By John Swartz
Here we go again. This weekend, with so much going on, is looking like any in October did – too busy. The big event is the annual Santa Clause Parade Saturday at 5 p.m. Immediately after is the Mariposa Folk Festival’s 60 in 60 concert at the Opera House.
If you have tickets for the show with Lance Anderson and a bunch of really good musicians taking a tour through the music of 60 years of Mariposa Folk Festivals and you plan to park near the Opera House, well, good luck.
Here’s an idea, go down early and plan to see the parade. This is the second year it’s being held at night and it kind of looked good last year with all the floats lit up in some way. But, make a reservation for dinner at any of the close to the Opera House restaurants before the parade, which gives you a reason to be in the neighbourhood early and you won’t have to walk to Atherley after the show to get to your car.
If anyone at any of the restaurants wonders out loud why they are so busy at say, 4 p.m. on a Saturday, please blame me.
Things begin Friday afternoon at the Opera House with a 1 p.m. demonstration performance of work by dance company Adelheid, dancer Rachana Joshi and lighting designer Melissa Joakim who have been working all week as Arts Orillia artists in residence. You can get tickets online. It’s $10, or pay what you want.
Also on Friday at 1:30 p.m. at Picnic the Lightfoot Days Festival folks will be celebrating what would have been Gord’s birthday with a bit of a party; Steve Porter will be playing some tunes. They say they have an announcement, which I’m going to guess will be there will be a festival next year, and it will move up one week closer to Gord’s birthday.
Later that day, the annual Candlelight Parade starts at 7 p.m. It leaves from Front and Mississaga Streets and ends at the Opera House where the tree will be lit up for the first time this season. As usual you need to get there before 7 to get your candles and there will be hot chocolate at the end.
At 5 p.m. Couchiching Craft Brewery has hot chocolate for the kids. The rest of their weekend schedule is; Cam Galloway will play at 7 p.m. and the Boathouse Blues Project plays November 18.
The St. Paul’s Centre Pub Night with John MacDonald, Michael Martyn and Sean Patrick is Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Getting back to Saturday. So a couple days ago I was speaking with Chris Hazel who runs the Mariposa office and he brought up the Santa Claus Parade. I realized after publishing last week I forgot to mention the parade, mainly because the month is speeding by and I thought it was further out, so mentioning it reminded me not to forget this week.
The next thing to come to mind was, how am I going to do the parade (for which I have shot video of each year and been part of the television production since the mid 90s) and do the concert with Lance?
He brought it up because of the parking issues and when he mentioned the parade was at 5 I relaxed a little. Just a little, because I then realized that’s going to be a long stretch for me.
The parade at night is different. I’m kind of easy with having it Saturday night or Sunday afternoon. The floats having lights onboard is interesting and without them I’d be in favour of going back to Sunday afternoon. Last year it wasn’t too cold – and I’m not going to comment, not even going to look, about what the forecast is for tomorrow evening. Long time readers may recall the time back in the early days when I had to go to the Packet office to write this column on their system and the day was unusually sunny and warm, which I noted, only to find out after it was too late to change what I wrote and it had been snowing the whole time I was in the building.
The Chamber of Commerce organizes this parade every year. Right now, they could use a few more volunteers to carry banners in the parade. If you, or someone you know (want out of your hair for a couple hours) wants to help, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I suspect I’ll be ready to get inside the Opera House for Lance’s concert. He’s got Selena Evangeline and Quisha Wint along to sing. Mike Daley, Matt Weidinger, Wayne Deadder, Russ Boswell and Bucky Berger are the band –and Ronnie Douglas will be joining them for some of the tunes – particularly when they cover Buddy Guy (who played the MFF a few times).
The show is a re-staging of the 2022 festival opener. Lance chose music which would have been played at the festival during its previous 60 years and did it in 60 minutes. This time he’s added 30 more minutes of music.
There are still a few tickets left and you can get them online. Also happening at the Opera House in the immediate future, Country and Juno Award nominee Tim Hicks will perform an acoustic solo show November 19 and Ballet Jorgen has their annual Nutcracker performance November 25. Get those tickets online.
It’s also Christmas craft season and Creative Nomad has their annual Christmas Market happening Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Quayles has their Christmas Market happening Saturday and Sunday (and November 25/26) from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Hawkestone Singers will be performing Sunday afternoon both weekends from 1 to 4 p.m. The rest of their weekend schedule is; Burke Erwin on Friday night, Kyle Wauchope Saturday night, and Can Galloway plays Sunday afternoon.
The Hawkestone Singers also have their Christmas concert December 3 at the Hawkestone Community Hall at 3 p.m. ; call 705-984-7110 for tickets.
Sean Patrick and Alan Cooper are playing at the Hog ‘N Penny Saturday night.
Look in tomorrow for more, and the Shorts.
(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia)