These events listings appear in the Summer edition of Ottawa Magazine. For more local events as well as August roadtrips, buy the magazine on newsstands or order your online edition.
Fort Henry Flight of the Royal George. To celebrate the bicentennial of the War of 1812, Fort Henry presents an incredible re-enactment along the shores of Lake Ontario of when American vessels pursued the British ship The Royal George into Kingston. The re-enactment features three tall ships and seven gunboats in a carefully orchestrated display of military history. This is one of the largest naval re-enactments to take place during the bicentennial celebrations. July 1. $17, seniors and youth $14, children five and under free. Fort Henry, 1 Fort Henry Dr., Kingston, 613-542-3054, www.forthenry.com.
Sunset Ceremonies. Be sure to attend one of Fort Henry’s most celebrated events — the spectacular Sunset Ceremonies! Every Wednesday and Saturday evening, the Fort Regiment performs split-second bayonet drills and field manoeuvres, recreating the exciting battle tactics from over a century ago. The ceremonies are more than a visual display of movement and colour — sound is also very much part of the experience. Listen to period military music, and prepare yourself for thundering gun salutes, complete with a fireworks finale. July 4 to Aug. 29. $20, seniors and youth (six to 12) $17, children under five free. 1 Fort Henry Dr., Kingston, 613-542-7388, www.forthenry.com.
Silence of the Hams: Murder Mystery Dinner Cruise. Big Time Murder Productions and Gananoque Boat Line collaborate to serve dinner and set the scene for murder. Big Time’s resident flatfoot is on the case. The combination of mystery, hilarity, and an elaborate menu is sure to make a great evening for any pseudo-seafarer. July 7. $70, $130 per couple. 280 Main St., Gananoque, 613-382-2144, www.ganboatline.com.
Celtfest. Celtfest is a free weekend of Celtic entertainment performed in the outdoor amphitheatre at Gemmill Park. The festival celebrates the Celtic heritage of the Ottawa Valley through music and dance by giving up-and-coming performers an opportunity to display their talents. There are also vendors of specialty goods with a Celtic flair. Rock band The Elders headlines. July 7 and 8. Gemmill Park, 144 Brae St., Almonte, www.almonteceltfest.com.
Art in the Barn. Recently replacing Art on the Lawn, this event draws art lovers from around the region to explore artwork from members of the Rideau Lakes Artists’ Association. Enjoy landscapes and other images in materials such as watercolour, acrylic, and oil. Other works include pottery, batik, and whimsical garden creatures. This year, 10 percent of all sales will be donated to the Do It For Daron fund, in support of youth mental health through The Royal. July 7 and 8. Lombardy Agricultural Society Fairgrounds, Highway 15 at Kelly’s Road, Lombardy, 613-283-7824, www.rideaulakesartists.com.
Wedding Weekend: 1860s Style. Upper Canada Village throws a wedding from the mid-19th century. See the clothing worn by the wedding party and a procession of horse-drawn carriages with villagers dressed in their finest. You’ll have a chance to join in the ceremony and all the fun and festivities of the celebration. July 7 and 8. $17, seniors and youth $14, children under five free. Upper Canada Village, 13740 County Rd. 2, Morrisburg, www.uppercanadavillage.com.
Perth Antique Show. Enjoy a day of antiquing at the 26th annual Perth Antique Show. The show includes both indoor booths and outdoor tents. Dealers display china, glass, silver, textiles, jewellery, brass, tools, furniture, folk art, decorative accessories, and popular retro and nostalgic collectibles, all along the backdrop of the beautiful Tay Canal. July 7 and 8. $7. Perth Royal Canadian Legion, 26 Beckwith St. E., Perth, 613-283-5270, www.perthchamber.ca.
Merrickville Car Show Cruise & Shop. Marvel at over 1,000 registered cars and trucks. Live entertainment and related events and activities are also on the bill. July 8. $5 vehicle registration fee at the gate. Merrickville Blockhouse Park and Fairgrounds, 613-269-3863, www.merrickvillecarshow.com.
Kingston Busker Rendezvous. Buskers from all over the world gather in downtown Kingston for this annual event. Jugglers, dancers, singers, magicians, and even contortionists pass the hat and contend for top-spot spectacle as judged by applause. Take your walking shoes and lots of loose change. July 12 to 15. 177 Wellington St., Kingston, 613-542-8677, www.kingstonbuskers.com.
St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival. Audiences enjoy the works of Shakespeare at an outdoor amphitheatre on the banks of the St. Lawrence River. Playing this summer are two of Shakespeare’s classic comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Othello, along with the ever-changing (and music-infused) shows from the Sunday Series. July 14 to Aug. 18. $25, students $20, children 14 and under free. Kinsmen Amphitheatre, Water St. W., Prescott, 613-925-5788, www.stlawrenceshakespeare.ca.
Graham Beasley Triathlon-Duathlon. Bike, swim, run! This annual event offers athletic options for all levels. From the Try a Tri for beginners (200-m swim, 20-km cycle, 2-km run) to the Olympic Triathlon and Relay (1,500-m swim, 40-km cycle, 10-km run) and everything in between, participants can push their physical limits while having fun. The swim portion is especially popular because of the shallow, clear water of the Mississippi River, where people can stand if they need to during the race. Entry fees vary by event. July 15. Centennial Park, Joseph Street, Carleton Place, www.somersault.ca/eventgrahambeasley.htm.
Athens Annual Farmersville Exhibition. Most often referred to simply as the Steam Fair, the Farmersville Exhibition displays steam engines in operation, along with a selection of vintage machinery, cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Past exhibition activities have included a breakfast, tractor pull, craft fair, and amusement park, with country music in the afternoon, so check out the website to see what’s in store for this year. July 20 to 22. Centre ’76 Fairgrounds, 300 Elgin St. N., Athens, www.athenslions.org/steamfair.
Avonmore Fair. Activities to keep visitors on the go include calf and horse shows, petting zoo, talent show, strongman competition, ATV-pull competition, midway, and live entertainment throughout the weekend. The exhibit hall offers a taste of farm life with agricultural products, flowers, home crafts, and baking. July 20 to 22. 16301 Fairview Dr., Avonmore, 613-346-2252, www.avonmorefair.ca.
Stewart Park Music Festival. Now in its 22nd season, this three-day event provides a venue for music lovers to groove to folk, jazz, country, and world music. People come from all corners to relax in the sun while enjoying tunes from Canadian and international artists. Local merchants, artisans, and food vendors take their top goods to the festival. Visitors are encouraged to participate in the workshops and mini classes, such as Waterfront Yoga, Dance Fusion, and Reiki in the Park. July 20 to 22. Free admission, $20 for After Hours shows. Stewart Park and other locations, Perth, 613-264-1190, www.stewartparkfestival.com.
A Pirate Dinner Cruise. Set sail with the scurvy dogs of the high seas. Dress in your pirate best for A Pirate Dinner Cruise with Gananoque Boat Line. The dinner includes chicken and ribs, vegetable brochettes, salad, and dessert. The band X-Idol plays classic rock, and Ronnie Rodriguez, a Johnny Depp look-alike (he was cast as Depp’s photo double in the third Pirates of the Caribbean film) plays the role of Captain Jack Sparrow. July 21. Dinner and cruise $70, just the cruise $35. 280 Main St., Gananoque, 613-382-2144, www.ganboatline.com.
Chesterville Fair. The “Small Fair With Big Value” returns to celebrate 81 years of fun, food, and entertainment. In addition to a number of agricultural shows, there are sport competitions, a demolition derby, and home-craft competitions. Midway games and the Kidzone tent offer entertainment for all family members. July 27 to 29. Chesterville Fairgrounds, intersection of Queen Street and Industrial Drive, Chesterville, www.chestervillefair.com.
Thousand Islands Playhouse: Little Shop of Horrors. This musical-horror comedy is about a young man who works in a flower shop and stumbles across a strange plant with murderous intentions. The plant provides the man with a chance to solve his problems and unite with his love, but it won’t do so for free. July 27 to Sept. 1. $36.16, seniors $33.90, students and children $18.80. 690 Charles St. S., Gananoque, 613-382-7020, www.1000islandsplayhouse.com.
Antiquefest. The Morrisburg District Lions Club welcomes dealers from Ontario and Quebec for its annual Antiquefest. This event draws nearly 2,000 people to its tents along the river. One of the popular attractions is the appraisal booth, where several dealers review antiques, Antiques Road Show-style. July 28 and 29. $5 for the weekend, children 12 and under free. Waterfront Park, Canada Way Drive, Morrisburg.
Herbfest. Those interested in herbs, gardening, cooking, and living a healthy lifestyle will love this day-long event. Kick off the day with talks and demonstrations from authors and other experts on topics related to nutrition and well-being. Next, grab a wholesome bite in the outdoor food court before cruising around some of the 90 booths set up by vendors from around the region. July 29. $5, families $15, advance tickets $4. The Herb Garden, 3840 Old Almonte Rd., Almonte, 613-256-0228, www.herbfest.ca.
Fort Henry Candlelight Dining. Looking for a unique and entertaining dining experience that won’t break the budget? The Officers’ Dining Rooms at Fort Henry offer a three-course fixed menu and à-la-carte dining. Also featured is a fine selection of wines from Prince Edward County. For only $5 extra, dinner guests can stroll through Fort Henry on a self-guided walking tour (except on special performance nights). July and August. Evening sittings only. Available Wednesday to Saturday. Prices vary by menu. 1 Fort Henry Dr., Kingston, 613-530-2550, www.foodandheritage.com.