2018 Signature Events
Lanark County Harvest Festival
Come and see why this festival was named a provincial finalist for “Ontario Culinary Tourism Event of the Year” by the Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance! Located at Beckwith Park (1319 9th Line Beckwith near Carleton Place), the 6th annual event celebrates fine, local foods and lets you “Get Fresh with a Local Farmer” on Sunday, Sept. 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. You’ll find food seminars, tastings, children’s activities and local musicians. Get to know Lanark County producers and discover the best places to find local meat, cheese, honey, garlic, produce, maple syrup and more! Free to attend. For more information, visit www.harvestfestival.ca or call 1.888.4.LANARK.
Franktown Lilac Festival
The quaint hamlet of Franktown in Beckwith Township plays host each year to a festival that celebrates an explosion of fragrant colour! This year the Franktown Lilac Festival takes place on Saturday, May 26 in the heart of the hamlet, with many activities at Centennial Hall, 152 Church Street. Start things off with a hearty pancake breakfast, then take part in the children’s bike parade, followed by an afternoon of music. Enjoy a wagon ride to see the sights. Franktown was established in 1818-19 as the site of a supply store between Richmond and Perth and has a rich history with many examples of compelling eastern Ontario architecture along its famous Lilac Lane. Free admission. For information, call 613.257.1539 or visit www.twp.beckwith.on.ca.
Lambs Down Park Festival
Ewe need to flock to this annual event that celebrates Carleton Place’s important historical role in the distribution of lambs’ wool across Canada! This outdoor heritage festival runs between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 16 at the Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers (CCWG) building in downtown Carleton Place (142 Franktown Rd.). The CCWG grades and markets close to 3 million pounds of raw wool each year, so the fibre is the focus. You’ll find dog and lamb demonstrations, sheep shearing, spinning, a petting zoo and pony rides, kids’ activities and much more. The Wool Growers are housed in what was originally the round house and machine shops for the Canadian Pacific Railway, which also played an integral role in Carleton Place’s past. Call 613.257.8049 or visit www.downtowncarletonplace.com for more info. Free admission!
Rideau Ferry Regatta
Drummond North Elmsley plays host to the biennial Rideau Ferry Regatta on Rideau Lake in Rideau Ferry. Scheduled to take place again in 2019 at the beautiful Rideau Ferry Conservation Area, the Rideau Ferry Regatta is a traditional race boat regatta that has been entertaining spectators for more than 120 years. Plan ahead for 2019 and watch vintage Grand Prix hydroplanes, along with other inboard and outboard race boat classes. This event is not to be missed! Rideau Ferry boasts new public docks, a convenience store and a fantastic local restaurant only feet from the Rideau waterway. For more information call 613.267.6500 or visit www.dnetownship.ca.
Come enjoy one of the most charming country fairs around in Middleville, Lanark Highlands, on Saturday, Sept. 15. This small-town fair takes visitors back to the country fairs of yesteryear, where community was everything and the fair was the highlight of the year. In 2018, Middleville’s traditional agricultural fair is celebrating its 167th year, and offers a celebration of rural life that includes agricultural exhibits, a pet show, light and heavy horse shows, and sheep and poultry shows. There are also children’s sports events, a teddy bear contest, children’s games, races, and more. For info, visit www.middlevillefair.ca.
Experience traditional Celtic music July 6 to 8 in beautiful Gemmill Park in Almonte and satisfy your craving for everything Celtic! This three-day, family-friendly annual event has been running in Almonte for more than 20 years, and is a favourite for visitors of all ages. Visitors are invited to delve into historic Celtic traditions with local, regional and national performers like Celtic fiddlers, bagpipers, dancers and singers. Take part in workshops at the Celtic College and learn how to play a tin whistle, sing traditional Celtic songs or play the bodhran, and more! Drink in the Celtic culture during this fun event in the picturesque town of Almonte. For fees and info about Celtfest, visit www.almonteceltfest.com.
Race the Runway
Speed on over to the Smiths Falls Russ Beach Airport in Montague Township for the region’s largest exotic car show and speed festival. This event features more than 80 extreme performance cars from across Ontario and Quebec participating in radar-clocked, half-mile runs down Airport Runway #6 – what better place to watch them compete for the top speed! Corvette, Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini – spectators have a chance to see some of the biggest names in fast cars up close, not to mention hearing them roar down the runway. There is an excellent view as the cars hit top speed almost directly in front of the viewing area – but don’t blink! Revel in the speed, sound and power from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 11. You’ll also be treated to more than 100 display vehicles, vendors and food, not to mention runway ride-alongs for spectators. Proceeds from this volunteer-run event go to charity. The airport is located at 102 Van Exan Drive, just minutes from Smiths Falls. While you’re there, be sure to visit the on-site aviation museum, which showcases the rich aviation history of the community. The airport is the largest and most active between metro Ottawa and Kingston, with a 4,000-foot paved runway and more than 50 hangars. Visit www.racetherunway.com for more info.
Perth’s World Record Kilt Run
This popular, world record-breaking event features a perennial favourite for runners and spectators alike – a five-mile (8K) race during which runners must wear an authentic kilt, which can be purchased when they register. The route winds through Perth’s beautiful and historic downtown core and crosses the mighty Tay River. Watch for the Wee Lads and Lassies run, along with Scottish-themed activities such as the Canadian Haggis Hurling Championships and a Shortbread Competition. Folks from around the world visit for a taste of Scottish heritage. The inaugural run was held in 2010 to help celebrate Perth’s sister and namesake city in Scotland to celebrate its 800th anniversary, and the excitement builds every year. Call 613.264.8904 or visit www.perthkiltrun2018.ca for info about registration and fees. Free for spectators!
Silver queen mine open house
Take a step back in time at the Silver Queen Mine Open House in Murphys Point Provincial Park every Sunday in July and August, and learn more about the local mining history and why Lanark County is known around the world for its geology. These guided educational tours through the Silver Queen Mica Mine bring to life the period of the late 1800s to early 1900s with the story of mica mining and the people who settled in this rugged land, including the Lally family, who emigrated from Ireland and established their homestead in what is now part of the park. The Silver Queen Mine was restored and opened for public tours in the 1990s and was named one of the Seven Wonders of Lanark County. While you’re there, explore the beautiful beaches and trails the park has to offer. Park entry fees apply. Check www.friendsofmurphyspoint.ca for event dates and times or call 613.267.5060 for info.