Ontario Tourism Blog

Being prepared for any type of festival

By Shari & Elisa Wednesday, October 2, 2013

by Gary McWilliams (aka The Festival Nomad)

Be Prepared…

It’s October and fall is here! Autumn is in the air. Indian Summer has warmed our days and the leaves on the trees are turning glorious shades of red, orange and yellow! So, what’s wrong with this idyllic picture? Nothing, really, except that you can’t expect these fantastic conditions (warm and beautiful) to continue for a long time. Fall can be a fickle mistress! The trouble is, fall festivals and fairs are springing up in many Ontario communities. The festivals and fair are great, but they are dependent on the weather, and so are we, the enthusiastic event visitors. So all of this brings me to this month’s  Tip… “Be Prepared!” Yes, I know that this is the Boy Scouts Motto! I was once a Boy Scout too. However, this Motto doesn’t just apply to the Boy Scouts, it also applies to us festival and event “goers”. My wife, Judi, is the consummate “Be Prepareder” (Is that a word?)

A few weekends ago we decided to visit a Fair on the other side of Toronto. It meant an overnight trip. We booked a hotel room near the Fair for ourselves and a room at our local Spa/Resort for our Spring Spaniel, Dusty. Dusty is 14 years old and now feels that she has earned the Good Life! Anyway, back to the trip. Having booked our trip, it was now time to “Be Prepared“! Most people I know pack quite simply. Not too much and not too complicated. However, we (Judi) are not the average travellers! You could go a might too far with Being Prepared. However, in saying all this, Judi’s preparation has save My Butt more than a few times. 

Judi at Winterlude

Here’ s an example. We decided to take the train to Ottawa and visit Winterlude. Winterlude takes place in early February and Ottawa can become quite cold at that time. For the trip, I decided to let Judi do most of the packing. My job was to pack my own clothes. I thought, “We’re taking the train, pack lightly.” Judi’s thought was, “We’re going to Ottawa in the winter, pack accordingly.” Getting onto the train was an experience! Luggage was piled everywhere, seats, overhead compartment and even a little in the aisle. Getting off the train and to our hotel room was even more exciting! However, once we had arrived and settled, the truth finally hit me over the head. We were in Ottawa, it was winter and it was COLD. So much for packing lightly. Fortunately, Judi had anticipated our (my) shortcomings and had packed extra clothes for me. If it hadn’t been for her Being Prepared, I would have spent most of our (my) time being very cold and uncomfortable. As it was, we had a great time on the Canal, in comparative comfort. As you can see, Being Prepared has definite advantages. My only advice is that you use it wisely!

Oh, and one other piece of advice! If it looks like rain and you’ve Been Prepared and brought your Ready For Rain on the Peerless IIrain gear with you in the car, don’t leave in the car! Other wise you might get a bit wet when you go back to retrieve it!

Gary McWilliams (aka The Festival Nomad) has been developing and working with festivals and events for the over 25 years and has been visiting and writing about Ontario’s festivals and events for the past 7 years. His articles can be found at Ontario Visited.

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