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The 10 best events we went to this year (and their 2019 dates!)

At this time of year, we spend a lot of time looking back. We think about the best of this, the greatest that; things we ate, drank and did are always center stage.

In no particular order, here’s the best events we attended this year – and their 2019 dates. Passes to any or all would make the perfect gift for that special someone in your life.

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Annual Barn Burner Hockey Game + Dinner

Prince Edward County

WHEN: Rumor has it returning February 2, 2019
WHERE: The Drake Devonshire, 24 Wharf St, Wellington

“Barn Burner” is an epic Montreal vs. Toronto top-chef charity hockey game played in support Community Food Centres Canada – followed by dinner.  Chefs include Jeremy Charles (Raymonds), Grant Van Gameren (Bar Isabel) and Danny Smiles (Le Bremner), among many others battling on the ice. Following the friendly-rivalry game between the two cities, spectators and guests are invited back to the Devonshire for the delicious, unforgettable strolling dinner created by the participating chefs. Hockey fan or not, it’s a pretty great time![/ezcol_4fifth_end]

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Spirit Tree Wassailling Dinner


WHEN: Wassailling Dinner is January, 12 2019 // Family Day Wassailling Festival is February 18, 2019
WHERE: Spirit Estate Cidery, 1137 Boston Mills Road, Caledon

This dinner has taken many forms over the years, but has always left an impression. This year, the dinner is billed as the first event in their Tenth Anniversary Cider Master’s Dinner Series featuring 5 courses with Spirit Tree cider pairings and special guest Heartwood Farm & Cidery.[/ezcol_4fifth_end]

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The Stop Night Market


WHEN: June – TBD
WHERE: vacant Lot, 181 Sterling Rd, Toronto

Inspired by night markets from around the world, The Stop’s Night Market brings together creatives from Toronto’s culinary, design, performance, and graphic arts sectors to celebrate community and the power of food. [/ezcol_4fifth_end]

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The Terroir Symposium (and Rural Retreat!)

Toronto (+The Kawarthas!)

WHEN: May 6th & 7th, 2019
WHERE: The Carlu, 444 Yonge St, Toronto

Okay, so we realize this is our flagship event – but it’s also a really great time! It’s the premier place for food and tourism folks to munch, mingle and get inspired for the year ahead. Join us![/ezcol_4fifth_end]

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Taste Real Spring Rural Romp

Wellington County

WHEN: May 25th, 2019
WHERE: All across Guelph-Wellington

Farms, markets, gardens, restaurants and places to stay, in Mapleton, Minto and Wellington North open their doors. Spend the day in the countryside meeting your local farmers and enjoying the first tastes of spring! Take part in educational activities, guided tours, planting workshops and more![/ezcol_4fifth_end]

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Ontario’s Best Buttertart Festival

Simcoe County

WHEN: June 8th, 2019
WHERE: Midland Cultural Centre, 333 King St, Midland

A one-day event celebrating the quintessential Canadian dessert – the Butter Tart! With more than 150,000 butter tarts available for sale, those who prefer plain tarts, raisin tarts, firm tarts or runny tarts will surely find something to satisfy their craving. [/ezcol_4fifth_end]

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Cask Days


WHEN: TBD – usually last weekend in October
WHERE: Midland Cultural Centre, 333 King St, Midland

This might just be our favourite festival of the year. It’s chill, the music’s good, the food is good and the beer is always interesting. The festival has evolved into one of the most exciting beer events in the country and one of the largest cask festivals in the world. It celebrates the love for cask ale: unpasteurized, unfiltered and naturally carbonated beer that is served direct from a cask barrel.[/ezcol_4fifth_end]

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Night It Up!

York Region

WHEN: TBD – mid-July
WHERE: Markham Civic Centre

Night It Up! is an outdoor festival showcasing a mosaic of delicious Asian street foods, styled in the vein of night markets from Taiwan, Hong Kong and across Asia. The food is really good, the vibe is busy and hectic — but the good kind of hectic! [/ezcol_4fifth_end]

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Dinner in the Orchard

Durham Region

WHEN: TBD – Spring 2019
WHERE: Nature’s Bounty Farm, 651 Scugog Line 2, Port Perry

This was the first of many dinners this small apple orchard in Durham Region is planning for the future. Food was provided by KB Foods from Whitby, beer by Second Wedge Brewing and ambiance by the roaring fire and twinkly lights hung amongst the apple trees. Magic![/ezcol_4fifth_end]

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Beau’s Oktoberfest

SDG Counties

WHEN: SEPTEMBER 20 – 21, 2019
WHERE: Beau’s All Natural Brewing, Vankleek Hill

This festival is always wunderbar! Now in it’s 11 years, they have raised over 700,000 for charity through this signature fundraiser. Last year had Sloan, Joel Plaskett and more hitting the stage, many a beer flowing and plenty of soft pretzels too. It’s well worth a road trip![/ezcol_4fifth_end]

What’s your favorite event of 2018? Let us know by tagging @OntarioCulinary!