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Did you know that the Lost Soul Stroll has wandered into London, Ontario again? This is the 9th time that members of London’s sordid past have taken over the streets of Downtown London in October, but it is unlike any stroll that has come before. And even if you have already explored 2013’s stroll, you can still come wander London’s dark history again before the month is through. Tickets are available! Prepared to be scared, amused, and mischievously entertained on a brand new route through London’s seamy past.

Tickets are $25 and the tour leaves from 207 King St (between Novack’s and Goodlife). The tours run approximately 80 minutes in length, so be sure to dress appropriate for the weather, as the stroll heads out regardless of the weather (If really stormy weather occurs, the Producer may cancel the night’s stroll 5 minutes prior, but a light drizzle isn’t enough, so be sure to bring your umbrellas if need be). Dates are;

October 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 29 & 30 at 7:30 pm, as well as
October 19 & 26 at 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm.

For those of you whom have never been, what is the Lost Soul Stroll all about, you might wonder? Well, if you have ever questioned whether ‘The Forest City’ has seen its share of misery, this Stroll is for you. With theatrical flare, and a whole bunch of graphic costumes and makeup, the London Fringe presents eerie true tales from London, Ontario’s past. Characters, such as Ambrose Small (The Grand Theatre’s original owner, who disappeared just before selling it, never to be seen again, and is also said to still haunt the Grand to this day), various members of the infamous Black Donnellys (a backwoods family that was massacred in cold blood in 1880), passengers from the doomed Victoria (Canada’s worst marine disaster occurred on the banks of the Thames River in 1881 when the ‘Victoria’ capsized and 182 people died), and even the former sweetheart of the ghost that haunts Eldon House (Sarah Harris was the daughter of the original owner, and sweetheart of Wenman Wynniatt, who mysteriously drowned in the river in 1841 and is said to haunt Eldon House still).

All of these characters and more have strolled along with daring participants in years past, but the Burymore Family has taken over the Stroll this year. There is murder, mystery, disaster, and more to be watched by this troupe of long-dead actors. Will there be hijinks? Undoubtedly. Sordid mayhem? Indubitably. Laughter? For sure. Should you get tickets to take in the 2013 version of the Lost Soul Stroll in London, Ontario?

Only if you dare…

Is it Mother’s Day this weekend? Hmm, no that falls in May I’m sure. That hasn’t stopped London, Ontario from serving up a dose of fun for all the Mums out there though. From theatre to shopping extravaganzas, there’s plenty to do in the city this weekend!

Mum’s the Word This Weekend In Your Neighbourhood

First stop for all the lovely ladies is the Women’s Lifestyle Show at the London Convention Centre at 300 York St. From 9 am – 5 pm on Saturday, March 23rd and 10 am – 4 pm on Sunday, March 24th, 2013 women are invited to attend this must-see show. For just $10, you can meet Canadian authors, hear outstanding speakers (like Gail Vaz-Oxlade from ‘Til Debt do Us Part’), watch fashion shows, and pick up a few new tricks in the kitchen from regional chefs. Plus, who doesn’t like shopping, when you have 160 unique vendors to choose from. You’ll find Pampered Chef, London Mompreneurs Group, Beachcomber Hot Tubs, Avon, The Garlic Box, Make-a-Wish Southwestern Ontario, Home Instead Senior Care, and so much more! If you are one of the first 200 people in the door on either Saturday or Sunday, you will also get your very own grab bag of goodies. Think lip balms, gift certificates, snacks, recipes and more! And if you were wondering, I’m hoping that my wife takes one of her girlfriends, versus asking me to go…

Once your feet have had enough ladies, point them in the direction of the Grand Theatre for what is being described as an outrageously funny show – Mom’s the Word – For Crying Out Loud. Meet a collection of women who share stories about motherhood, from toddlers to teens and everything in between. Their stories will have you laughing, crying and nodding your head in agreement with their wit and banter. The latest installment of the Mom’s the Word plays runs from March 19th to April 6th, 2013. Tickets range in price from $25.95 to $73.45 and are selling fast, so order your tickets today! This show might be another good one to attend with your girlfriends, sisters or mothers, ladies.

Is there nothing on the go for the men of London, Ontario this weekend? Well, unless you want to shop with your women, laugh about baby barf or cry over heart-breaking statements made by trying teens, how about working on those man caves of yours while the women are away. If you knock a few things off of her honey-do list, maybe she’ll even embrace the idea of you going to the Speed and Custom Car Show over at the Western Fair District. Just don’t let her know it’s on all weekend in the Agriplex Building. That’s right, doors open at 4 pm tomorrow, March 22nd and don’t close to 10 pm. Get your fix of hot rods, classics, models, and the industry that goes with them on Saturday from 10 am – 10 pm and Sunday 10 am -4 pm. Tickets are $12 at the door and kids under 10 get in free, so maybe you could even make the event a family affair? That is a discussion for you and your loved one gents. Maybe this will convince her…

 

Have a great weekend London!

Christmas is a feast for the senses. There is the smell of fresh-cut Christmas trees, the visions of sugar plums and other lit-up Christmas Decor items, the sound of carollers merrily singing Christmas carols to all and sundry, the warm touch of hugs from family and long-lost friends home for the holidays and of course the taste of all the goodies on offer everyone one goes this time of year.  It’s no wonder that it is such a wonderful time of year. Here are a few ways that you can fill your senses around London, Ontario this weekend.

FEAST YOUR CHRISTMAS SENSES IN YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD

“Miracle on 34th Street” at the Grand

Set your toes to tapping and your eyes to the stage at the Grand Theatre, as “Miracle on 34th Street” warms your heart and soul. This beloved holiday classic, come musical, is on now through to December 30th, 2012 with tickets starting at $31.64 for children, up to $75.71 for premium seats for adults. For those unfamiliar with the story, it is a heart-warming tale of a department store Santa whom is claiming to be the real deal. Will his Christmas miracle convince the hardened cynics among us? You have to watch it to see! Perfect for the whole family.

 

Image courtesy of lusi/RGBstock.com

Enjoy Handel’s Messiah at St Peter’s Basilica or Centennial Hall this Weekend

It just isn’t Christmas without the sounds of Christmas carols though. How about a little Messiah from Handel to bring joy to your world this Christmas? If that sounds just right to you, then you are in luck, because you can listen to these traditional tunes both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. On Saturday, December 8th at 7:30 pm listen up to Fanshawe Chorus London and the Concert Players Orchestra at Centennial Hall. For a slightly different interpretation, on Sunday at 3 pm the Gerald Fagan Singers will be accompanied by the Concert Players Orchestra to play Messiah at St Peter’s Basilica. Both concerts are $30 for adults and $15 for students.

 

A Christmas to Remember

If it’s the taste and smell of Christmas that you are looking for, then perhaps you should stop in to A Christmas to Remember; a spectacular Christmas-themed cooking class by Chef David Rosen. Loosen your belt and come hungry, as chef Rosen creates a 4-course meal, including wine, made with fresh, local ingredients. The class will be held tonight, December 6th from 6:30-9:30 pm, at 3537 White Oak Rd at GCW Kitchens. You even get a Christmas bag to take home with you! Yum, let’s eat!

 

What about that touch of Christmas that makes our hearts swell? How about rolling up your sleeves and helping out the London Food Bank this Christmas. You may have seen the food hampers at the front of area grocery stores, and hopefully have donated an item or two. Have you ever thought about physically helping out during this very busy season though? It costs you nothing but time, but it helps out area families that are in need. You can sort donated items, assemble hampers of food for clients, harvest fresh fruits and vegetables from area farms for the food bank, or volunteer at one of the booths at area farmers markets. Plus, there are special events year round that help to raise donations for the food bank. In fact, you can start by going to the London Music Club on Friday, December 7th at 8pm for the 5th Annual Foodbank Fundraiser with Mark Henning and friends.

 

There, now don’t you feel more festive already?

Rain, rain, go away.
Come again another day…

Another gray day. How many days of rain have we had in a row now? Anyone else affected by the steady drizzle that has fallen for a week? I need a pick-me-up, to put some pep in my step again. The Halloween candy helps, but the sugar crash is killing me already (Don’t tell the kids!).

I think I need something to look forward to. Shall we check to see what is going on in London, Ontario this weekend that might get us all a little more chipper as we start into November?

WHAT’S ON IN LONDON THIS WEEKEND

There is still time to take in “Calendar Girls” at the Grand Theatre. The production is about a group of women who work together to raise funds for their local hospital. A couch is their goal, but the method they use to raise the money is slightly unorthodox – posing nude engaged in various everyday club activities for the pages of a calendar for sale. The story is fun and would be a welcome bit of laughter this time of year. The show runs until November 10th, 2012, with ticket prices starting at $31.64 for kids, up to $73.45 for adults. Couldn’t you use a laugh?

How about taking in some local artwork? The Michael Gibson Gallery has two new exhibitions starting today. Both James Kirkpatrick and John Kissick will have their unique brands of artwork proudly on display there from November 1-24, 2012. These are two very different artists, but both well worth a visit to explore. James Kirkpatrick is a London native that has exhibited his work all across North America. While he draws and paints, the interest lies in his sculptures and the incorporation of sound into them. The pieces on display will include electronic instruments, as well as sound sculptures. “Sounds” like an interesting combination to me.

In contrast, John Kissick will have his colourful paintings on display as well. Kissick was trained as a painter and writer. He has held several academic positions in both Canada & the US, plus has had exhibitions there and in Europe. He has also received a number of grants and awards. This month, the one to judge his merit is You though!

What else is going on? I know! What about getting into the festive spirit by checking out all the twinkling beauty of the 23rd Annual Holiday Home Tour. Even better, at the same time you will be raising money for the Thames Valley Children’s Centre Auxiliary, which assists children with physical and developmental challenges, plus kids with communication issues and autism. The tour walks you through five London-area homes that have been decorated indoors and out by top designers. A twilight tour will be held Friday, November 2, 2012 from 6-10 pm. Daylight tours will be held on November 3-4, 2012 from 10 am – 4 pm. Tickets are $50 for the Twilight Tour and $25 for Daylight Tours. All for a good cause and exploring these gorgeous homes is certain to put a smile on your face!

And before I forget, don’t forget to put your clocks back an hour on Sunday for the end of Daylight Savings Time. Here’s hoping a spot of sunshine will warm us too. Have a great weekend!

 

Great news London, Ontario! Wiarton Willie saw his shadow this morning, so spring is on the way! In fact, if you look outside your window you might think that it has arrived already. It certainly is gray out there, but I have just the thing to perk you up. How about getting out of the house for a little cultural outing. There are quite a few local events to distract even the most sombre lot of you. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Why don’t we start with the theatre; the Grand Theatre that is. What makes it so Grand right now is that they have “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens being performed. From February 2nd through the 10th, 2012, at the Wolf Performance Hall at 251 Dundas St, you can watch London playwright Marion Johnson’s adaptation of this classic story about a young boy who dreams of making it big. Show times are at 7:30 pm on February 2nd-4th, 8th and 10th, with 2pm matinees on February 4th and 5th. This inspiring story makes for perfect entertainment for both young and old alike.

If you are looking for a little more action, then why not head over to the Palace Theatre to watch “Treasure Island” instead? Based on the classic tale by Robert Louis Stevenson, be prepared to face pirates, treachery and a general sense of mayhem, as performed by the London Community Players. Opening night is February 3rd and the show runs through the 3rd-4th and 8th-11th at 8pm, with a matinée on the 5th at 2pm. If you think that you can face the likes of the legendary pirate king himself, then go stare Long John Silver in the eye and see if he don’t shiver your timbers through and through. One last thing to sweeten that rum-laden pot, is that if you go by their Facebook page and like it, you might even win yourself a set of tickets to the show! Blimey, how’s  that for a swashbuckling good time! Arrrr…

If that still doesn’t tempt you, then maybe you just need some good old-fashioned speed, sweat and sports. I know just the place that will be packed with it all weekend – the John Labatt Centre. If you want hockey, watch the London Knights take on the Niagara Ice Dogs February 3rd at 7:30 or Mississauga St Michaels February 4th at 7pm. How about basketball? The newest member of the National Basketball League, our own London Lighting takes on The Island PEI February 2nd at 7pm and Oshawa Power at 2pm on February 5th. That should be enough to get your heart pounding  and adrenalin up for the weekend.

As for me, I am putting the finishing touches on the house over on Charlotte for my FOLLOW THE FLIP. The bathroom is now done. The kitchen is done too. We even put in the last of the flooring this past week. Make sure to check back soon, as I think this beauty is going to be on the market before you know it! And my prediction (that will hopefully be as accurate as Wiarton Willie’s) is that it won’t be on the market for long! Have a great weekend folks.

Check out those spiffy new pillars!

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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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