning horse will share a $1,000 cash prize.

    *Must be 18+. Proof of residency includes photo ID with postal code listed, or photo ID accompanied by addressed letter showing postal code.

    Centre Wellington Derby Nights at Grand River Raceway are presented by the Grand River Agricultural Society.

  7. Riverfest Elora 2018

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    A unique town deserves a unique music festival.  There is only music festival like this.

    Riverfest Elora 2018 will be held in Bissell Park on Friday, August 17, Saturday, August 18 and Sunday, August 19. Don’t miss your chance to dance down by the river.

    Get ready for three days of art, food trucks, arts and craft vendors, community and of course, music! Celebrating ten years of the little music festival that grew to attract major headliners, this year promises to be spectacular.

    Where else can you see a line-up like The Flaming Lips, Carly Rae-Jepsen, Blue Rodeo and July Talk – just to name a few?

    Seriously. Check this out: Riverfest Elora 2018.





  8. Riverfest Elora 2018

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    Happy 10th  anniversary
    Riverfest Elora,
    you charmer, you.




    We’ve waited all year for this party. ALL YEAR. And we’re okay with it because, we already know that Riverfest Elora 2018 is totally worth the wait.

    How can we be so sure?  Experience. We haven’t missed a Riverfest yet, which means we have TEN years of adoring the little backyard festival that grew into an epic summer music festival and yet, has never lost its charm. True fact.

    You have likely been to many concerts in many venues and taken part in music festivals in all kinds of venues from sports stadiums, outdoor arenas and maybe a few big parties held in cow pastures. Yep, us too. Good times, but no charm there.

    But when you plan a giant party in Elora’s Bissell Park, with the beautiful Grand River running alongside it, complete with three stages, food trucks and vendors galore, an Artisan Alley, beer and spirits, art exhibits and beautiful greenspace all around, in the heart of one of the prettiest villages in Ontario, honestly, you cannot beat that. You just can’t. Because, when you imagine the ultimate music festival with the audience experience in mind – you grow it organically. And well, you can’t go wrong.  So come and get charmed.


    Because the Riverfest Elora organizers turns this ….




    Into this ….





    TEN ways we believe Riverfest Elora will charm you
    into becoming a true heart Riverfriend:



    1. They care about the environment. Riverfest Elora is a bottled water free and waste conscious event. They were awarded the Live Music Industry Awards’ Green Operations Festival of the Year 2018, for all their efforts to keep the festival environmentally-friendly. You won’t find packaged water here. Period. Festival-goers are encouraged to bring their own refillable water bottles, or to bring their reuseable Riverfest Elora mugs from previous years. But if you are new to the scene and plan to enjoy a beverage or three, you can purchase your very own Riverfest Elora Mug for $6. Free water stations are on-site to keep you hydrated. Just a head’s up though – this year, plastic straws are banned too.
    2. Riverfest Elora loves their beer, wine and cider They only serve the good stuff. So, remember – bring your resuseable Riverfest Elora mugs from previous years, or buy a brand new one for $6. Drink tokens are $7. The line-up moves fast, so no worries there. And just think of all the friends you’ll make in line.
    3. Three stages. Back-to-back performances. Triple bang for your buck. Be sure to plan your bands with the FREE Riverfest Elora App … and you won’t miss a thing
    4. Foodies love Riverfest Elora. It tastes good! Check out the complete list of vendors tucked into the food village set a short walk down the boardwalk. The food options are as diverse as the acts playing the festival, so we’re pretty sure your taste buds will be charmed too.
    5. Riverfest Elora is joining the Keychange Pledge, a European initiative that aims to empower women to transform the future of the music industry, encouraging festivals to achieve a 50-50 gender balance by 2022. Riverfest has always strived for gender parity and for 2018 features 55 per cent of the acts that will take the stage fit the female-fronted band goal.
    6. Yoga. Mind. Body. Soul. Sun Salutations. A little downward-dog. Stretch that musical festival experience with the incredible sessions of Yoga with Tania. You’re welcome.
    7. Karaoke makes everyone a star, right? Sure it does. So sign up your friend or let out your inner Carly Rae Jepsen out and join the Boo Radley Project as you belt out your emotions in song. Or, just keep up with the live band. These guys are hilarious and they’re here for you.
    8. Ukuleles make everyone happy. Admit it. That’s why Riverfest Elora is featuring the Big Bag o’Uke’s with Adrian Jones. Strum along. Get happy. It’s that simple.
    9. Artisan Alley is full of unique treasures by unique artisans, because who wants the same-old, same-old? Nobody, that’s who. Browse. Chat. Shop. Get inspired.
    10. Hockey. Yep, hockey. On Friday, August 17, the crew from Riverfest Elora are getting involved in the McGinn Brothers BIG Game in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Centre Wellington. This charity ball hockey tournament takes place in the groovy town of Fergus, (just a slap shot away) and will welcome NHL players Jamie, Tye and Brock McGinn, Ryan O’Reilly, Nathan Beaulieu, Lawson Crouse, Tyler McGregor, Korey Jarvis, Rich Peverly and more. Doesn’t get more Canadian than this really, does it? And nobody will yell “car!” because the street will be closed, so it will just be hockey, hockey and more hockey. And then rock’n roll. Sigh. It’s good to be Canadian.



    Oh – and there’s like a whole bunch of awesome bands playing too. You knew that right? There’s about 60 bands. And after parties.
    Check out the 10th anniversary Riverfest Elora line-up!


    (Photos: Dear Rouge and Blue Rodeo will return to Riverfest Elora to help celebrate the big anniversary!)





    So trust us when we say, you’ve never experienced anything like Riverfest Elora. When we say EPIC, we mean it! Pack in as much as you can. Enjoy Elora. Visit Fergus. Charm on every corner.  You’ll be a Riverfriend in no time!  Rock on, people. Rock on.



  9. Industry Day at Grand River Raceway

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    Don’t miss the marquee event of Grand River Raceway‘s race season:
    Industry Day 2018

    The annual event is a celebration of racing, highlighted by two major races – The Battle of Waterloo is the signature race, featuring Ontario-sired two-year-old pacing colts, and the Battle of the Belles is Grand River Raceway’s companion race, contested by Ontario-sired two-year-old pacing fillies.

    Another exciting race is the Ontario Sires Stakes event for three-year-old filly pacers in the Grassroots Series.

    But there’s more to the day, so bring the family along for an afternoon at the races:

    • Admission is free. Parking is too!
    • Kid-friendly activities from Noon to 4pm. There is plenty for the kids to do and they are permitted throughout the grounds, except in the Elements Casino
    • The day features 12 Races. Post time for Race 1 is 12:30pm
    • To participate in prize draws, a program ballot is required. They are available on-site on race day.
    • Hop on the free people-mover anytime between noon – 5pm. It can take you around the backstretch to enjoy the view.

    Come out and enjoy a beautiful day at the prettiest track in Ontario and take in the sights and sounds. Expect an experience!




  10. Industry Day at Grand River Raceway

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    industry day photo

    There is something about the sound of horse’s hooves thundering passed the rail, going at breakneck speed along the track, so gallant and strong, making the final turn running for position, with the yips from the drivers leaning back long in their sulkies, steering them into position.

    And all the while the animated commentary of the sportscaster keeps pace with the action, broadcasting from the speakers, his excitement booming out over the crowd so everyone is in the know for their win, place or show. Then there is the cheering, the energy of the crowd, the pure anticipation of the first horse to cross that post line. This is racing! Alive and in the moment.

    And there is no better place to experience it than Elora’s Grand River Raceway.

    We’ve never missed an Industry Day in Elora for good reason. It’s truly a summer highlight and one of the most fitting ways to cross the finish line of the August long weekend in a fun, relaxed atmosphere.  We’ve been there in the rain and we’ve basked in the summer sun, but we’ve never left early, because there is something special about this day that can only be appreciated by being there.



    First off, It goes without saying that the signature races – Battle of Waterloo and Battle of the Belles – are incredible races and a true testament to the work, dedication and skill behind the standardbred racing industry. If you like horse-racing at all, or even if you’re new to the sport you’ll love the pomp and pageantry of these races. But the competition? Well, we’re placing bets two seriously close races this year and some records being set! There are some racing legends and family legacies we can’t wait to see compete.


    But you don’t have to love horse racing to go – we just happen to believe you will once you experience it. So, here are a few reasons why Industry Day at Grand River Raceway is awesome:

    • Admission is FREE. Where else can you have this much fun and be in on the action without paying a cover fee?
    • Parking is FREE and there is lots of it. Some people even park in the back field, where the views are just as great. There’s room to move!
    • You can bring the kids. There is plenty to do for the young and young-at-heart. Pony rides, a petting zoo, bouncy castle, face-painting and more is available with an all-access Kid’s Zone pass for just $5. The tarmac at Grand River Raceway is absolutely a family-friendly environment too. Everyone can get in on the action.  (Please note: Children are not allowed in Elements Casino slots area).
    • The Young Gunz miniature pony race is going to be hit this summer, because, who doesn’t love a miniature pony?
    • You can go everywhere with free people-mover transportation making frequent stops throughout the event to get you to and from the parking lot, the back-stretch, the paddock building and to the tarmac for the home-stretch. This makes the raceway grounds accessible to explore.
    • Come meet past Battle of Waterloo champion Button Up (race fans will not miss this photo op)
    • This year’s Industry Day Garage Sale will take place in the Paddock Annex, a charity fundraiser to support 4 organizations within the standardbred racing industry
    • Without a doubt, one of our favourite highlights is the time-honoured Grand River Raceway tradition of the Halftime Show, featuring the Bouncy Pony Stakes – Drivers’ Edition. Don’t miss this. It’s a laugh a bounce.
    • There are various places to enjoy food and a nice cold beverage, such as the 4 outdoor barbecues, 2 beer tents, the 3i n-house restaurants (though be advised, Captain’s Quarters is already booked), and a food truck.
    • Interactive fun with the Tarmac Show, plus prizes and giveaways – always a good time.
    • If you want to try your luck at the slots, you’re in the right place with Elements Casino.


    We’re betting you’ll have the best time, with  11 races on the card and the heart-pounding excitement of the Battle of Waterloo and the Battle of the Belles, the two signature races of the day, plus so much more. And don’t worry if you don’t much about harness-racing. The staff at Grand River Raceway make it easy and fun and there are no silly questions.

    The fun begins August 6 at noon, with Post Time for Race 1 set for 12:30pm.

    We’re betting you’ll have as much fun as we do at our favourite summer tradition – #IndustryDay28!

    Title Photo by NCJ Photography: Ideation Hanover with Jody Jamieson sets a new Canadian season’s record of 1:55 (2-year-old pacing fillies over a half-mile track) in the second of four Battle Of The Belles elimination races on July 30 at Grand River Raceway.
    Crowd photo and groom with horse photo by Dave Landry Photography.
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