Snowbirds fly over Niagara Falls

snowbirds3If you are down by the Falls tomorrow night, May 29th, at 6:00… look up! The Canadian Snowbirds will be putting on a 25 minute air show over Niagara Falls. Starting in 1971 and becoming a permanent unit in 1977, known as the Canadian Forces Air Demonstration Team, the Snowbirds have performed hundreds of shows across Canada, The United States and Mexico. This fly season, from May to October, the Snowbirds will perform over 50 shows.

2012 CF-18 Demonstration Hornet, Snowbirds Prise de vue

Birthday People

Before you begin reading, I must warn you: this article is slightly self serving but I know everyone can relate.  This Friday is my birthday! As it approached I began thinking about birthdays in general. I have come to some conclusions, that I would like to share.

birthdayThere are three types of birthday people. Which one are you?
1) The Birthday Proclaimer: this person has no problem telling you that it’s their birthday. There, of course, are various levels of this person. The one, like me, who will tell you that it’s their birthday with a big grin on their face and are looking for a little sentiment for being born this day x amount of years ago. And then there is the ultimate Birthday Proclaimer who will wear a birthday pin all day and may also have a ‘Happy Birthday’ helium balloon attached to them to follow them around.

m-crying2) The Birthday Protestor: this person wants nothing to do with their birthday. They won’t have it posted on their Facebook, they won’t mention the date of their birthday and they definitely won’t tell anyone that it’s their birthday the day of! They don’t want to have a celebration, they don’t want you to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ and they really don’t want the homemade birthday card I spent an hour making (oops).

birthdayboy3) The Birthday Down-Player: this person will not come out and tell you that it’s their birthday but if you realize and wish them a ‘Happy Birthday’ they will be happy. They may have a small celebration with their friends but they don’t want a big shin-dig, they don’t want the office to bring them a cake and candles but a card will be appreciated.

 

With the advent of Facebook and Twitter and all other things social media, Birthday wishes have changed. After some further thought, I realized that there is not only 3 types of birthday people but various types of birthday wishers on social media:imagesCA4RE3ZB
- The Once-A-Year: one Facebook message/year that says ‘happy birthday.’ There may be a smiley face included.
- The Friend That Should Have Called. Pretty self explanatory.
- The Who-the-Heck-Is-This: this person leaves a lovely message but you have no idea who they are. You want to say thank-you but you aren’t sure if you are being a jerk because you can’t remember them or if they are completely random and maybe a little creepy.
- The Genuine Facebook Post: this person took the time to write a lovely message to you, upload a funny photo from your past or find the perfect image on Google to make you laugh on your birthday and make you feel special.

Now that I have summed up Birthday People and Birthday Wishers, there is only one thing left for me to do: go and celebrate my birthday! Cheers!

Victoria Day in Niagara

queen_victoria_partay_3In Canada, Victoria Day started in 1845 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday on May 24th, as the mother of Confederation. The Canadian government marked that the Monday before May 25th would be the day every year that Canadians would honour Queen Victoria’s Birthday, as well as celebrate the reigning sovereign’s birthday as well.

To most Canadians however, Victoria Day means shaking off the spring time showers of April and kicking off the summer season! Niagara Falls is the perfect place to celebrate Victoria Day with lots of exciting attractions and great outdoor activities, not to mention the famous firework display over the Falls!niagara-falls-fireworks

skywheelThere are some different ways to celebrate the long weekend here in Niagara Falls. For a more action packed long weekend, why not try your luck at the Casino and then walk down Clifton Hill and ride on the SkyWheel for a perfect view of the Falls. Be prepared to wait in some lines and have it a little crowded; this option seems to be a visitor favourite.

Port DalhousieOr if you are looking for a different way to celebrate your long weekend, a hike through the Niagara Gorge would be a great nice weather activity or a walk along the Niagara parkway. Of course, after that you would need to wet your whistle with some patio drinks along Lundy’s Lane at the Croft Lounge at The Best Western Plus Cairn Croft!

This year, the GO train will be running from Toronto to Niagara throughout the whole Victoria Day weekend! Plan your visit with the train schedule and avoid the traffic that usually follows the holidays.

 

Niagara Falls Coca Cola Concert Series

fireworks-concerts-001_270x2702013 marks the 20th anniversary of Canada’s longest running firework series, right here in Niagara Falls. If you have ever seen the fireworks as they launch up into the dark sky and burst into spectacular colours over the magnificent Niagara Falls, then you know why this series has been running for so long. And if you haven’t experienced this for yourself, this year is the perfect year to do so.

Starting on May 17th and going all summer long, every Friday, Sunday and Holiday, you can enjoy a free concert in Queen Victoria Park before the beautiful fireworks display. The Coca Cola Concert series will begin at 8pm, showcasing some of Niagara’s favourite local talent. As the band plays, the sky will darken and by the end of their show, the sky will be perfect for the 10pm firework show. Don’t miss out on the opportunity this summer to hear great bands and see beautiful fireworks!

queen-victoria-park  Niagara-Falls-Fireworks-2

 

Abbamania in Niagara Falls

abbamania-castIf rocking out to songs like Mama Mia and Dancing Queen is up your alley then we have found the perfect show for you! Abbamania, an international ABBA cover band, is playing right here in Niagara Falls at the Greg Frewin Theatre. While researching this event, a few pictures came up of the four performers… the resemblance is uncanny; George Hutchinson as Bjorn, Danny Gluckstein as Benny, Laura Jeffery as Agnetha and Katrina Wallis as Frida!

This show features 21 of ABBA’s hits, complete with full costume changes, choreography and a live band! The Show is May 10th, 2013. Tickets range from $19 to $35 and you can include dinner for $24. For more information or to order your tickets, contact the Greg Frewin Box Office 1-866-871-8462
abba-mania-441-performers-and-musicians

It’s Earth Day Niagara Falls!

Earth-Day3Happy Earth Day Niagara Falls! Every year on April 22nd, over 170 countries celebrate Earth Day with various activities to promote greener living and help educate on proper environmental safety practices. Starting in 1970, Earth Day began as an environmental awareness event lead by Wisconsin Governor Gaylord Nelson and a Harvard University student, Denis Hayes. Since then, this event has grown into a whole day and even a whole week worth of events to better the environment we live in.

earthdayniagaraEvents take place in almost every community across Canada: rain barrel sales, tree planting, clean-ups, corporate information sessions and school activities for every child in Canada, just to name a few. If you want to be a part of an Earth Day activity in your community, check out the events listings and for the Niagara Region, Earth Day events are happening all week. On top of the designated Earth Day events, this is a great time to get out and enjoy the outdoors… to truly appreciate the beauty of our Earth. Perhaps a hike along the Niagara Gorge is in order?

Here at Best Western Plus Cairn Croft, we do our best to make sure that we are leaving a smaller carbon footprint on the Earth than we have in the past. We have recently introduced Green Energy to our hotel and encourage all guests to be green during their stay!gogreen


Niagara Falls Comic Con 2013

comic6This year, Niagara Falls Comic Con has brought in some pretty impressive guests! Turning 50,000 square feet of the Scotiabank Convention Center into a comic and pop culture hub, Comic Con will not disappoint. Happening June 8th and 9th, with a weekend pass only costing $30 and I think you’ll need the whole weekend to experience everything that will be there this year!

Comic book vendors, artists, celebrities and attractions will fill your day. Some of the renowned comic book artists include Marc Silvestri, Colleen Doran and George Perez. The 1966 Batmobile will be on display, a gaming area will be there to try a variety of different video games and a Cosplay Costume Contest will be held on Saturday for Best Male, Best Female, Best Boy, Best Girl and Overall.

And the impressive list of celebrity guests include: Adam West (1960s Batman), Corey Feldman, Lou Ferrigno (The Hulk), Sam J. Jones (Flash Gordon), David Prowse (Darth Vader) and Larry Thomas (The Soup Nazi).
comic4 comic2 comic3 comic1

If you are coming from out of town, The Best Western Plus Cairn Croft has great packages available to make sure you are taken care of during your Comic Con weekend! Take the WEGO Shuttle from our hotel and walk a quick 10 minutes to the Scotiabank convention center.

 

Niagara Food & Wine Expo 2013

niagara food and winePicture this. One giant room, filled with delicious gourmet food, award winning wines and thirst quenching beer! No, it’s not some adult version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in Niagara Falls… it’s Niagara Food & Wine Expo happening April 26th-28th in the Scotiabank Convention Center.

This expo is jam packed with tons of exhibitors, entertainment, auctions and lessons. This year, join food and wine experts like Christopher Waters from VINE Magazine, Lydia Tomek from Hernder Estates, Sue-Ann Staff from Megalomaniac Wines and Kevin Brauch the Thirsty Traveller. Something that really sparked my interest is that Kevin Brauch will be putting on a tutored tasting called The World of Drinks. This man has been drinking in a ton of places and to learn from him and hear his stories sounds awesome! Tickets for his event are $45 and include your ticket to the expo as well.
The Canadian Food & Wine Institute at Niagara College will be bringing to The Chef Stage on-going, live demonstrations from chef masters. Watch and listen as they give you some tricks of the trade and create what are sure to be mouth-watering dishes.
christopher-waters-2009 lydia2 sue-ann-in-kitchen-dennis-cahill KevinBrauchMartini

Alongside The Chef Stage, there will also be a Tasting Stage with 30 minute wine tastings for you to partake in. It is first come, first serve, so if you see a tasting that you don’t want to miss, make sure you get there early. The tasting is limited to 40 people/session.

And now, I know what you are all thinking. “Hayley! Tell us what delicious restaurants, wineries and breweries we can find on display.” Don’t worry, there is no short supply and you won’t be disappointed. Some of the restaurants that you can sample from include: 21 Club, AG Inspired Cuisine, Ponte Vecchio, and Sushi & Oyster Bar. There are also over 30 wineries to sample; Diamond Estates, Kacaba Vineyards and Between the Lines Winery! With Sample Tickets only being $1, it’s afforable to give lots of new things a try.
sushi ponte
21 wines

The Niagara Food & Wine Expo is filled with so much information from wine pairings to delicious restaurant choices to fun cookware accessories. The event is 19+ and tickets can be purchased in advance to save $3 from the door price of $15. However you say it; Salut! Prost! Yamas! Cheers!

St. Catharines Museum 1812

Postcards from Niagara has visited a few historical sites on our adventures and it still amazes me that so many pivotal moments in Canadian history happened in our own backyard. I’ve brought you information about historical cemeteries, the Laura Secord Homestead, the McFarland House and even Fort George, so bringing you info on the new war exhibit entitled 1812 at the St. Catharines Museum is a no brainer!

P1010362 Queenston Heights IMG_8671

1812This exhibit will be running from April 6th to August 18th and is brought to you by the St. Catharines Musuem and the Welland Canals Centre. This road show is a version of an award winning exhibit found in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. You don’t have to travel to our country’s capital to find all of the historic information!

1812 features the perspective of four different groups who experienced the war: Canadians (including Canadian First Nations), Americans, British and Native Americans. This holistic approach to historical story telling provides the audience with a unique viewpoint to create their own thoughts and conclusions. Some of the people featured in the exhibit include: Major-General Sir Isaac Brock, Francis Scott Key (the writer of the American national anthem) and the Shawnee leader Tecumseh.

Admission is by donation, so pay what you feel that the experience is worth to you, but remember that learning experiences such as these do cost money to run and it is important for all Canadians to be educated on our past. To further educate yourself, visit some of the historical sites that I mentioned earlier, found all around the Niagara region. And finally, make sure you make a stop at the Niagara Falls History Museum!

Niagara Home & Garden Show

home and garden2Although Mother Nature hasn’t been making it feel very spring like in Niagara lately, I promise… it is on it’s way! What better way to put some spring in your step then by visiting the Home & Garden show?  This 3 day exhibition is taking place at the Scotiabank Convention Center from April 5th-7th. I wonder if my mom knows about this? I’ll have to let her know, this is righ up her alley!

The convention center will have a complete overhaul with tons of exhibits showing gardens & landscapes, outdoor living, kitchens & baths and other interior design displays. For only $8/adult, you can pay once and visit every day if you want to take in more tips, tricks and trends for your home! Speak with experts about home renovation, planting advice and pretty much anything home and garden related… this show will have something for you! 1275-backyard home and garden

This year, the celebrity speaker will be the cute Ahmed Hassan from DIY Network’s Yard Crasher’s. Ahmed will be speaking on the main stage four times throughout the weekend, Saturday at 1:00pm and 4:00pm and Sunday at 11:30am and 2:00pm. Along with Ahmed, there will be a Decking seminar from Hickory Dickory Decks, a lesson in Easy Entertaining, a Budget Bathroom Reno and Country Basket will put on a few seminars about various flower arrangements and spring planting.

home and garden3 - Copy home and garden5

Don’t worry about trying to find a babysitter, there is an Interactive Kids Zone for the kids and a fun display of birds of prey from the Canadian Raptor Conservancy during the exhibit as well! Speaking of having a little more fun: there will be complimentary wine tasting and a great Art, Gift and Gourmet Center so that you can do some unique shopping too.