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The Insiders Guide to Ontario’s Best Butter Tart Festival



The sweetest day of the year is almost upon us.

Being a resident of the Heart of Georgian Bay, I have seen Butter Tart Festivals come and go for seven years now, since it began in 2013. Which is good news for you, because this means I have the inside scoop and know the ins and outs of this amazing, but busy festival.


Come find out all of the tips and tricks to making this the best Butter Tart Festival you will ever go to!

Now I know everyone says this, but it is probably the most important tip with regard to this festival. If you wish to get your hands on some of these delicacies COME EARLY.

I am not kidding when I say that by the time 11 am rolls around, the street will be jammed with people all with the same goal. Everyone wants some delicious treats, but luckily there are so many great vendors that even if you miss out on the contest tarts you can still pick up some delicious butter tarts.



Bringing your little ones to the festival? No problem! Start off in the BrokerLink Kids Zone which is directly in the middle between Yonge and Elizabeth Street! Once they are tired out and able to sit for a few minutes take them down to Bling Face Painting in David Onley Park to get a sweet new look! On your way back up the street, I’m certain your child will be pulling you into the Green Street (aka Elizabeth Street) where the street will be covered in grass for outside activities, a Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre demonstration and free family yoga!

 If you're showing up to the festival hungry for something other than Butter Tarts you’re going to want to begin your day on Bay Street. This is where you will find the food truck section. With so many choices you will likely have to restrain yourself so that you have room left for what you really came to this festival for! Don’t take your eyes off the prize people!! But all jokes aside they have an awesome line up of food trucks you’ll have to wander by.


Now if you mean business and you want to see who is walking away as the crowned Butter Tart Champion, judging begins at 10 am in the Midland Cultural Centre. These are the preliminary rounds and the judging of best in show will begin around 3:15 pm. But 3:30 pm is the part you won’t want to miss. This is the announcement of best in show and all other contest winners! The Midland Cultural Centre is the hub for all things contest related so you will have to at least check it out if you plan on coming to the festival.

But don’t you fret if you can’t make it, first off, there’s always next year and secondly you can make your own tarts! Now there are a million variations and family recipes out there but there are not many ingredients needed to make these Canadian delicacies. Now your first tarts might not taste like contest winners… or they might... who knows? But if they do, you better be entering them into next year’s contest!


Don’t forget to stop by the Heart of Georgian Bay tent on the corner of King and Hugel. You won’t want to miss what we have to offer. For filling out a quick and simple survey about your experience at the Ontario's Best Butter Tart Festival, you will be entered in a draw for two amazing prizes! First prize being a Heart of Georgian Bay Summer Fun Pack which includes passes to many local attractions like: Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre, Discovery Harbour, the Martyrs’ Shrine. Plus admission to the Tall Ships Challenge Ontario, and a Boathouse Eatery gift card! What a great prize! But there is more! Our second prize is two General Admissions Weekend Passes to the Roxodus Music Festival! So what’s 3 minutes of your time filling out a survey if you have a chance to win one of these unbelievable prizes?!  

Tips for Getting the Most out of Ontario's Best Buttertart Festival

1. Come early! The most popular vendors have sold out of tarts by 11:00 am.

2. Make sure you swing by the KidZone to give your little ones a chance to run off all of that sugar.

3. Visit the Bay Street food truck vendors (we know you'll need something to soak up the sweet, sweet sugar coursing through your veins).

4. Plan to stop by the Midland Cultural Centre (the MCC as it is known by the locals) to take in the live-action Buttertart Judging Competition. Judging starts at 10 am, but the 'Best-in-Show' contest starts at 3:15 pm.

5. Drink lots of water!

6. Seek out shade and cooling stations (ShopMidland is located at the corner of King Street and Hugel Avenue and offers bottled water, air-conditioning, and free wifi).

7. Wander into local stores on King Street to browse their wares and receive special festival discounts.

8. Plan to stop by the Midland Cultural Centre (the MCC as it is known by the locals) to take in the live-action Buttertart Judging Competition. Judging starts at 10:00 am, but make sure to attend the 'Best-in- Show' contest which starts at 3:15 pm. 

     So there you have it, all of my tips and tricks to making this the best Butter Tart Festival. We hope to see you there! 

Written by Katie Lalonde, Tourism Marketing Assistant 
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