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I Survived Ontario's Best Butter Tart Festival... And I LOVED IT

Posted by Heart of Georgian Bay | June 11, 2018

Our day started out pretty early but the excitement I had built up had me awake and ready for the day in no time! I have never been fortunate enough to get out to this huge festival because of my previous summer job which was busiest on weekends, but this year I'm so lucky that I got to attend for work! I definitely cannot complain about working in the tourism industry, considering I get to go check out all of these awesome things!!

We met and started our set up bright and early at 7:00AM! Our beautiful new Heart of Georgian Bay tent was on display for the very first time! There may have been a contest for best butter tart, but too bad there was no contest for best tent because we for sure had that in the bag!

Once we were all set up I wanted to walk around and get a feel for the festival before the street was flooded with people. This was the best decision I made all day because not only did I get to take a ton of pictures of the products available but I was also able to grab a couple butter tarts from last years winners without having to wait in line! HUGE WIN!

The festival commenced at 9:00AM with a pipes and drums band welcome and the street was packed by 9:30! People started waiting in line a half an hour before the festival even started to miss the rush! One of the reasons Brianne and I were there was to capture survey data of the people at the festival, so we thought we would get started. We decided to walk to the top of King St. and work our way down! Just to walk to the top without taking any breaks took us about 30 minutes because of how many people were already there! 
(This picture was taken at 8:30, half an hour before the festival officially opened, and the line grew exponentially as more people started showing up. The longest wait time we heard for this tent - Queen of Tarts - was an hour and a half!)

On our walk back towards our booth, we got to take great photos of all of the great things this festival had to offer! This included everything from buskers playing music all along the street to chiropractors correcting spines right on the street and so much more! Since there was a ton of things to check out I'm sure I did not see them all even though I walked the street about 6 times in total that day! 

Lunch time was finally upon us! I don’t think I have ever had a harder time deciding what to eat! I considered filling up on just butter tarts but then I thought "since the day was far from over that I should probably fill up on something with a little more substance!" I headed over to the food truck parking lot and man, was there ever some great options! From Smokes Poutine, to pizza to Beaver Tails truck and everything in between this was a tough decision! I decided to go with Pizza due to a few circumstances! The first being how good it looked, the second being its line was the shortest at the time and finally I was starving and needed food ASAP!

After lunch we did some more surveys for the Town of Midland. They wanted to find out where people are coming from, how they heard about the festival and whether they will be coming back next year! When asking people if they would return to the festival next year the answer was yes 100% of the time! I think that goes to show how awesome this festival was and next years will just be even better!

The tART Music and Art Festival was a new component of the Butter Tart Festival and spilled over onto Sunday with artisans, live music and beer garden! This was a neat addition to the festivities this year and the location was perfect! In Harbourside Park, it was right at the end of the hustle and bustle of the Butter Tart Festival and offered people an opportunity to get away from the jam packed main street and check out some amazing artwork and music! Oh, and people could enjoy a cold beverage to wash down their buttertarts!

BTW my Dad, being a self-proclaimed buttertart connoisseur, approves of the tarts I brought home from last years winner Maid's Cottage. He said he could definitely tell why they were a winner and was shocked when I told him that they didn't take the title again this year (Shout out to Doo Doo's Bakery who won!) He has already put his order in for next year, 1/2 dozen of assorted buttertarts from Doo Doo's, he likes a variety. 

So my first ever Butter Tart Festival was a HUGE success and I will definitely be returning in the following years! Mark down June 9th, 2019 on your calenders because this is an event that you will not want to miss in the Heart of Georgian Bay!

Written by Katie Lalonde, Student Communications Coordinator for Heart of Georgian Bay

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