Field Notes for Summer 2023

Check out our roundup of top events and happenings in Headwaters, including festivals, garden tours, mud races, live music and crafty fun

June 16, 2023 | | Field Notes

Mark your calendars for a fun-filled summer jam packed with events, festivals, live music and more. Be sure to also check out our online events page, What’s On, to find lots of things to do nearby.

Fields of Dreams

The International Plowing Match is a massive five-day celebration of rural living and agriculture held at Bowling Green in Amaranth Township from September 19 to 23. Purportedly the largest outdoor event of its kind in North America, the event is in its 104th year with over 75,000 expected visitors. Competitors plow based on age and experience in different classes, such as horse and mule, jointer and sulky plows, as well as tractors and antique tractors.

Photo courtesy

Get up close with historical displays as well as quilting and antiques exhibits that have a deep connection to Dufferin County. Attendees can also stroll through hundreds of vendor booths including food, artisans, decor, apparel, agricultural equipment and vehicle dealers/manufacturers. Live music rings out from multiple stages. Children can explore hands-on activities, visit engaging exhibits, and learn about environmental science and conservation.

Summer Fun at Mansfield Outdoor Centre

Mansfield Outdoor Centre, a beloved local winter cross-country ski destination, has quietly become a player in the mountain biking and hiking world. The centre’s well-maintained private trails are accessible to pass holders all summer long. Get an amped-up taste of the fun June 24, 8 a.m. until dark, at the Mud Hero Toronto event. Racers push themselves to finish a 6- or 12-kilometre race through sloppy mud and over 20 obstacles on foot. There’s a kids’ race too. (And outdoor showers, which are a must because finishing in head-to-toe mud is kind of the point.) Ticket holders and racers alike can get into the festival vibe with a beer tent and food trucks.

Pollinator Picks

Mono Pollinator Garden Festival

Spend the afternoon at Avalon Lavender Farm in Mono for the Mono Pollinator Garden Festival on June 24. Guest speaker and gardening genius Paul Zammit from CBC radio will present “Rethinking Beauty: Inspiring Gardens in a Changing World.”

And In the Hills’ resident naturalist Don Scallen says he’ll share the ways in which insects and caterpillars support not only our gardens, but local songbirds as well. Learn how to apply sustainable, pollinator-friendly practices in your own backyard, then stroll through local vendor booths and breathtaking lavender fields. Watch for local food truck Rasmi’s Falafel, too.

On August 12 visit Albion Hills Community Farm off Humber Station Road in Caledon for their Monarch and Pollinator Event, and a day of fun at the farm.

Fore! Practice That Swing

Caledon Country Club on Olde Baseline Road near Inglewood has a fun way to enjoy the sport year-round in any kind of weather with their new golf simulator. Practise your swing on a rainy day while you play some of the most beautiful world-class courses on a curved 11-foot-tall by 17-foot-wide screen. Options include target ranges, chipping and putting greens, competitions, and games like mini-putt and window smash. Open to the public.

Theatre in the Great Outdoors

Don’t miss Theatre Orangeville’s Summer Arts Festival, back this year at Mount Alverno Luxury Resort on Heart Lake Road in Caledon, August 11 to 13. There’s a packed lineup of art, music and fun, including Dungee Dragon & the Just Okay Juggler, North (519) Best of Toronto Fringe, Storytime with Fay & Fluffy, and a trademark brunch at The Vista, the resort’s spacious restaurant.

Dungee Dragon & the Just Okay Juggler and Storytime with Fay & Fluffy.

Take Note

A Writer’s Craft

On July 22 writerly types can create your very own handmade journal at a hands-on workshop at Museum of Dufferin. Design your own book with a variety of decorative papers, then put it all together with a proper book-binding stitch. Beginner-friendly!

Shop Online for a Good Cause

The Evolve Caledon thrift store funnels 100 per cent of its profits to support several Caledon Community Services programs. While their huge, airy retail space is a destination, they’ve now launched an online shop stocked with clothing, home decor, antiques and sporting goods. (To donate, visit their separate drive-through facility located just down the road from the retail space on Industrial Road, Bolton.)

Garden Tour: Plant Paradise Country Gardens

Prepare to swoon by touring gardening expert and author Lorraine Roberts’ 24-acre Caledon property. After you meander through her award-winning botanical gardens and nature trail, don’t miss shopping at her version of a souvenir shop – an organic perennial nursery and garden centre.

Multicultural Meetup

Celebrate our area’s growing diversity during a weekend of festivities offered at the Dufferin County Multicultural Event at Museum of Dufferin. On June 23, enjoy light refreshments at the opening of the Unity in Diversity art exhibit. The next day, visitors can take part in steel pan and African drumming demonstrations or join a game of cricket thanks to the Shelburne Cricket Club. Guests can also catch a youth performance of Bhangra dancing, as well as a Sikh cultural performance, and browse local artisan food booths.

Althea Alli, who founded the event in 2018 and now runs the Dufferin County Multicultural Foundation, says the event is a way for the community to come together and share, celebrate and educate each other about who we are and our traditions. “It helps to create that foundation for our youth, and allows for our older generations to celebrate and impart knowledge,” she says. “As I have always said, music, art and food are international languages and connections that create powerful bonds.”

Concert News

Feel the healing benefits of music and community amid a celebration of peace at the Coming Home Festival in Amaranth August 11 to 13. This festival along the Mud River includes drumming circles, folk, rock and soul music, artisan vendors, food and even campsites. Weekend and day passes are available online.

Level up your health and wellness knowledge at the Elysian Festival in Orangeville August 12 to 13. Expect a blend of yoga, meditation and alternative practices such as divine channelling, tarot and ecstatic dance. This is a ticketed event, but it’s free to walk through the vendor section.

About the Author More by Johanna Bernhardt

Writer and dancer Johanna Bernhardt lives in Orangeville.

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