Cowapalooza, Woodstock, Ontario

Attend a local festival

A recent visit to Cowapolooza (Woodstock, Ontario’s annual cow festival) got me thinking about all the cool events happening in our own backyard. You could spend an entire year hopping from one local festival to the next. It seems every community has one, even if some of them make you scratch your head.

Driving through small towns in Ontario, you’ll pass signs on the way in that say things like “Welcome to Zurich, home of the bean festival!” or “Welcome to Belfountain, home of the Salamander Festival!” (I’ve been to both).

Cowapalooza, Woodstock, Ontario

Cowapolooza, Woodstock, Ontario

I was chatting with my Aunt Jackie recently. She told me about a conversation she had with a visitor from out of town who came for the West Coast Blues Festival in Goderich, Ontario. She thought it was fantastic. Neither Jackie nor I had any idea it was so awesome and it’s in our own backyard.

That’s pretty normal though I think. When we think about going on a trip or taking a vacation, we usually don’t think local. But local festivals rock. They’re close by, affordable and a great way to celebrate and support communities.

They’re also an excellent source of bizarre and wildly unhealthy foods. Like a deep-fried Mars bar at the Waterloo Busker Carnival

Waterloo Busker Festival

Or a pickle-on-a-stick at the Blackstock Demolition Derby

Blackstock Fall Fair

So if you’re looking for something awesome to do close to home, do a quick search for local festivals and fairs in your area. Odds are you’ll find something pretty cool.

What are your favourite festivals?

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Josh is the creative force behind Badge of Awesome, where he noodles and doodles about life and the lessons learned from it. He's the author of Simply Blunderful and creator of The Overcoming Obstacles Toolkit.

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