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flavours of muskoka

Weekly Planner: June 25 to July 1

Celebrate the RMS Segwun's 125th anniversary in Gravenhurst!

Celebrate an icon of the Muskoka lakes—this weekend marks the 125th anniversary of North America’s oldest operating steamship, the RMS Segwun. The festivities begin with a parade from Gravenhurst’s Gull Lake Park to Muskoka Wharf on Friday at 1 p.m., followed by free Kawartha Dairy ice cream, face painting, live performances and a fly-past by the Snowbirds. Saturday features an all-day barbecue, more live music, a fishing tournament and one-hour Segwun cruises by donation.

You might want to skip lunch on Thursday, as Flavours of Muskoka is certain to satisfy all your cravings. From 6 to 9 p.m. at The Rosseau, this annual “amazing graze” offers foodies and oenophiles a chance to sample the region’s culinary bounty as prepared by more than 40 chefs, brewers and winemakers. Best of all, proceeds help support Kaleidoscope Arts in Education programs for children.

If you’re not able to make it to Flavours of Muskoka, there’s another way to support Kaleidoscope Arts in Education—the group’s annual Kaleidoscope Children’s Festival rolls into Minett, with all kinds of family-friendly activities on Saturday at Clevelands House and Sunday at The Rosseau.

The weekend also offers the chance to pick up some lovely items for your home and cottage—or gifts for friends and family who might be hosting you—as the Bala Craft and Gift Fair sets up shop Saturday and Sunday at the Bala Community Centre. If you prefer vintage to contemporary wares, you’re in luck! The Bala Antique Show shares space with the craft fair.

Have a rip-roarin’, bronco-bustin’ good time at the Burk’s Falls Rodeo rustles up some old west excitement on Saturday and Sunday. This Ontario Rodeo Association–sanctioned event features bull riding, steer wrestling, barrel racing and much more.

Wear your red and white all Sunday long—it’s Canada Day, and communities throughout the region are offering all sorts of patriotic fun. Parry Sound, in particular, offers a full day of fun with a pancake breakfast, entertainment and fireworks at the town dock. Or if you find yourself in Huntsville, head over to Muskoka Heritage Place for its strawberry social, then watch the evening fireworks display over Hunter’s Bay.

Hot Date: Foodie Favourite

Chef David Friesen is among the Flavours of Muskoka participants (photo by Neill Sturgess)

JUNE 29, 2011 Enjoy an evening of delicacies prepared by top chefs at Flavours of Muskoka. This popular fundraising event has sold out for the past decade—no surprise, as it offers fine fare from more than 40 of the region’s standout restaurants and Ontario wineries. Sample indulgent dishes from such expected participants as chef David Friesen of Bracebridge’s Riverwalk. The evening is fulfilling in more ways than one: proceeds help support Kaleidoscope Arts in Education Programs. The Rosseau, a JW Marriot Resort and Spa, 6 p.m., $75; call 705-765-1048 or click here to purchase tickets.

Hot Date—Muskoka Lakes Music Festival

June 11, 27 & 28 Don’t let the name fool you—the annual Muskoka Lakes Music Festival offers much more than just melodic notes. Celebrations begin with a foodie focus in Flavours of Muskoka on June 11, as more than 20 chefs and vintners gather at The Rosseau, a JW Marriott Resort & Spa to nosh and imbibe. The revelry continues as kids get their cultural kicks in the Kaleidoscope Children’s Fest on June 27 and 28, also at The Rosseau. As for the music—look out for shows throughout the summer by Canadian artists in intimate venues across the region. Tickets $30 to $60; call 705-765-1048 to buy.