As 2015, a year of abundance, winds down, January 2016 ushers in a year of perfect endings. Everything we’ve planned, accomplished and amassed over the past eight years comes to fruition in 2016. Some may call it “the circle of life.” 2016 is a year of culmination, appreciation and celebration and no place engages in the “celebration of life” better than Niagara-on-the-Lake and its bed-and-breakfast community!
Ring in 2016!
Why not take advantage of great post-Christmas savings and start the New Year with something sassy and new from one of the many shops and boutiques located on Queen Street or at the Outlet Collection of Niagara?
With so many wonderful restaurants and celebrity chefs in the area, Niagara-on-the-Lake is the perfect place to plan a New Year’s Eve gathering with family and friends. In fact, why not make a weekend of it? Reserve all the rooms at your favourite bed and breakfast and book a table for December 31 at any of our fine dining establishments in town. Later, back at your B&B of choice, toast each other as the clock strikes midnight. Don’t forget the champagne!
What better way to introduce new beginnings than with a good old-fashioned levee, hosted by the Friends of Fort George. Celebrations start at 3 p.m., January 1 at Navy Hall, and include toasts, music performed by the 41st Regiment Fife and Drum Corps, and a cannon firing to welcome in the New Year. Call 905-468-6621 for information.
If you’re looking for something quiet and relaxing to do on Saturday, January 2 (or any other Saturday in January or February, for that matter), spend a couple of hours at the beautiful Festival Theatre as you enjoy a great movies at the Shaw Festival Film Series with a glass of wine. Showings begin at 3 p.m. sharp and movie tickets cost $12 each (including taxes) at the Shaw Festival Box Office. We should mention the series also showcases fabulous documentaries at 6 p.m. every Friday evening from January 1 to February 12.
Sooth those winter blues
January in Niagara-on-the-Lake is all about Icewine, so it’s no surprise we choose to celebrate this liquid gold with a festival held in its honour. For three glorious weekends in January (15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, 31), the Niagara Region transforms into a wintry wonderland as it celebrates Ontario icewine. From galas and chestnut roasts to ornate ice bars and winery tours, there’s something for every taste.
Take full advantage of the many festivities and experiences offered at various wineries participating in the Niagara Icewine Festival by purchasing the $40 Niagara Wine Festival Discovery Pass online, at participating wineries or at various travel and tourism centres in Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Niagara Region. It’s your key to three weekends of wine and culinary adventures at wineries across the Niagara Region.
The Icewine Festival 2016 kicks off in Niagara-on-the-Lake on Friday, January 15, with the Sparkle and Ice Diamond Gala. Join icewine makers from 8 to 11 p.m. at the Grand Hall in the Courthouse on Queen Street in Niagara-on-the-Lake, where you partake in VQA wines paired with icewine-inspired tastings prepared by local restaurant chefs. Tickets are $107.35, including taxes, and can be purchased by calling 905-468-1950.
Many wineries throughout Niagara-on-the-Lake host special Icewine Festival events and experiences over the three Icewine Festival weekends of January. For instance, indulge in a delicious Cabernet Franc Icewine Hot Chocolate and sweet and savoury dishes created by Chef Jason Parsons at the Peller Estates Icewine Market. Or how about apple fritters and icewine at Pillitteri Estates Winery? Or Chef Ross Midgley’s homemade spicy chicken meatball in a Molé sauce with Rossco’s corn bread, perfectly paired with 2013 Ravine Vidal Icewine at Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery? Well, you get the idea—plenty of experiences await you!
Other planned Icewine Festival events in Niagara-on-the-Lake include a performance by the sensational JUNO-winning Dominic Mancuso Group on January 16; the Flash & Panache: Icewine Cocktail Competition on January 17 from 9 to 11 p.m.; White on Ice Dinner on January 23, an amazing outdoor dinner showcasing delightful culinary creations and perfectly paired wines in a celebration set against the backdrop of the Queen Street Icewine Village; and the Icebreakers Comedy Festival on January 24 & 25 at various venues, with a grand finale on Saturday evening.
Then from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 23 and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, January 24, a portion of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s historic Queen Street morphs into a pedestrian-only fantasy world where 26 wineries pour their liquid gold and local chefs tempt your palate with culinary creations. Stroll past sparkling ice sculptures and browse through any of the many shops in the Heritage District. Call 905-468-1950 for more information on the many Icewine Festival events in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Posted by Donna S. Vieira, owner of Globetrotters Bed & Breakfast in Niagara-on-the-Lake