Friendship Festival

The 26th annual Friendship Festival, to celebrate Canada and the United States border cities building and maintaining good relations. This festival is filled with food, entertainment and concerts and is always a good time! The Hands Across the Border marks the beginning of the festival with an international hand shake. This year there are 27 bands to enjoy from a Croft Lounge favourite Gatorbait to Breaching Vista, a band I saw open for Jack’s Mannequin!

In addition to these exciting events, new this year the festival has added a “Festival’s Got Talent.” This 3 day competition will find the best of the talent from the Niagara region. You can find the application on the Friendship Festival website. If you are a singer, dancer or have another awesome talent then you should think of applying!

The festival takes place from June 29th to July 2nd at Mather Arch Park in Fort Erie!

War of 1812 Niagara Bicentennial

This year marks the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the Niagara region has lots planned to celebrate the 200 years of peace that arose after the war. On Friday June 15th at Fort George there will be a opening celebration with military bands, musket and cannon demos and of course food and wine! Saturday marks the eve of the declaration of war with a Military Ball put on by the Niagara-on-the-Lake Historical Society and Museum. A delicious period dinner and celebration – period dress is not necessary but encouraged! Or you can go black tie if you don’t have a costume lying around. Make sure to check out the official Bicentennial Website and the Niagara-on-the-Lake website to find out about the different events that will be happening throughout the summer.

Niagara Falls Comic Con

For all you comic book lovers out there! Niagara Falls Comic Con is happening at the Scotiabank Convention Center on June 9th! The expo will be filled with artists, celebrities, a gaming zone and comic book vendors for your enjoyment. Some of the celebrity appearances include: Burt Ward (TV’s original Robin), Bret “Hitman” Hart, Chandler Riggs (from Walking Dead) and Dustin Diamond (yesss Screech from Saved by the Bell!). Along with these celebrities, there will be the original Batmobile and The Delorean from Back to the Future. Tickets can be purchased online for $15 or purchased at Pulp Comics (Niagara Falls), Mostly Comics (St. Catharines) and Big B Comics (Hamilton).

There are also some great VIP packages for those of you who are interested in one specific celebrity. VIP package for Burt Ward is $35 and includes a Q&A session along with a private screening of 1966 Batman. There is also a WWE Legends package for $20 that includes a Q&A session with 3 wrestlers. On the day of the event you will also be able to purchase picture and autograph tickets for whichever celebrity you would like. Most of the VIP packages were limited to 75 people so get your ticket quick if you want a chance to ask some of your favourites any questions!

Springlicious 2012

Springlicious 2012, happening June 1st-3Rd on 6 full blocks of downtown Niagara is the perfect kickoff to the nice weather and enjoying a perfect Niagara Summer. With the traffic blocked off to downtown, the streets are filled with locals and tourists alike, wandering from vendor to vendor exploring Niagara cuisine, beverages and of course shops. There will also be various bands playing throughout the days including The Roxwells, Michael Banks, Black Flies and the headliner April Wine. Springlicious is a great way to find out what Niagara has to offer and appreciate the recent revitalization efforts in the downtown Niagara area. Gather your friends and family and take a stroll through downtown!

Niagara Outdoor Sports & Boat Show

Summers at the cottage were always filled with worm fishing and paddle boating. Although my family isn’t a boating family, we appreciate any chance we get to get out on the water and take in the fresh air. This year, the Scotiabank Convention Center in Niagara Falls is putting on a Niagara Outdoor Sports & Boat Show. Come check out the show from March 2nd-4th. There will be a fishing hole for kids, with prizes and some fly fishing tips from the experts! If you are a boater, or just enjoy the great outdoors…check out this show!


Days of Wine & Chocolate

At the Best Western Plus Cairn Croft Hotel, we appreciate the wonderful wineries that we have so close at hand.  Another interesting twist in celebrating the wineries in the winter, like the Winterland Cocktail Hour, is the Days of Wine & Chocolate experience. Every weekend in February, you can enjoy a delicious pairing of wine and chocolate, my two favourite things. I’ve been told that some of these pairings are rather surprising!

The touring pass is only $30/person and can be used on any of the weekends. There are 28 different wineries involved, each pairing something different. From a Cab Franc paired with dark chocolate, red currant and chilli at Chateau des Charmes to a Vidal Special Late Harvest paired with milk chocolate orange at Konzelmann Estates Winery… these combinations are going to rock your world. I think that this is the perfect romantic date or even a fun girl’s adventure! My mouth is watering just thinking about it… don’t miss out!

Robert Burns Supper

For all of you who are looking at this and saying “Who is Robbie Burns?” Here is a little background information! Robert Burns was born two miles from Ayrshire, Scotland on January 25, 1759 and died on July 21, 1796. Robert or “Robbie” is known as the national poet of Scotland and has become a cultural icon for the Scots. The first Robert Burns Supper was held in Ayrshire at the end of the 18th century by his friends in memoriam of his death.

For the first time, The Best Western Plus Cairn Croft has decided to throw our very own Robbie Burns Supper on January 21st. There is a special package available at the hotel for those coming from out of town! The Robbie Burns Supper will be complete with the traditional Haggis and Scotch for toasting. Brian McLaughlin will be the entertainment for the night, hosted by John Graham. This is going to be a night to remember! Whether you’re Scottish or not, come out and enjoy this Scottish tradition.

Special guest chef and fellow Scot, J. Mark Hand, will be preparing the Supper:
- pan seared Scottish salmon on wee tatties and smoked bacon salad
- creamed leek and potato soup with highland chief cheddar crumble
- slow roasted beef strip loin on green onion champ, served with haggis fritters and honey roasted root vegetables
- sticky toffee pudding with single malt butter sauce and candied pecans

The Icewine Festival

The Best Western Plus Cairn Croft Hotel is excited for the Icewine Festival this year! Start off the Icewine Festival in Niagara with ‘Icewine Unveiled: a Masquerade Gala’ which will be showcasing wine from over 30 wineries across Ontario, as well as the largest tasting of internationally acclaimed ice wines. Complete with a silent auction and a delicious meal created by Niagara chefs, this Gala is for those serious about their wine for $175/ticket.

There are so many different events to experience during this festival. Each winery has their own spin on how to celebrate the ice wine festival and each will be wonderful. For me to speak about all of them would be nuts, so I’ll let you decide which ones sound appealing to you. There is a great Discovery Pass that you can purchase for $30, which will allow you to choose 6 events at different wineries. You can also pay for each event separately.

We look forward to hearing from you about what events you have tried! Post them on our facebook!

TD Rink at the Brink

With the Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls comes “Rink at the Brink“, which is a time for children and adults of all ages to strap on their skates! This year TD Canada Trust is happy to provide Free Skate days.

Bring your family and friends and make a day out of it-  bundle up! Rink at the Brink skating will be offered all the way until February.. be sure to take advantage!!!

Winter Festival of Lights Opening Ceremonies

For anyone who has never been given the opportunity to visit Niagara Falls in the winter season you must check out the Winter Festival of Lights beginning on November 5. The CAA Winter Festival of Lights turns the Falls into a beautiful winter wonderland complete with entertainment and fun. Some of the entertainment features include “TD Rink and the Brink,” a Christmas Concert series with Daniel O’Donnell, and beautiful fireworks displays.

The opening ceremonies is definately one of the most exciting Niagara Falls attractions. Be sure to check out the Winter Magic Passes, they are a great way to spend time with your family in Niagara. So come out and enjoy all that Niagara has to offer!