Just a sample of some of the great events and festivals our area has to offer throughout the year!

The Festival of Birds at Point Pelee
May 1 to 22, 2017
Each May, the Friends of Point Pelee and Point Pelee National Park host the Festival of Birds, with bird hikes, guest speakers, presentations and workshops. Learn the finer points of bird identification, check out the local flora, discover local hotspots and learn about efforts to restore habitat for birds in Essex County. If you are new to birding, start with Birding 101, where you will find out the basics of bird identification, key tools and secrets to successful birding at Point Pelee. Other programs include Warbler ID, Birdsong Basics, Hawk ID and a Wildflower Walk. Many of these popular programs are free and require no advance registration.


2017 Festival of Birds Regional Discovery Guide — Windsor Essex Pelee Island, visitwindsoressex.comTourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island
The 2016 Festival of Birds Regional Discovery Guide is a must-have as you explore our region, covering must-see, must-do activities and special offers from a variety of local businesses. Of course, we’ve tonnes of birds to see after the festival too, so a great resource year-round.

Copies are available at the Point Pelee Visitor Centre, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island’s Main Office, or view the 2017 Festival of Birds Regional Discovery Guide online.

 

Carrousel of the Nations
June 16–25, 2016
Established in 1974, Carousel of the Nations has grown to be a large multicultural festival spanning three weekends each June, and including Carousel by the River, and Carousel Villages. The festival offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the Windsor region’s cultural diversity, to delight in the tastes, sounds and traditions of various cultures as they present the best music, dance, history, art, and especially the food of their cultures. Windsor’s Riverfront Festival Plaza is the festival hub, yet there are many other events and villages throughout the city. There is also a new Culinary Pavilion, and the TD Children’s Village. Carrousel of the Nations was voted the 8th favourite festival in Ontario and 28th in Canada against hundreds of competing festivals, in WestJet’s “Canada’s Favourite Festival” poll.

Pelee Island’s Annual Women’s Total Recall Retreat
2017: Dates to be determined
The Total Recall Retreat is an annual women’s weekend retreat on Pelee Island. This year’s event will feature an amazing mix of talented women and events, and include a healing tent to pamper your souls, a marketplace with unique vendors, and workshops to help keep you motivated and inspired, on subjects such as Belly Dancing, Yoga on the Beach, Zumba, Gourmet Cooking, Meditation, Stained Glass Making and Expressive Art Therapy. This retreat allows you to get away and learn, to deepen friendships, to dream big, and to have fun. Come laugh, play, dance, sing, create, release, refresh, connect and unwind.

Leamington Fair
2017: Dates to be determined
The annual Leamington Fair, presented by the Leamington District Agricultural Society, promises to be a great time for all. Guaranteeing this year’s theme—“Where farm meets fun!”—the busy schedule of events and attractions includes a midway, petting zoo, demolition derby, harness racing at Leamington Raceway, historical displays with antique tractors, vintage machinery and farming tools, a Dad-calling Contest, The Hottest Tomato Competition, homecraft and culinary arts exhibits, the largest collection of children’s school art in Southwestern Ontario, and the annual Lyndy Wiper Antique Tractor Parade.

Media City Film Festival (Windsor/Detroit)
July/August 2017: Dates to be determined
Media City is an annual international festival of film and video art presented jointly in Windsor, Ontario, and Detroit, Michigan, since 1994. Each year the festival features more than 60 new films, and attracts filmmakers and audience members from around the globe to participate in five days of screenings, live performances, exhibitions and artist discussions. Over the years the festival has achieved critical acclaim and international recognition for its “sheer excellence in programming.” The complete festival program and schedule is available online and for downloading.

Explore the Shore (Harrow, from Amherstburg to Kingsville)
July 29–30, 2017
Join us for our annual event welcoming explorers to the north shore of Lake Erie. This weekend event takes place on Essex County Road 50, south of Harrow, Ontario, spanning from the town of Amherstburg to the town of Kingsville. Activities include a putting competition at Oxley Beach Golf Course, a treasure hunt at Colchester Harbour, live entertainment at restaurants and wineries, food specials, vineyard and orchard tours, and local art displays. Participating businesses include farmers, wineries, roadside vegetable stands, restaurants, bed and breakfast hoteliers, outdoor recreation (golf courses, conservation areas, beaches, the harbour/marina), artists, authors, and small business owners (salons, convenience stores, antiques and gift shops).

Windsor-Essex Pride Festival
August 8–13, 2017
The Windsor-Essex Pride Festival, held at the Riverfront Festival Plaza stage, will include a variety of special events including theatre, music, art, entertainment and a parade to raise awareness of discrimination and the issues and difficulties affecting the lives of LGBT people around the world. Each year, the parade is an explosion of pride in the heart of downtown Windsor, attracting approximately 7,000 people. At the website, you will also find a calendar of LGBT events throughout the year, and information about workshops, initiatives, counseling and online resources.

Leamington Tomato Festival (Seacliff Park)
2017: Dates to be determined
Leamington’s only free family festival features a parade, continuous live entertainment, children’s village, custom car show, golf tournament, talent-beauty pageant, fireman’s water barrel competition, 5k walk-run, crafts, food and wine vendors (featuring wineries from the Lake Erie North Shore and Pelee Island Wine Region). There’s so much to see and do at the annual Leamington Tomato Festival in the tomato capital of Canada!

Fiesta Latina (Windsor)
July 22, 2016
Fiesta Latina is a music and dance celebration featuring tropical rhythm, exotic dancing and socializing held in downtown Windsor. Presented by the Downtown Windsor BIA, this festival is replacing Balloonapalooza (which has been cancelled).

Festival of Hawks 2014 (Holiday Beach Conservation Area, Amherstburg)
September 2017: Dates to be determined
Sponsored by Essex Region Conservation Authority and Holiday Beach Migration Observatory, the festival includes a live raptor display, guided hawk watching, hawk and songbird banding, dragonfly walk and Monarch butterfly tagging demonstrations. See birds of prey flying overhead and hawks and songbirds up close. About 100,000 raptors migrate through the Holiday Beach Conservation Area each autumn, including the Peregrine Falcon, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Osprey, Turkey Vulture, Black Vulture, Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle.

Children’s Fest (Windsor)
September 16–17, 2017
For one spectacular weekend every September, the youth of Windsor and Essex County gather for a truly unique celebration of exciting interactive imagination stations, educational activities, cultural diversity and entertainment devised to delight, challenge and educate young minds.Since its inception in 1995 as a project of the Rotary Club of Windsor (1918), more than 60,000 visitors have attended our annual Children’s Fest, coming from all over the region to enjoy the weekend activities and family fun. This year, we anticipate as many as 10,000 visitors.

BookFest Windsor
October 20–22, 2017
BookFest Windsor is a three-day festival of books and authors, and the Southwestern Ontario region’s only literary festival. With graphic novels, poetry, fiction, spoken word, music, mixed-media presentations, sessions in English and in French, workshops on publishing, panel discussions, and winning poetry from a students’ poetry contest.

Kingsville’s Annual Migration Festival
September 2017: Dates to be determined
The annual Kingsville Migration Festival celebrates migration, heritage and conservation in Kingsville, Ontario. You are invited to join its residents in this quaint historical atmosphere to celebrate the legacy of its most famous descendant, Jack Miner, whose conservation work with the Canada Goose and other winged creatures is internationally acclaimed. Events include an opening ceremony, parade, Children`s Festival, Children’s Trout Pond (sponsored by the Southwest Outdoors Club) and the Essex Retriever Club Dog Show. Kingsville is located on the north shore of Lake Erie, approximately 40 minutes by car southeast of the Windsor/Detroit border.

Hocktoberfest: International Female Hockey Festival (Windsor/Tecumseh)
October 20–22, 2017
Welcome to a hockey tournament that is so unique, it is referred to as a festival! Celebrating its sixth year, Hocktoberfest Female Hockey Festival presents an event that provides a competitive and unique experience for the athletes, an enjoyable weekend for the coaches that put in all of their time, and an entertaining weekend for the families that travel at all hours, from near and far, to watch their hockey players!

Windsor International Film Festival
2017: Dates to be determined
The Windsor International Film Festival (WIFF) is a cultural, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to recognize and celebrate the art of cinema by showcasing Canadian and international films and filmmakers. Through its exhibition, education, and community development programs, WIFF builds audiences for Canadian content and talent, provides training opportunities for emerging filmmakers, and promotes the creative economy of Windsor and Southwestern Ontario.

Kingsville Fantasy of Lights
November 18, 2017–January 7, 2018
Through the winter months, Lakeside Park in Kingsville is magically transformed into a colorful panorama of lights and sounds of the Holiday Season. Melodies of Christmas music, hot chocolate, light snacks, crafts, souvenirs welcome all who are ready to awaken their holiday spirit. Special events and attractions include fireworks, concerts, wine tastings, ice carvings, fine art displays, and children’s activities such as Dinner with Santa and the Santa Games—there is something to entertain everyone in your family.

Canada South Festival Network (Windsor–Essex–Pelee Island)
Created in 1999, the Canada South Festival Network is your one-stop location to learn what is happening in Windsor, Essex and Pelee Island. The website showcases the broad range of exciting events happening in the region, including over 80 festivals held annually, outstanding arts and cultural attractions, fairs, world class sporting events, extraordinary wineries and wonderful dining establishments.