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What to Expect at the Niagara Food and Wine Festivals

image001Food and wine are two things the Niagara region knows better than almost anything else (except waterfalls, of course). The land is outrageously fertile and local farms and vineyards can produce some of the most delicious crops imaginable. That means that two upcoming events, the Niagara Food Festival and the Niagara Wine Festival, are destined to be smashing successes. If this will be your first experience at the Niagara Food and Wine Festivals, here’s all you need to know to have the best time possible.

Niagara Wine Festival

St. Catharines, a charming town just a short drive north from Sheraton on the Falls, is nestled comfortably between the serene blue waters of Lake Ontario and the lush, green grapevines of Niagara wine country. The natural beauty of the landscape makes St. Catharines a pristine place to host one of the country’s most beloved wine festivals.

The Niagara Wine Festival boasts more than 100 distinct wine-related events for adults and family alike. During the weekends, wine-lovers are granted access to the cellars of the region’s most prestigious winemakers, where they can sample award-winning wines paired with gourmet culinary experiences. Additionally, the festival will take over St. Catharines’s Montebello Park, where prestigious winemakers as well as local food vendors will provide samples and sales of their wares.

The 64th annual Niagara Wine Festival takes place September 12 through 27, which means there is plenty of time to enjoy the various events organized by the region’s best winemakers. The cost of admission varies dependent on which attractions you are interested in attending. A Discovery Pass, which grants access to eight wineries plus a number of other festival events, costs $40, and adding additional events, like the Grape Growers of Ontario Celebrity Luncheon or entrance to the Harvest Lounge, will require additional payment.

Niagara Food Festival

image003For a rowdier affair, you should set your sights on the Niagara Food Festival, where professional foodies loudly and proudly enjoy the culinary creations of the Niagara region. Just a brief drive away in the city of Welland, the festival promises a rollicking good time with fantastic food and live entertainment.

A number of world-renowned chefs call Niagara Falls home, including Massimo Capra and Jaime Kennedy. However, in town just for the festival are a number of big names, such as:

  • Erin Smith, winner of “Chopped Canada”
  • The Mandevilles, beloved local rock band
  • Kim Mitchell, acclaimed Canadian guitarist

Perhaps the most thrilling feature of the Niagara Food Festival is the Mobile Culinary Theatre, which boasts a full, demonstration kitchen for famous chefs to show off their skill. For no additional cost, festival visitors can watch their favorite culinary geniuses produce works of edible art; aided by modern technology, including video cameras, screens, and an extensive PA system, chefs can reveal exactly how their famous creations are made.

The 22nd annual Niagara Food Festival spans September 11 through 13. Perhaps the most thrilling aspect of this amazing festival is that it is absolutely free! With an empty stomach and some enthusiasm, you’re ready to enjoy the Niagara Food Festival.