Special Needs Archives

dublin_ireland_2012_metroscenes.com_47Dublin, Ireland
What better place to celebrate an Irish holiday than, Ireland. Last year, an estimated 500,000 festive folks flocked to the city to celebrate the holiday and enjoy a few pints from the Emerald Isle. Dublin travelers can also pay a visit to the Guinness brewery to enjoy a fine beer straight from the brewer or watch some of the city’s historical buildings light up in festive colors for the Greening of the City.

Florence, Italy
It may not seem like your typical St. Patrick’s Day destination, but from March 17 through March 22, Florence honors the patron saint of Ireland with a ‘Festa Irlandese,’ or Irish Festival. During this festival, the city offers an Italian spin on the holiday while hosting pub crawls, live music and of course, alcohol. And those interested in the ultimate Irish pub experience can head to Finnegan’s, which is said to be the only Irish-owned pub in Florence.

London, England
Many of the cities on this list have St. Patrick’s Day Parades. In fact, London’s celebration draw over 100,000 guests each year. But London also hosts a holiday festival at Trafalgar Square that’s full of Irish traditions, like music and dance, which are perfect for families and free to experience. In addition, London offers more authentic Irish-owned pubs than any other city outside of the Emerald Isle, so folks can enjoy some of Europe’s finest — and oldest — Irish whiskeys and beers.

New York, New York
New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade has been running for over 250 years, and much like its Thanksgiving Day parade, it’s a doozy and is known internationally. While other celebrations would be ecstatic just to draw crowds of 100,000, New York’s parade has been known to feature over 150,000 marchers alone. Visitors can visit the many Irish pubs, partake in a walking tour of former “Little Ireland” or even create Irish-inspired crafts over in Central Park.

San Francisco, California
As home to one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the Western United States, San Francisco offers an eclectic mix of cultural festivities, night life and crowds of enthusiastic locals. Folks can attend the St. Patrick’s Day-themed Night Life event at the California Academy of Science the Thursday before the holiday weekend, check out the famous Market Street parade or pay a visit to San Francisco’s Irish Cultural Center, which hosts its annual “Greenfest Block Party” with Irish cultural activities, music and dancing.

Buenos Aires, Argentina
In March, Buenos Aires boasts near-perfect weather, and when you take into account it has the fifth largest Irish community globally, there may be no better time than the present to pay a visit to Argentina. With narrow streets and its very own city-wide parade, Buenos Aires offers an authentic experience, as well as a crowded, rambunctious city geography that lends itself to international festivals.

Boston, Massachusetts
As home to a thriving and Irish pub scene and the Celtic-influenced punk rock group Dropkick Murphys, Boston is a prime spot for celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day. Every year, the city holds one of the biggest parades and boasts party after party at one of their many vibrant pubs. Visitors can also walk along the city’s Irish Heritage Trail, which begins at the Rose Kennedy Garden and ends near Fenway Park, to experience firsthand the rich Irish background behind some of the city’s most famous historical areas.

Chicago, Illinois
Besides offering delicious deep-dish pizza and wonderful views of Lake Michigan, the Windy City is home to one of the most spectacular St. Patrick’s Day displays in the world. Every year, thousands of festive Mid-Westerners take the train downtown to celebrate the holiday and witness the dyeing of the Chicago River. Using over 40 pounds of environmentally friendly coloring, the river stays green for an entire day, providing the perfect backdrop for the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

slide-7Newfoundland, Canada
Newfoundland is a historically Irish locale, with immigrants from the Emerald Isle reaching the small island off the coast of Canada back in the 17th century. One of the island’s main city centers, it is now known as the “Irish Loop”, as an area of such rich heritage, Newfoundland has declared St. Patrick’s Day a public holiday — making it only one of two cities outside of Ireland to do so. Because of its deep ties to the Irish culture, Newfoundland is the perfect place for visitors who want to enjoy some traditional Irish dishes and wash them down with a nice pint afterwards.

Sydney, Australia
Australia boasts a gigantic St. Patrick’s Day Parade of its own, complete with an overarching narrative and themed floats, but it might be most notable for its party scene. On St. Patty’s, the Sydney pubs and bars stay open until the early hours, serving up traditional Irish music. Those more grandiose party appetites can also check out the St. Patrick’s Day Booze Cruise, which sails through Sydney harbor for three crazy hours of holiday celebration.

NFwineryfallAs the Niagara Wine Festival kicks off, marking its 64th year, efforts are being made to ensure the staple St. Catharines event stays fresh and entertaining.

This year’s festival will feature 29 wineries and 12 culinary vendors within Montebello Park, with a total 40 wineries included through the Discovery Pass Experiences program. Winery visits with the passes begin this Saturday, with festivities at the park kicking off the following weekend.

Prior to the Grande Parade, held Sept. 26, a pre-show filled will a variety of entertainers will get underway in front of St. Catharines city hall and at the corner of Ontario and St. Paul Streets. The pre-show will kick off at 9:30 a.m. followed by the parade at 11.

In addition to live entertainment and an abundance of wine to try, the festival includes a variety of wine seminars and a children’s area for families.

Montebello Park festival hours:

Friday, Sept. 18 and 25, 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 19 and 26, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 20 and 27, noon to 8 p.m.

For a full schedule and more information, visit www.niagarawinefestival.com.

indexStreet Performances

Shows are Thursday to Monday 1:30, 2:10, 3:30, 4:10, 5:30, 6:10, 7:30, & 8:10 pm ; NO SHOWS Tuesday & Wednesday

Street Performers – a wide range of versatile, professional performing artists who provide engaging, memorable entertainment, whether serving as featured stage entertainers or gathering their own audiences in festival settings – any place you’ll find an assemblage of people or heavy ‘walk-by’ traffic. Variety shows are largely interactive and comedic, and showcase the talent and skill of many colorful and exciting circus disciplines – magic, unicycling, chain saw juggling, clowns, rola bola, escape acts, rope walking – to name only a very few!

Death Defying Thrill Acts

Shows are Thursday to Monday 2:00, 4:00, 6:00 & 8:00 pm; NO SHOWS Tuesday & Wednesday

The Wheel of Fate
Daily Showtimes: 2:00 pm & 6:00 pm; showcased 10 storeys above the Imperial Hotel 5851 Victoria Avenue

NEW FOR 2015: Sky Scraping Sway Pole
Daily Showtime: 4 pm; showcased 70 feet above the Ripley’s Moving Theater rooftop 4960 Clifton Hill

The Motorcycle Highwire Acrobat Act
Daily Showtime: 8 pm; showcased between the Tussaud’s billboard sign and Day s Inn 5657 Victoria Avenue, a 330 foot span; starting at 30 feet high and raising to approximately 100 feet high.

Daredevil Characters

Character Photo Op – Thursday to Monday – 1:30, 2:10, 3:30, 4:10, 5:30, 6:10, 7:30 pm, & 8:10 pm; NO SHOWS Tuesday & Wednesday.

Visit all the Street Performances throughout the Thrill Zone and get your FREE photo op with all the different Daredevil Characters. Share them on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, & Instagram.

PanAm-logoThe 2015 Pan American Games, officially the XVII Pan American Games and commonly known as the Toronto 2015 Pan-Am Games are a major international multi-sport event celebrated in the tradition of the Pan American Games, as governed by Pan American Sports Organization (PASO). The games are being held from July 10th to 26th, 2015 in Toronto, Canada, with preliminary rounds in certain events having begun on July 7th, 2015. Marking the third Pan-American games hosted by Canada, and the first in the province of Ontario, the Games are being held at venues in Toronto and seventeen other Golden Horseshoe communities. Both the Pan-American Games and 2015 Parapan American Games are being organized by the Toronto Organizing Committee for the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games (TO2015).
The Games are hosting 6,135 athletes representing 41 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) in the Americas, marking the largest multi-sport event hosted in Canada, in terms of athletes competing. A record of 45% of competitors are expected to be women, the most ever for any multi-sport event.The Games’ program consists of 364 events in 36 sports, which includes the 28 sports that will be contested at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Canoe slalom and golf will make their Pan-American Games debut, as well as women’s competitions in baseball, C-1 canoe and rugby sevens.

A total of 36 sports, 51 disciplines and 364 medal events were contested at the games. Basque pelota is the only sport dropped from the last games. Golf (after being added to the Olympic program for 2016) also made its Pan American Games debut. Canoe slalom, the only Olympic discipline to never have been held at the Games, also made its debut, meaning for the first time ever the entire Olympic sports program was contested.

The 2015 Pan American Games used a mixture of new venues, existing and temporary facilities, some of them in well-known locations such as Exhibition Place. After the Games, some of the new facilities will be reused in their games time form, while others will be resized. Ten of these venues were newly built, while fifteen were renovated to stage the games.

Toronto will become one of the most populous cities in history to hold the Pan American Games. In July, Toronto has an average mean temperature of 22.3 °C (72.1 °F) and afternoon maximum average of 26.6 °C (79.9 °F) The average humidity is 74%, and the city (downtown area) averages five days with the temperature exceeding 30 °C (86 °F) and about 65 millimetres (2.6 in) of precipitation, mostly brief periods of showers and sometimes thunderstorms.

In January 2012, the Toronto Organizing Committee for the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games (TO2015) announced that sixty percent of the originally proposed venues would be dropped, in favour of a clustering system seen at other multi-sport events such as the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom.  Exhibition Stadium will stage the rugby sevens competition.

The opening and closing ceremonies will be held at Pan Am Dome, which will be referred to during the Games as the “Pan-Am Ceremonies Venue” due to sponsorship rules. Some of the competition venues in the Toronto area include Exhibition Stadium, the Pan Am / Parapan Am Fields, the Exhibition Centre and the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. Competition venues outside the city of Toronto include Hamilton Pan Am Soccer Stadium, Mississauga Sports Centre, Markham Pan Am Centre in Markham, the Oshawa Boxing Centre in Oshawa, and the Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course in St. Catharines. Most of the torchbearers were selected by a random selection, while the others were selected by torch relay communities and games partners. The relay began on May 30th, 2015 in Toronto and finishes on July 10th, the date of the opening ceremony. The Games began July 10th with closing ceremonies July 26th, 2015.

Niagara Parks’ Botanical Gardens is located on the scenic Niagara Parkway and the Great Gorge, just a 10 minute drive north of the Niagara Falls. This beautiful garden setting is home to the Butterfly Conservatory and serves as the unique outdoor classroom for students attending the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture. Established in 1936, you’ll enjoy 40 hectares (99 acres) of beautifully maintained gardens. Enjoy perennials, rhododendrons, azaleas, formal parterre garden, shade, herb and vegetable plantings, as well as our world-famous rose garden featuring over 2,400 roses.

floral-clock4-2-610x4052The Floral Clock is a very popular stop on the Niagara Parkway and is photographed almost as often as the Falls! The planted face is maintained by Niagara Parks horticulture staff, while the mechanism is kept in working order by Ontario Hydro, the organization that originally built the clock. The intricate designs on the face of the timepiece are created with up to 16,000 carpet bedding plants. The floral design is changed twice each year, featuring viola in the Spring and four cultivars of Alternanthera along with green and grey forms of Santolina Sage during the Summer and Fall. California Golden Privet and Blue Festuca Grass may be used for contrast. The grounds surrounding the clock feature bedding displays and a tower at the back of the clock houses Westminster chimes that greet each quarter hour. If the door into the tower is open, you can take a glimpse at the clock mechanism and enjoy photographs that show the history of almost every face design all the way back to 1950.

At the entrance to Queenston Heights Park you will be greeted by carpet bedding displays, along with formalized annual bedding schemes that surround both the Brock and Laura Secord Monuments. Nestled high atop the Niagara Escarpment, this is the birthplace of Niagara Falls – garden and nature lovers, hikers and picnickers have used this park for generations. Facilities include two picnic pavilions, washrooms, children’s splash pad, tennis courts, a band shell, snack bar, children’s playground and fine dining at Queenston Heights Restaurant. The Park is also a terminus point of the Bruce Trail, which winds it way northward over several hundred kilometers to Tobermory. The Bruce Trail passes through the Niagara Escarpment, which has been recognized as a world biosphere by U.N.E.S.C.O. Finally, Parks Canada oversees the operation of Brock’s Monument and also has a walking tour of the historic sites associated with this important battleground.

IMG_0070The Niagara Glen is a unique spot of beauty deep in the Great Gorge that has been a designated Nature Reserve since 1992. Stairways lead to 4 km (2.5 mi) of paths that wind through a pristine pocket of Carolinian Forest, past boulders left behind as the Falls eroded through the area thousands of years ago. Visitors should be aware that hikes through the Niagara Glen involve an elevation change of over 60 m (200 ft). Proper footwear suitable for steep and rugged terrain is required. The trails are well laid out and easily negotiated if you take your time! There’s lots of interesting geology and biology to explore. The Niagara Glen is a Nature Reserve that contains wild flora and fauna (plants and animals). Please observe all posted regulations, stay on trails that are marked and follow generally accepted trail etiquette. Fires are not permitted ake only photos, leave only footprints! The Niagara Glen overlooks the Niagara River Whirlpool, a unique natural phenomenon that you must see to believe! Thousands of years ago, as the Niagara River slowly eroded its way through the Niagara Escarpment, creating the Great Gorge, a right-angle turn in the river’s path forced the rushing water into a deep counter-clockwise spin.

winery Niagara-on-the-Lake, often called the loveliest town in Ontario, has a long and distinguished history. Stroll back through history and enjoy world class theatre, fine dining, shopping, our estate wineries, farm markets and historical sites. Site of the old Neutral Indian village of Onghiara, it was settled at the close of the American Revolution by Loyalists coming to Upper Canada, many of whom had been members of the much feared Butler’s Rangers based during the American Revolution at Fort Niagara, then under British control. In 1781 the British Government purchased land from the Mississaugas; a strip of land 6 miles wide along the western bank of the Niagara River for “300 suits of clothing”.

By 1782, 16 families had become established and had cleared 236 acres. In 1791 part of the military reserve at the mouth of the river was chosen as the future townsite. In 1792, Newark – as it was named by Governor Simcoe, became the first capital of the newly-created colony of Upper Canada, and the legislature met here for five sessions, until Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe moved the capital to York. By 1796, 70 new homes were built, and the town continued to prosper as the economic, administrative and judicial centre for the Niagara Peninsula. The physical appearance of the town, with the exception of the powder magazine at Fort George was virtually erased by the burning of the town by the Americans during the war of 1812.

Rebuilt, Niagara became an active commercial centre, with a busy shipping and ship-building industry, as well as many shops and warehouses. The beautiful old homes lining the tree-shaded streets attest to the prosperity of its citizens.

 Page 1 of 2  1  2 »