Top Five Things to See and Do in Fall 2014

best, events, festivals, activities, Kingston, fall, 2014, tourismFall is the season where we begrudgingly bid farewell to endless holidays, sunshine, and the city’s busiest season for spectacular events. Now, the students are back, tourists have migrated to warmer climates and we’re all guessing just how long we have until the first frost, flurries and … snow days. Rest assured, decent conditions are on the horizon to make for perfect days picking at the orchard, lapping it up on the colorful trails, or forming the season’s first snowball. Around Kingston, there’s bushels of events vying for our attention from the Farmer’s Markets to Chilifest, Fort Fright to countless concerts, and the list goes on. With limited time and funds, it truly is hard to do it all. Accordingly, Kingstonist’s top five things to see and do in the city aims to provide you with a list of events you don’t want to miss out on. It is bursting with everything from family-friendly hallmarks and live music, to literary and film festivals and outdoorsy-activities. Mark your calendars, grab a pumpkin spiced beverage and enjoy our selection of the best fall events in Kingston.

Kingston WritersFest: 24 to 28 September 2014: Kingston WritersFest is the first big event of the season, while it proudly caters to readers of every age and taste. This celebration of literature allows curious attendees to attend intimate and interactive discussions with notable authors, while this year’s roster includes: Eleanor Catton, Kim Thuy, and Wally Lamb. Aspiring writers may also attend workshops led by accomplished authors and professionals from within the literary profession. With book signings, food events and stuff for the kids, there truly is something for everyone at this festival. With Kingston WritersFest events already selling out, now’s the time to get your tickets and stimulate the imagination.

QPOP Music Festival: 3 to 4 October 2014: voted by Kingstonist’s readers as the most anticipated event of Fall 2014, this brand spanking new festival aims to bring the Queen’s community together to celebrate Canadian and local musical sensations. The inaugural QPOP features an insanely talented lineup, which includes July Talk, The Darcy’s, Zeus, Rich Aucoin, P.S. I Love You, Matthew Barber, Will Hunter Band and Lost Cousins. As ridiculously good sounding as that mix is, what is more astounding is the fact that tickets are a mere $25 (and they’ve yet to go on sale). The kicker of course is that you have to be a current student, staff member or alumni in order to buy tickets.

Slimebone City Horror Film Festival: 8 to 11 October 2014: this frightening film festival endeavors to showcase the most imaginative and ridiculous horror flicks from Canadian and international filmmakers. While this is only the second year for the festival, it will serve as the North American premier for Starve and Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead. Slimebone City also celebrates the Canadian classics, proudly featuring a pair of slasher films: Black Christmas and Curtains. With opportunities to mingle with like-minded ghouls, a Black Christmas-themed party, and post-mortem extravaganza with music by Owl Farm, there’s a lot to sink your teeth into.

Skating on a City Rink, as soon as it gets cold: soon after (but not too soon) the final pumpkin has been carved, and we’ve devoured the last bag of Halloween stash, colder days and nights will be upon us. Board will go up in various city parks and at Market Square, and it will time for a leisurely skate on the pond. Skating on outdoor rinks is the quintessential Canadian pastime in the Winter, and Kingston does it with style. With 17 rinks to choose from, there’s no shortage of venues for shinny, a leisurely skate and well-deserved, post-game hot chocolate.

Kingston Symphony Present Candlelight Christmas: 16 and 17 December 2014:  if you’re anything like me, you probably put off thinking about and engaging in any Christmas related activities until the last possible moment. Year after year, the Kingston Symphony’s Candlelight Christmas at St. George’s Cathedral has provided the perfect atmosphere to get me feeling all holly and jolly. With only two performances scheduled, these popular concerts are easy to recommended as a must-attend. Offering general seating, it’s highly advisable to get there early and secure a perfect seat. I can’t wait to see how the new conductor in action, and what changes he might make to the delightfully seasonal program.

Photo credits to: LeJyBy, QPOP Music Festival, Slimebone City Horror Film Festival, Kingstonist and Kevin Dooley.

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