Weekend fun: Almonte puppets, Perth garlic and more

Summer! It’s a great season – except for how hard it is to squeeze everything into mere 24 hour days.

Take this weekend for example. If you like puppets, check out “Puppets Up! International Puppet Festival“.  This is the 9th annual such event in lovely Almonte, Ontario. That’s a former mill town along the Mississippi River, about 40 minutes west/south-west of downtown Ottawa.

The Ottawa Citizen has more about what’s on tap with Puppets Up! there this weekend. (See the end of this post for more explanation of Canada’s Mississippi River.)

Meanwhile, a bit closer to the U.S. border, there’s also Perth’s 16th annual garlic festival ($5 admission) There’s a slightly smaller garlic festival in Carp this weekend too (free admission). Other garlic festivals around Canada and the U.S. for 2013 are listed on this page from the Garlic Seed Foundation.

Garlic products on display at the 2011 Perth Garlic Festival (photo: Lucy Martin)

Garlic products on display at the 2011 Perth Garlic Festival. Photo: Lucy Martin

Roman glass ware that's almost 2,00 years old (photo: Lucy Martin)

Roman glass ware that’s almost 2,00 years old. Photo: Lucy Martin


Last weekend (a 3-day weekend in Ontario) we did some cycling and exploring in New York’s Finger Lakes, where we finally saw the Corning Museum of Glass.

Tiffany stained glass and lamps at the Corning Museum of Glass

Tiffany stained glass, vases and lamps at the Corning Museum of Glass (photo: Lucy Martin)

That was a remarkable reminder of how wrong initial assumptions can be. For some reason, I just thought it was about the industry of making glass and glass products. You know, one of those “eat your spinach” destinations: very healthy, if not exactly delightful. (And I say that as someone who likes glass products and spinach.)

But it’s actually full of beautiful,engrossing art, artifacts and displays. We went late Sunday afternoon (after a day of cycling). Although they stay open until 8 pm, that meant we missed most of the live glass-blowing demonstrations. So we’ll simply “have” to go see it again sometime.

I am sure remarkable events and destinations are on tap in your neighborhood too, because summer is just that way around here. As can be proven by NCPR’s community calendar.

What special place or activity do you think more people should know about?


postscript: No, the American Mississippi River does not have a smaller tributary up in Ontario. Here is more on the much smaller river of the same name from Wikipedia:

The origin of the river’s name is something of a mystery; although its current spelling may be derived from that of its much larger American cousin, it is most certainly a corruption of a different native name, as the translation ‘great water’ would not apply to a relatively minor tributary of the Ottawa, definitely the largest river in the area. Instead, the name may originate from “Mazinaa[bikinigan]-ziibi“, Algonquian for ‘[painted] image river’, referring to the pictographs found on Mazinaw Lake, though this is by no means proven.

If that’s wrong, or if there’s more to the story of how both rivers share the same name, do please share additional details in the comment section.

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