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Why You May Want to Visit Niagara in May

image001The days are creeping ever closer to high-tourist season in Niagara Falls, which means our event calendars are rapidly filling up with some of the absolute best performances, conventions, festivals, and more. The month of May promises some of the year’s most exciting happenings yet, with celebrity chefs, renowned musicians, and all-around thrilling cultural attractions.

If you have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to visit Niagara Falls, now’s the time; the weather is warm, the entertainment is hot, and the Falls are absolutely stunning during these fabulous May events.

Niagara Food and Wine Expo

Niagara wastes no time getting started with the month’s events. Starting on Friday, May 1 and lasting the weekend, the Niagara Food and Wine Expo promises to deliver fine tastes of wine, beer, spirits, and food from all over the world — including right here in Niagara Falls.

The Niagara region offers some of the richest soils in North America, making the land ripe for growing all sorts of delicious fruits and vegetables. Niagara’s wine country is one of the fastest growing in the world as winemakers and critics alike recognize the value of planting vineyards in this fertile landscape. The Niagara Food and Wine Expo promises only the freshest and most delectable ingredients carefully and creatively prepared by master food and beverage makers.

You can take classes from esteemed experts, peruse selections of the world’s best foods and drinks, and hear legendary chefs discuss their own tips and tricks in the kitchen and the culinary business. Plus, various musical and dance performances will occur throughout the expo’s three-day run. When there is so much to do, see, and taste at this one Niagara event, you will barely have time to rest.

Niagara Folk Arts Festival

Less than a week later on May 8, Niagara Falls begins celebrating its cultural heritage with the three-week-long Niagara Folk Arts Festival, which includes everything from a formal ball to a street race. The people of Niagara Falls — as well as greater Canada — are exuberant and accepting, and it is important to revel in such attitudes with a yearly festival of life, love, and culture.

Niagara Falls has been exceedingly multicultural even before European settlers began colonizing the region. The waterfalls are powerfully awe-inspiring to all groups of people, and locals have a history of being welcome and non-discriminatory to any race, religion, and background. In fact, Niagara Falls was once one of the end points for the Underground Railroad, and many escaped slaves from the southern U.S. fled to the region for its promise of freedom.

The Niagara Folk Arts Festival, hosted by the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre, is intended to highlight and commend the diverse community that now thrives in Niagara Falls. Every week offers a new and fascinating event open to any- and everyone. There will be a culinary crawl that encourages natives and visitors alike to explore the range of tastes available in the region, and there will be an afternoon outdoors devoted to crafts and workshops that engage all ages. The festival is long and varied, which means there is plenty of time to explore other Niagara attractions while participating in multicultural fun.

Shaw Festival 2015 Season

image003The Niagara region has a well-known reputation for offering superb stage productions — the “Oh Canada, Eh?” dinner theatre has won countless awards for its perfect blend of humor, music, and Canadian patriotism — but that status is largely earned by the annual Shaw Festival, opening in May in nearby Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Every year, a theatre company devoted to the works of Bernard Shaw and Shavian artists performs amazing plays with the intention of captivating audiences’ body and soul through the magic of the stage. The festival has been around since 1962, and in 1973, the festival was opened by none other than Queen Elizabeth II, an avid patron of the performing arts. Today, four separate theatres participate in the festival — the Festival Theatre, the Court House, the Royal George, and the Studio Theatre — offering a bevy of stage productions until the festival’s season close in September. Throughout the month of May, players will perform recognizable and unfamiliar titles alike:

  • “Sweet Charity”
  • “Peter and the Starcatcher”
  • “Pygmalion”
  • “You Never Can Tell”
  • “The Lady From the Sea”
  • “Top Girls”

While you are in Niagara-on-the-Lake, you can explore the town’s quaint architecture and boutiques that harken back to a sweeter, simpler time. The beautiful May weather makes exploring the town’s streets and parks an absolute joy. Of course, the 2015 season does extend throughout the summer and into the fall, so if you can’t make it to a May show, you may still be able to catch a phenomenal theatre experience of other outstanding Shavian plays.

These three exceedingly important events make May one of the most exciting months to visit Niagara Falls — but the upcoming season promises even more activities and attractions that make a vacation here worthwhile. So, while you may be considering a trip to Niagara Falls in May, you may also want to make vacation plans for June, July, and August while you’re at it.