September 25 2009 by Bryson Forbes
It's that time of year again where the Niagara region welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors to celebrate this year's wine harvest. The festival has been happening annually dating back to the 1950's and has been, like their award winning wine region, growing every year by leaps and bounds.
As a Brock University alumni (located in St. Catharines), I can attest to the celebratory atmosphere that engulfs the area, as hundreds of activities and events are put on over the 10 day festival. Residents and visitors are entertained, fed, and of course, able to sample an array of award-winning wines.
The Niagara region now boasts 29 wineries, all of which can be toured - check out a complete list here http://www.niagarawinefestival.com/page/winefest_wineries.
The marquee event is the parade that takes place this Saturday, September 26th in St. Catharines. More than 200,000 people are expected and the theme this year is "Embrace your Olympic Spirit".
If I have enticed you to go but you are concerned about getting there and where to stay, here are a few ideas to consider. If you are coming in from the GTA you should think about taking the GO Train. That's right, GO transit will be running service (for just over $30 for a round trip) and it will drop within walking distance of the hub of the festival, near Montebello Park.
There are a number of great places to stay in the Niagara region, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals. Visit www.tourismniagara.com to see a complete categorized listing. Best Western even has six properties within the region - check them out at www.bestwestern.com for availability and the guaranteed latest rates.
If you can't make this weekend, keep January in mind for the Ice Wine Festival. There's no better way to warm up in the middle of the winter.
Happy Grape and Wine!