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This weekend the Home County Music and Art Festival will be rolling into London, Ontario. What’s even more exciting about Home County this year, is that it is the 40th anniversary of this vibrant festival’s occurrence in Downtown London. Victoria Park will again play host to some of Canada’s finest musicians and artisans, as they bring the park alive from July 19th – 21st, 2013. So what do you need to know before you go?

Home County 101

  • Admission is by donation. There is no admission fee per se, but increased costs of the festival have made it important for festival goers who appreciate this event to help support it monetarily. Suggested donations are $5, but donations of $20 or more are eligible for a receipt.
  • Hours: Friday 6pm – 11pm, Saturday noon – 11pm, Sunday noon – 9pm
  • Vendors: Like other local festivals, there will be plenty of vendors on hand. Whether you are looking for something to eat or souvenir crafts from local artisans, there is something for everyone. There will be 30 food vendors at the festival. Over 120 Canadian Artists will be at this year’s Home County selling everything from glass, pottery, textiles, wood, metal and more. There will be gourmet goodies, jewellery, photography, and even a musical instrument or two. Don’t forget your pocket-book!
  • Take a Seat & Make a Friend will be encouraging positive mental health at Home County

    Green SceneI’m proud to say that many of London’s festivals have embraced a green culture over the years, with Home County no exception to the rule. Food vendors will offer recyclable or compostable containers, plus there will be a rinse station for those who bring their own cutlery and plates. In addition to that, there is a focus on Green Vendors this year as well. Vendors who offer innovative and sustainable products or services will be featured in the Green Village. In addition to that, Community Lane will feature vendors who are aiming to make a difference right here in our community with their worthy causes.

  • Returning again this year, Valdy played at the first Home County and many more since then

    Performers: This year, the organizers of Home County decided to be a little different. Most years the promoters try to showcase new acts that have never played the festival before. In recognition of the fact that this year is the 40th anniversary, they decided to invite back festival favourites from previous years. All the musicians that you will see on the mainstage, or in a workshop at one of the other stages, were all personally invited to attend this year’s event. That’s quite the honour for them and a treat for anyone planning on taking in this year’s special 40th anniversary festival. you will see the likes of David Bradstreet, The Sadies, Sarah Harmer, The Kramdens, Ken Whiteley, Rick Taylor, Nora Galloway & the Tearjerkers, Laura Smith, Shane Cook, The Good Brothers, The Rizdales and even the popular Great Lake Swimmers. There are plenty more great musicians lined up who all call Canada home and would greatly appreciate your support this weekend.

Are you planning on going to the 40th Anniversary Home County Music and Arts Festival?

 

Every week I try to come up with great things to see and do in London, Ontario. It’s my hometown and I am proud to promote everything about it. There is always great theatre to watch (like Laughter on the 23rd Floor at the Palace Theatre), sporting events to attend (like taking in a London Knights game at Budweiser Gardens), or just plain fun to be had at places like Storybook Gardens, Adventures on Wonderland or Fanshawe Pioneer Village. We have art, history, adventure and nature, all available at our fingertips.

The trick is you have to be here to experience it.

If you live just up the road is someplace like Chatham or Kitchener, you are in luck as it is only an hour drive to enjoy everything on offer. If you expand your drive, we are only two hours from Detroit or Toronto. that’s not far at all! In fact, in my books, doesn’t that equal the centre of the Universe? Hmm, indeed…

Step through your gate into Westminster Ponds

Step through your gate into Westminster Ponds

Wouldn’t you like to be a little closer though? Sure you would! How about having a beautiful forest literally in your backyard! I can hear you thinking, “Now you’re talking!”

Check out your very own personal passage into the Westminster Ponds. Did you know there are approximately 200 hectares to explore in this conservation area that is home to birds, fish, insects, beavers, coyotes and even white-tailed deer! Plus a whole lot of trees are in there producing oxygen, homes for animals and reducing pollution in the air, water and even our ears (gotta appreciate leaves!).

Have I caught your attention yet? Are you curious about what is on this side of that gate? Let me show you!

House For Sale!

House For Sale!

Enjoy this Inground pool plus Cabana

This four-level side split is the newest home to hit the London market this week. It is a 3+1 bedroom detached home with 2 baths and a gas fireplace. With a detached 1.5 car garage, the hobbyists out there will be scrambling to snap this home up. The kids will equalling be begging to make this house their new home with the addition of an inground pool in the backyard. Don’t worry about the punishing rays of the summer sun either, as this home comes complete with a cabana right off the deck as well. Nice! Plus, if you have guests coming to visit you from out-of-town, you have the convenience of being located mere minutes from the highway. Perfect!

Home is Where the Heart Is

Home is Where the Heart Is

I haven’t even mentioned the best part about this house yet; the price. With all of those perks, first-time home buyers might not think this beautiful home is in their price range, but they would be wrong. The listing price on this perfect family home is listed at the low, low price of just $219, 900.

You heard me right – $219,900! Need I say anymore? How about I let you think about all the perks that London has to offer, that nature is literally on your doorstep and that this home has something for every member of the family.

Now Call Me!

I’ll be waiting to hear from you to take you on a personal tour of this super house for sale in London, Ontario, this weekend!

We might be considered little London, but there is nothing small about our fabulous city this weekend. In fact, we are so desirable that the world is coming to us! That’s right. If you head downtown, you will see a distinctly international flair in the air.

Where? At Sunfest!

SUNFEST

(Victoria Park; July 5-8, 2012, 11am-11pm)

Can you hear the rhythm beat?
Do you need a way to beat the heat?
Well, Sunfest is the way to go!
There’s music, dancing and a full festive show!

Starting today, you can catch some live bands
Get up and boogie while you clap your hands
Wiggle and shout along to Samba Squad
And there’ll be lots of other musicians that you can applaud!

Catch Phil Dwyer, Mdungu and LYY
Or Kaja, Joaquin Diaz, or Five Alarm Funk, you’ll also spy
But there’s more than music at Victoria Park
There’s a taste explosion for you too to embark

Eat souvlaki, churros and candy floss too
Or wander through the vendors for a craft or two.
You’ll find hats, drums and jewellery at a great price
And that Henna arm band would sure look nice!

So what are you waiting for? Get up and go!
The earlier you get there, the more fun, you know.
So make sure you take your smiles and your fun
Because Sunfest is a festival that beats all, bar none!

FRINGE:*

1. A decorative border or edging of hanging threads, cords, or strips, often attached to a separate band.
2. Something that resembles such a border or edging.
3. A marginal, peripheral, or secondary part: “They like to hang out on the geographical fringes, the seedy outposts”(James Atlas).
4. Those members of a group or political party holding extreme views: the lunatic fringe.
5. Any of the light or dark bands produced by the diffraction or interference of light.
6. A fringe benefit.
(*As defined by the The Free Dictionary)
 

I can appreciate all of these things. A “fringe” on a pillow adds a decorative touch. So too does it add to curtains, scarves and other fabric projects. And NO, I have not taken on any of those projects myself, but if you want a nice fringe on your next pillow or scarf project, there are a few directions here. Let me know how it goes!

As far as a border or edging “fringe” goes, I have a little more experience with a landscaping fringe.  I am thinking lava rock, mulch or even a rough boulder edge around a garden bed. They keep out weeds, give a nice definition to your plants and make a garden a more ordered affair.

Now the 13th annual London Fringe Festival is another thing entirely. You might define it as marginal. You could think of it as a group with extreme views. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if a play of light bedazzles your eyes when you go to see one of the 350 performances that will be going on in London, Ontario over the next 12 days. What you have to know though is that this particular Fringe is something not to be missed this year!

You might think that 13 is an unlucky number, but the folks who are organizing this year’s Fringe Festival are thinking quite the opposite. There are 44 theatre companies that are thinking the same thing too. From June 6-17, 2012 at 9 different venues around the city, Londoners are being treated to this year’s version of art from a whole host of independent artists. And what exactly does that look like?

Well at The Arts Project, there will be 35 artists with their artwork on display for the Visual Fringe. You can view photography, water colours, oils, pottery, acrylics, mixed media pieces and more from June 7-17, with doors open from 7-9pm.

If you are looking for performances, take your pick! There will be comedy, drama, musicals, dance and probably a fair smattering of downright weird to entertain you. As far as venues go, you can catch a fringe show at the Spriet Theatre, Wolf Performance Hall, The Arts Project, McManus Studio, Fanshawe Theatre,  The Playground, APK and even the London Convention Centre.

The first thing you need is a $5 backer button ($1 for kids), and then the skies the limit, as far as shows go. See one show or try to catch them all! Bring your sense of humour, horror or whatever else you might need to get you through the show, but just get out and support local artists trying to make it in the big world. They appreciate it (even more so, as the individual artists take home 100% of the sales from their shows) and so do all the folks that help to put the Fringe Festival on every year. So get set to get your fringe on and go take in this year’s London Fringe Festival!

Holy Hannah, we are into June already! You know what that means, don’t you? While summer is still officially three weeks away, festival season is set to begin. Get set to enjoy the 2012 Summer season London! It is shaping up to be another fabulous summer.

 

The folks in Old South figure that they know the best way to start summer fun; with a trip to Wortley Village this Saturday, June 2nd, to check out the 30th annual Gathering on the Green! Just one of London, Ontario’s many free festivals, the Gathering on the Green is a fun day for the whole family. And where would you go to find this festival, but in the heart of Old South itself; the Village Green. Tucked in beside the Normal School, at the corner of Wortley Rd and Elmwood Ave, this green space is transformed into a party atmosphere complete with a tea garden, a stage featuring many live, local musicians, an all-day barbeque, and even a dunk tank! Vendors are located throughout the park, selling everything from plants, to jewellery, artwork, crafts, and so much more. There will be a kids area, where face painting, crafts and other fun activities are planned. Plus a silent auction will raise money to help sponsor various local projects in the Old South area. The festival goes on rain or shine from 9am-5pm, so swing by to check out the fun. You might see an old friend or meet some new ones. The heart of Old South shines on this day, so head out to join the fray!

 

Another fun event going on in London this Saturday is the 4th annual Touch-a-Truck event. This year’s event is at the North Rona on Wonderland Rd and runs from 10am-2pm. There will be food, face painting, fun and of course several large trucks on hands for people to explore. This year’s event promises to be another exciting exhibit, with a variety of vehicles, including a purple cement mixer, backhoe, ambulance, school bus, coach, recycling truck, transport, water truck and many more vehicles on hand. You have the opportunity to climb up into the cab, sit in the driver’s seat and honk the horn of any vehicle on hand. All for a mere $5, with proceeds going to Parkwood Children’s Daycare Centre. Tell me your kids wouldn’t enjoy sitting at the wheel of a purple cement mixer. Or you for that matter!

 

And as June begins, all the parents out there realize that this year’s school days are coming to an end. If that makes you look back at your own school days in London, then I have one more suggestion. If nostalgia is nagging at you, then head on over to your old highschool Beal this weekend. You won’t believe it, but H.B. Beal Secondary School is turning 100 years old this year! There is a 4-day celebration of everything Beal planned, featuring a car show, performing arts showcase, Globe Show, Alumni sports event, a Gala dance, and even a concert on Sunday.  You can walk the halls of your old Alma Mater, check out the decades and archives rooms to peer at the memorabilia, or even buy a piece of art at the Year-end Art show. Take in a performance of Hairspray, listen to Denise Pelley sing her special rendition of jazz vocals or dance the night away to the 18-member Prime Time Big Band, led by George Laidlaw. All of this from some of the talented students, past and present, that have walked the halls of one of London’s oldest high schools. If you ever spent any time there, then I would suggest a trip down memory lane for you starting today.

Welcome to In Your Neighbourhood!

Allow me to introduce myself. The name is Jim. You want to know more? Well, check out my "About Me" page! Don't forget to take a peek at my "Local London Listings" while you are here too! I update it regularly. Enjoy your visit and drop me a line to let me know you were in the neighbourhood!

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