Festivals and Events

In Elora and Fergus, there is a proud tradition of fun to be had in every season. From hot summer music and cultural festivals (including some of the biggest in the country), to a month-long spooktacular Halloween extravaganza – we know how to throw a party! Some of the best musicians in the world have graced our small stages, earning us an international reputation as a place to see and be seen.

From art to adventure, music to monsters, thoroughbreds to bread baking, fine food to fly fishing, come experience the fun for yourself.

Have a browse through the seasons below or check out our calendar of events.

Spring

​Spring awakens with farmers' markets and the flow of maple syrup. Time to dust off winter, open doors and cast a line.

Try one of these or for more visit our Calendar of Events.

Aboriginal Heritage Festival

The Aboriginal Heritage Festival blends the quiet beauty of native art with the sound of the drum and the power of the indigenous voice. Held at the majestic Wellington County Museum and Archives, the event features guest speakers, demonstrations, displays and storytelling.

Elora en Plein Air

Elora en Plein Air, an outdoor painting festival showcases the heritage charms of the town of Fergus and the village of Elora as well as the stunning natural settings all around the Grand and Irvine River gorges. This 4-day festival includes 3 days of painting outdoors and an art show and sale with juried awards going to the top three paintings as well as a People's Choice award. This is a wonderful opportunity for those who would like to learn more about the art of plein air painting.

Belwood Lions Pike Derby

Belwood Lions Pike Derby is a great family outing! Adult and Youth categories, adult first prize - $2000. Fishing charters and other substantial prizes from generous sponsors along with many door prizes for participants.

Centre Wellington Easter Egg Hunt

A fundraiser for the Elora Co-operative Pre-School, the Centre Wellington Easter Egg Hunt has grown to become an action packed spring celebration not to be missed. With hunts for kids of all ages along with many vendors, performers and activities to enjoy, this Easter celebration attracts families from far and wide - all to beautiful Bissell Park on the banks of the Grand River, just steps away from downtown Elora.

Centre Wellington Equine Trade Show, Tack Swap and Seminars

Held annually each spring at the Centre Wellington Sportsplex, the Centre Wellington Equine Trade Show, Tack Swap and Seminars offers new and used horse products for all ages and every discipline right in the heart of Ontario's Equine country.

Doors Open Fergus - Elora

Explore the rich heritage and architecture of the communities of Fergus and Elora. Enjoy historical sites, live entertainment, art displays, gardens and more. An annual free event since 2008, Doors Open Fergus - Elora is a joint undertaking of Heritage Centre Wellington, the Wellington County Museum and Archives, and Elora & Fergus Tourism. It is part of the Ontario Heritage Trust's province-wide initiative to celebrate community heritage. Visitors are invited to get their passport stamped at each Doors Open stop. Collect 4 or more stamps, hand your passport in at any location to be eligible to win a prize. 

Elora Farmers' Market

The Elora Farmers' Market, a true farmers' market, one where, every Saturday, people can find local, sustainably grown produce, meats, cheeses, baking and preserves, in a warm and vibrant space. When people come to the Elora Farmers' Market, they not only find great local foods, treats and artisanal products, they find each other too! The market is a true community hub and it's this energy that makes the market so special. In summer find them on the banks of the Grand River in beautiful Bissell Park, Elora and in the winter they are warm and cozy in the Paddock Building at Grand River Raceway. Come on out and meet the people who grow your food!

Elora Festival Book Sale

"It's a lonely life for a book that's only been read once!" Held at the Elora Curling Club in May, the Elora Festival Book Sale massive 3-day book sale is the main fundraising event for the internationally acclaimed Elora Festival. A huge selection of second hand books for sale of all genres and styles!

Elora Vintage & Antique Show

Held in April in Elora, the Elora Vintage & Antique Show is an annual highlight for collectors from Toronto to Windsor and all points in-between. With fifty-five antique and retro dealers from across Ontario, the show offers an excellent range of antiques, retro and collectibles with specialists in vintage art glass and every day glass, early advertising, midcentury modern, jewellery, vintage kitchenware and clothing, folk art, quilts and textiles, rare books, vintage paper and antique prints. If you love antiques, this show is for you.

Elora Writers' Festival

The Elora Writers' Festival has been celebrating fine Canadian writing since 1994. Its intimate and unique setting, in the heart of one of Ontario's most beautiful communities, has made the festival a sought-after venue for both authors and book lovers alike. Enjoy a wonderful afternoon of readings and discussions with six celebrated Canadian authors. Guests over the years have included Andrew Pyper, Lynden MacIntyre, Terry Fallis and Elora native Anita Stewart.

Elora Youth Concert

Elora Youth Concert is held at Wellington County Museum and Archives, every year our talented young musicians celebrate the joy of music in this wonderful spring evening concert.

Fergus Horticultural Society Garden Tour

A proud community partner, Fergus Horticultural Society offers up five unique and interesting gardens, showing great variety, including formal lay-outs, "natural" gardens and garden "rooms". Brochures available at information centres and local garden centres. Please bring a donation to the local food bank.

Fergus Lions Club Home & Leisure Show

Join the Fergus Lions Club as they host their annual Home & Leisure Show. Filled with local Home & Garden specialists offering expert advice, solutions and inspiration, there's even a Friday night fish fry! Held at the Centre Wellington Sportsplex in Fergus.

Flea Market & Car Show

Each year, the Historical Automobile Society of Canada presents their Flea Market & Car Show at Centre Wellington Community Sportsplex. HASC is devoted to the collection, restoration and operation of antique, classic and special interest automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, and the preservation of related materials. Their annual Flea Market and Car Show is a must see for the car enthusiast.

Food Cycle Ride

You ride because you care! Food Cycle Ride, the annual bicycle touring event is held to benefit the Centre Wellington Food Bank. Consisting of scenic routes across beautiful Centre Wellington, the Food Cycle Ride welcomes riders of all ages and abilities with a variety of routes to choose from. Families, friends, corporate teams, all are welcome to enjoy the scenery, the fresh air, the teamwork and the exhilaration of riding for a cause.

Grand Taste

Grand Taste of the Culinary Arts celebrates the very best of Wellington County. Meet local chefs and restaurateurs while sampling their culinary delights. The entertainment continues with live music and a silent auction. Hosted by Centre Wellington Rotary Club at Grand River Raceway, proceeds support Fergus' Groves Memorial Hospital.

Hippity Hop thru Downtown Fergus

Celebrate Easter in downtown Fergus with Hippity Hop thru Downtown Fergus. Bring your Easter basket and load up on goodies provided by participating merchants. Crafts, stories and the Easter bunny herself!

Planet Youth Extravaganza

Planet Youth Extravaganza is a celebration of local youth talent at Elora's Gorge Cinema.

Shimano Take a Kid Fishing Day

Held each spring, The Shimano Take a Kid Fishing Day at Belwood Lake Conservation Area is designed to get new anglers involved in fishing and improve their skills. Kids will learn how to cast, rig lures, tie flies, identify various fish species and their habitats, and how to find and catch more fish. They will also get to see the latest fishing equipment and tackle in a safe, natural environment.

Skyburst Elora

Skyburst Elora is Elora Lions' Annual Fireworks Display at Grand River Raceway. Come enjoy live entertainment and a dazzling fireworks display here in Elora.

Tartan Day

Celebrate Fergus' Scottish ancestry! Follow a piper led kilted pub crawl through the downtown core with a lively variety of celtic artists. Enjoy a sneak McPeak of the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games with dancing performances, a mini Highland Games for the wee ones, book readings, tea leaf readings, guided historical walking tours and much more. Festivities continue throughout the day. Slàinte! Tartan Day is hosted in downtown Fergus each April.

Wellington Rural Romps

Held in both the Spring and Fall and hosted by Taste Real, both Wellington Rural Romps events celebrate Wellington County's farmers and rural roots. Whether enjoying the first tastes of spring or reveling in the bounty of the fall harvest, everyone is encouraged to visit participating farms, growers and retailers, to experience a day in the country and to enjoy real taste. A great family event.

Wordfest

Wordfest is annual spring event that celebrates the written and spoken word. Hosted by the Elora Centre for the Arts, readers and open-mic participants bring their poetry, prose and storytelling skills to share, savour and enjoy.

Summer

Summer in Elora and Fergus is a sizzlingly good time – from the roar of an engine to the cry of the bagpipes, riverside rock to award winning choirs – we're serving it up hot all season.

Antique & Classic Car Show

The Antique & Classic Car Show is held each summer in the picturesque grounds of Wellington County Museum and Archives, enjoy a good old-fashioned afternoon celebrating classic cars, live music and great company.

Black Sheep Festival of Contemporary Textile Art

Located in a restored, 3 story limestone schoolhouse on 2 acres of green space in the heart of one of Ontario’s most picturesque villages, the Elora Centre for the Arts is a cultural hub for area artists, art enthusiasts, and visitors to the region. Black Sheep Festival of Contemporary Textile Art is the Centre's annual summer fundraiser with proceeds going towards funding children and adult programming, exhibitions, and events at not-for-profit, community run arts centre.

Canada Day

Canada Day in Elora and Fergus is a dawn til dusk, non stop celebration of community pride, friendship and family fun. We usher it in with pancakes and syrup and bid it adieu with cascades of fire. At various points throughout the day, you'll be equal parts exhilarated, exhausted and entertained! Enjoy the Firefighters' Pancake Breakfast, soap box derby races, historic Dominion Day Parade, free hot dog lunch, music and entertainment in Bissell Park then close off the day with the twlight celebrations, live music, kiddie rides, vendors and amazing fireworks in Fergus. If you're not Canadian when you arrive, you sure will be when you leave! True north strong and free!

Elora Festival

Come see why the world comes to the beautiful village of Elora every summer, when the Elora Festival welcomes the best musicians from around the globe to our small stages for an intimate experience truly like no other. Enjoy four weeks of international calibre music, from large-scale classical works for choir and orchestra to intimate evenings of jazz and popular music. Open your mind and fill your soul.

Fergus Scottish Festival & Highland Games

In August, its time to 'tilt yer kilt' in Fergus. If it is Scottish Traditions you're looking for, dont miss the Annual Fergus Scottish Festival & Highland Games. Kicking off with a Thursday-night downtown parade, it's one of the best events  of the summer. Rally with the  clans  to enjoy three days of great live celtic music, highland dancing and world-class competition in the Heavy Events, as well as genealogy, guest speakers, camping and more.

Grand River Raceway Industry Day

Industry Day is Grand River Raceway's marquee event of the race season. Staged annually during a special afternoon race card on the first Monday in August, Industry Day is one of Canadian harness racing's most celebrated events, attracting racing fans province-wide and beyond. The event features Grand River Raceway's signature race, the Battle Of Waterloo and companion race, the Battle Of The Belles. A great afternoon event for the whole family with festivities for all ages to enjoy.

Grand River Truck & Tractor Pull

Join us at the Grand River Raceway for a high paced, action packed event with over 100 hooks coming down the track at the Grand River Truck & Tractor Pull!

Music at the Museum

Bring your lawn chair and enjoy evening music on the beautiful front lawn of the historic Wellington County Museum and Archives. Rain location is in the restored 1877 barn.

Riverfest Elora

From small town to the big league! Riverfest Elora is steadily earning a reputation as the place to enjoy great outdoor music in a picturesque, intimate setting. Begun in 2009, it's an annual celebration of music and community where you can enjoy an energizing song-filled summer day on the banks of the Grand River. From emerging local talent to Canadian music legends, laze about or rock out–the choice is yours!

Simple Pleasures for the Summer

Keep the kids entertained with a midweek visit to Wellington County Museum and Archives this summer. Simple Pleasures for the Summerare weekly themed events Wednesday afternoons throughout July and August, this beautiful historic site will become a family favourite. While you're there browse the butterfly gardens and visit the peaceful and lovingly restored Poor House Cemetery.

Summer Camps at Elora Centre for the Arts

This summer think about sending the kids to Elora Centre for the Arts. Offering a series of one week camps, let Elora Centre for the Arts unleash your child's creative genius. Through age appropriate projects, campers explore the wonders of visual and expressive arts with sculpture, mixed media collages, drawing, painting, print-making and more! Camp programs are designed to provide fun, encouraging, creative and safe experiences for children, led by experienced artist-educators in the centre's professional studios.

Tri Kids Triathlon

Tri Kids Triathlon are races for children and youth aged 3 - 15. These safe, non-competitive events are created to be fun, encouraging and a memorable experience for participants and their families.

Fall

The spectacular fall colours are mirrored by the creativity of our artists, musicians, actors, film-makers and chefs at the heart of our festivals, events and magnificent monsters.

Try one of these or for more visit our Calendar of Events. 

Culture Days in Centre Wellington

Culture Days in Centre Wellington! A weekend where we shine the spotlight on the many cultural activities taking place throughout the year. Every year we serve up new samplings of all that CW has to offer - from historical walking tours to rugby matches, choirs to kids' fests, pipers to plays. If you paint, plough, hike, write, paddle or pipe come check us out. If you swim, fish, trot, quilt, zipline, shop or read, you won't want to miss it. If you love a good tale from years gone by, enjoy a great show, or like to mingle with sculpture and art as you stroll, you'll be here.

Elora Fergus Studio Tour

Ever wonder what an artist's studio really looks like? Here's your chance to get a look behind the scenes. Take a self-guided tour and meet artists where they live and work. Many artists and craftspeople will open their studios for two consecutive fall weekends. The Elora Fergus Studio Touris completely free of charge. You'll get a chance to meet directly with the artists, and often see work not shown in gallery settings. You'll visit the working spaces of both established and emerging artists, from basements to self-contained studios. Where to begin? Why not start your tour at the Studio Tour Exhibition at the Elora Centre for the Arts, where a group exhibition of all the Elora-Fergus Studio Tour participants' work is featured.

Elora Horse and Hound Parade

Hear the call of the huntsmen's trumpets, the echo of the horses' hooves trotting through heritage streets, surrounded by hounds eager to lead. Join in the toast to the huntsmen, mingle with the animals, dine with the riders and feel like royalty! Elora Horse and Hound Parade is a unique event which includes a parade of riders, horses and hounds through Elora's historic downtown streets, plenty of refreshments and a chance to meet and mingle with the animals and their riders. Founded in 2012, the event grows each year with hundreds lining the streets to catch a glimpse of these majestic animals. A fundraiser for Fergus' Groves Memorial Hospital, the event continues to raise much needed funds helping our community today and for future generations.

Fergus BIA Classic Car Show

Enjoy a wonderful early fall evening where the street shuts down and the cars are out on show! About 140 oldies cruise into downtown Fergus each year for the Fergus BIA Classic Car Show. Reminisce about days gone by, dream of that classic new ride, browse the stores open late just for you and soak up the atmosphere. An evening all the family can enjoy.

Fergus Fall Fair

Fergus Fall Fair is a three day celebration of our rich agricultural heritage and our continuing rural traditions. A good old fashioned fun filled family weekend awaits as you take in all the action - from the midway to the mainstage, tractors to classic cars, horse shows to best in show, you'll want to make it an annual tradition.

Harvest Home Festival

Held in the beautiful grounds of Wellington County Museum and Archives, Harvest Home Festival is an annual celebration of Wellington County's rural heritage. Come see how our ancestors lived and worked on the land. Featuring an antique tractor show, a wide variety of demonstrations (threshing, sheep sheering, spinning), live entertainment and the newly renovated historic 1877 barn.

Monster Month

Leaves turn, nights draw in, winds whisper:  "Something is coming, something is coming". Monster Month is where Halloween swoops into Elora and Fergus early in October and doesn't leave until everyone has been well and truly spooked! Monster Month is a town wide celebration of ghosts and ghouls, creepy critters and things that go bump in the night. Don't be scared though, it's a family friendly creative celebration, a Halloween extravaganza like no other. Think fun, not fear!

There are pumpkins, a parade, monster music and monster sculptures, soul warming soup and bone chilling banter, spirit walks of the Poor Houselantern walks of the towns, menacing movies and that's just the tip of the witch's hat! Here in bootiful Elora and Fergus we take our Halloween seriously. Twilight Zoo – that spooktacular display of artist Tim Murton's monsters - are scattered all over town, where surprises lurk at every turn. The sculptures are majestic masterpieces by day and eerie lanterns by night.

The increasingly popular Monster March Parade is a must see. Turn up in your costume and walk with the masses, or simply watch the locals transform into their alter egos – vampires, witches, zombies – all the spook groups are represented! Halloween in Elora and Fergus - so much more than costumes and candy!

Photowalk

Join local photographer, Janette Gajic and be part of Photowalk the largest global social event for photographers - pros and enthusiasts! Savour the sights of downtown Fergus, share tips and socialize.

Sensational Elora

Sensational Elora is an annual award-winning Festival  featuring the renowned music, art, drama, film, food, scenery and architecture of historic Elora and Fergus. Their events are sprinkled throughout the year culminating in their core festival events held Thanksgiving weekend - Pumpkin Day at the Elora Farmers' market, the Empty Bowls and Empty Glasses project and the Sensational Soup-off. Other Sensational Elora classics include their Film on a Plate series, Fabulous Fergus Pub Night and Sensational Sounds.

Wellington Rural Romps

Held in both the Spring and Fall and hosted by Taste Real, both Wellington Rural Romps events celebrate Wellington County's farmers and rural roots. Whether enjoying the first tastes of spring or reveling in the bounty of the fall harvest, everyone is encouraged to visit participating farms, growers and retailers, to experience a day in the country and to enjoy real taste. A great family event.

Winter

Winter is a magical time when snow and frost paint the trees. Icicles as tall as a house hang majestically from the steep gorge walls. Enjoy angelic choirs, do your Christmas shopping while celebrating the bard.

Try one of these or for more visit our Calendar of Events.

A Night with Robbie Burns

Hosted by the Fergus Pipe Band, enjoy A Night with Robbie Burns a January tribute to Scotland's bard. Dancing, music, a toast to the lads and lassies, and an address to the haggis like you've never seen!

Christmas Festival

Every year Wellington County Museum & Archives host their Christmas Festival - an annual celebration filled with festive music, family activities, displays, refreshments, Santa Claus and a huge Christmas Tree.

Christmas in Elora and Fergus

The holiday season starts early in Elora and Fergus - For two nights in November, check off everyone on your Christmas list early this year and stroll under the stars, exploring the boutiques and specialty shops of beautiful downtown Elora during their Starlight Shopping events. The Elora Santa Claus Parade is a spectacular evening colour and light parade through Elora's historic streets. Carol sing and hear the cry of the bagpipes as the town of Fergus lights their Christmas tree and Santa makes a pre-parade stop to check his list before he parades through downtown Fergus in the ever popular Fergus Santa Claus parade held the first Saturday in December. Stick around for Moonlight Madness in December where retailers open late for those last minute gift buyers. Meander through moonlit downtown Fergus and discover unique shops, great views and excellent dining.

Christmas Show and Sale - Elora Centre for the Arts

Presented by The Harris Artists' Collective - a member-run collective of artists who exhibit in the Harris Gallery at the Elora Centre for the Arts- this annual show and sale offers a wide variety of their work - original oil and acrylic paintings, glasswork, photography, pastels, ceramics, fine jewellery, fibre and textile arts, encaustics and more - all available for purchase. Great for Gift Giving this holiday season!

Elora Festival Singers Winter Concert Series

Running from December to April, the Elora Festival Singers Winter Concert Series of performances from the Juno and Grammy nominated Elora Festival Singers ranges from heartwarming soup concerts to soul lifting Carols. Their renowned Handel's Messiah is an annual rite of winter. Many concerts offer an opportunity to meet and mingle with the performers before or after the shows.

Family Day at Wellington County Museum & Archives

Celebrate Family Day in fine style at Wellington County Museum & Archives. Enjoy a fun-filled winter afternoon including snowshoeing, ice-skating, curling and ice sculpting!

Fergus Wedding Showcase

Planning a wedding? For almost 20 years Fergus Wedding Showcase highlights the best of local vendors. Everything you need to plan your dream day in our picture perfect town. Hosted by Fergus 7 District Kinsmen with proceeds supporting Cystic Fibrosis.

Gallery Concert Series: Venturi Winds

Hosted by the Elora Arts Council, this series of four concerts runs from January to April. Each concert features talented local musicians from strings to wind, song to brass. Enjoy music in an intimate setting followed by conversation and coffee with the artists. Held at the Wellington County Museum & Archives.

March Break Arts Camps

Next March break, think about sending the kids to Elora Centre for the Arts for the March Break Arts Camps. Through age appropriate projects, campers explore the wonders of visual and expressive arts with sculpture, mixed media collages, drawing, painting, print-making and more! Camp programs are designed to provide fun, encouraging, creative and safe experiences for children, led by experienced artist-educators in the centre's professional studios.

March Break at the Museum

Take a break at the Museum! Enjoy daily themed drop-in activities all the family can enjoy at Wellington County Museum & Archives. Conveniently located halfway between Fergus and Elora, the Museum is a must-see on your March visit. Depending on the weather, why not stroll here from either town on the Elora Cataract Trailway?

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