Official Tourism Website of Wiarton, Ontario
EARLY SPRING OR 6 MORE WEEKS OF WINTER?
Join Us for Prediction Morning!
February 2, 2017
The Town of South Bruce Peninsula is fortunate to have something that no one else has, an albino weather prognosticating groundhog. As the most famous groundhog in Canada and the only albino weather prognosticator in the world, Wiarton Willie's prediction of the timing of spring is a news event that captures the interests of people around the world. Each year media from around the world converge on Wiarton to hear Willie make his famous prediction.
The Wiarton Willie website receives hundreds of thousands of hits over the course of a few days from people all over the world and thousands more come to visit Willie both at the Festival and at his waterfront home in Bluewater Park.
The Festival has grown tremendously and offers something different each year. Visitors can expect entertainment, fireworks, indoor and outdoor activities, and so much more!
Wiarton loves their beloved groundhog so much that they have branded the town "Willie's Basecamp"! Banners, signs and sidewalks all boast that Wiarton is Willie's hometown.
Willie loves to make new friends so add a visit to the home of Wiarton Willie to your bucket list today!
Join Us February 2, 2017 for Prediction Morning
Wake up Willie with a spectacular fireworks display beginning at 7:00 am in Bluewater Park.
Enjoy Prediction Morning festivities and entertainment beginning at 7:15 am on the outdoor stage located in the Wiarton Arena parking lot emceed by Kevin Forget, Travel Promotions Officer/Ontario Travel Information Centre. There will be special entertainment sponsored by this year's Festival Sponsor Sunwing.ca
See Willie's 2017 Shadow Cabinet, the Queen of the Festival and her court, the McLaren Pipe and Drum Band, Dave Nixon and Brooklyn Hewton, the Town Crier and of course Wiarton's own weather prognosticator, Willie.
Enjoy a free pancake breakfast which will be prepared by the Wiarton Propeller Club, the Wiarton Optimists and the Wiarton Forget Me Nots (Red Hat Ladies). Breakfast will be served in the upstairs of the Wiarton Arena.
The Official Prediction will take place at 8:07 am.
So come on out and join us for what is sure to be a morning filled with fun filled excitement for everyone!
Event Name: Co-ed Sno Pitch Tournament
Event Date(s) and Time(s): February 3, 2017 at 5:00 pm and February 4, 2017 at 9:00 am
Event Category: Sports
Event Description: Co-ed Sno Pitch Tournament
Admission Fee: $150.00 per team
Event Venue: Bluewater Park Ball Diamond 543 Brown St
Event Phone: 519-377-7415
Event Name:Groundhog Jog
Event Date: February 4, 2016
Event Time: Registration 7:30 am Start Time: 9:00 amEvent Category: Sports
Event Description: Every Groundhog Day, there's an opportunity to get out and run a fun 5k! Saturday morning during the Wiarton Willie Festival, the run starts at the high school and sets out around town catching all the sights. So "bridge the gap" between last year's running season and next summer's goals by following these simple steps:
1. Register Right Now to commit & motivate yourself2. Train3. Burn some winter fat!4. Race!
Admission Fee: Sign up Online before January 2nd, 2017 for:$30.00
Sign up Onlinein the new year (January 2nd - February 3 @8pm) for: $35.00
or Sign up at PSDS on race day (cash/cheque only) for: $40.00
Register Online *note online registrations will be subject to an admin fee of approx $4.
Course Route: The 5km run/walk route will start and finish at PSDS and will stay on the west side of Hwy. 6. Participants will not be crossing Hwy 6.
Race Times: Unofficial times will be recorded for runners only. Walkers are most welcome but will only qualify for the random prizegiving during awards.
Race Kit Pick-up: Available Saturday morning from 7:30am until 8:30am inside the front doors of the school. Manual registration is available during these hours at the above premium fee. Please enter through the North entrance and follow signs for runners.
Note: Dress appropriately for the weather please!
Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 male and female runners and to top 3 male and female masters (45+) Additional door prizes will be drawn at random.
Make any cheques payable to: Peninsula Adventure Sports Association
*Registration is Non-Refundable*
Directions to the race start at Peninsula Shores District School (PSDS)
1. Follow Hwy 6 to Wiarton.
2. Once in Wiarton, turn west at second set of lights (George St.) and follow to PSDS.Event Address: Peninsula Shores District School 115 George St Wiarton, ON N0H 2T0
Event Phone: Leigh Grigg (519) 270-8041
Event Website: peninsulaadventure.ca
Event Name: Dan Fries Memorial Dart Tournament
Event Date: Saturday, February 4, 2017
Event Time: 10:00 am RegistrationEvent Category: SportsEvent Description: 4 person team dartsAdmission Fees ($50.00 per team)Event Venue & Address: Boyd St Wiarton, ON N0H 2T0
Event Name: Wiarton Willie Lion's Hockey Tournament
Event Dates:Friday February 3, 2017 starting at 7:00 pmSaturday February 4, 2017 All daySunday February 5, 2017 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Event Category: Annual EventEvent Description: Recreation Teams and Oldtimers CompeteAdmission Fees: DonationEvent Venue & Address: 526 Taylor St, Wiarton, ON N0H 2T0 (Wiarton & District Community Centre & Arena)
Event Email: email@example.com
Event Name: Pool TournamentEvent Date: February 4, 2017Event Times 9:00 am to midnightEvent Description: 8 Ball & Snooker TournamentAddmission Fees: $15.00 per person registrationEvent Venue & Address: 570 Berford St Wiarton, ON N0H 2T0 (Lloyd's Smoke Shop)Event Phone: 519-534-1445
Event Name: Wiarton & District Culring Club's Groundhog Mixed Bonspiel
Event Date: Sauruday, February 4, 2017
Event Times: 1st Draw 8:30 am; 2nd Draw 11:00 am; 2nd game (Draw 1) 1:00 pm; 2nd Game (Draw 2) 3:00 pm
Event Category: Sports, Annual Event
Event Venue & Address: Wiarton Curling Club 563 George St Wiarton, ON N0H 2T0
Event Description: Curling bonspiel for men and women on mixed teams. Entry fee guarentees 2 x 8-end games, continental breakfast, snacks, and hot lunch (meals for curlers only). Prizes for every participant. Cash bar after 11:00 am. Limited to 16 teams.
Entry Fee $140.00 /team
Free viewing of Curling in Club House
Event Phone: 519-793-4193 (Dennis Morton)
Event Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Event Name: Bruce Peninsula Sportsmen's Association Outdoor FunEvent Date: February 4, 2017Event Time: 10:00 to 4:00 pmEvent Category: Annual EventEvent Description: Outdoor hotdogs, ice hut fishing display, and hot chocolate
Event Name: Road Breaker Road Hockey
Event Date: Sunday, February 5, 2017
Event Time: 9:00 am
Event Description: Road hockey for young children from Novice to Peewee ages
Admission Fees: Teams of 5 for $75.00 per team
Event Address: Wiarton Arena Parking Lot (440 George St)
Event Phone: 226-974-1432
Event Eamil: email@example.com
For the past 60 years, the Town of South Bruce Peninsula, or more specifically, Wiarton has been celebrating the Wiarton Willie Festival and is the home of Canada's most famous prognosticating groundhog, Wiarton Willie. Each February 2nd, dark and early, towns' folk and fans come out to hear Willie's prediction. Will it be an early spring or six more weeks of winter?
Many ask, "How did it all begin"? The answer is easy, Mac McKenzie, our most famous resident wanted to have a party for a hundred of his closest friends. He sent out a press release inviting them to Wiarton for Groundhog Day to break the winter doldrums and have a little fun. Well, somehow the media got a hold of the story and a lone reporter came out to see what was going on. After making inquiries all over town, he was directed to the local 'establishment', where sure enough, Mac and his buds were raising an elbow or two. When Mac was asked "where is the groundhog?" he threw a fur hat into the snow. The reporter took advantage of the photo op and the rest they say is history.
Then it seems that three wise groundhogs, Grundoon, Muldoon and Sand Dune broke hibernation to tell Mac of the birth of a white groundhog who would forever alter the world of weather prognostication. The white groundhog would be known for his uncanny ability to correctly predict the timing of spring and he would emerge each February 2nd to announce his prediction to those who spoke Groundhogese.
These prognostications brought locals and visitors from near and far, soon turning in to an annual festival. As Willie's fame grew, so did the Festival. It matured to become the largest winter festival in Bruce County. Willie's position as the premier prognosticator brought more fame to the town and soon Town Fathers realized their icon needed a proper entourage and the "Shadow Cabinet" was created. The Mayor of the Land and of the Marmot, (the only person who can speak Groundhogese); Minister of Inter-Burrow Affairs, (to manage the political affairs); Minister of Hogwash and Hot Air, (to handle the media); Minister of Marmot Management, (to ensure the 'home front' is in good order); Director of Business, Buttons and Bows, (to ensure we are well decorated); Director of Surf, Sand and Fun, (to make sure there are lots of great activities to enjoy) and of course Mother Nature to make it all go well.
So famous had Willie become that in 1995 a statue was erected. With stone donated from the Adair Quarry in Hope Bay and the sculpting donated by Dave Robinson a beautiful white limestone statue called "Willie Emerging" was created. The statue is located in Bluewater Park in Wiarton and is used for many photo ops. Aside from visiting the real Willie, the statue is a 'must see' for most tourists visiting the Town of South Bruce Peninsula.
Now the week-long Festival brings in thousands of visitors and draws national and even international attention.
Event Name: Wiarton Willie Craft Show
Event Date: February 4, 2017
Event Time: 10:00 am to 4:00 pmEvent Category: Food; Exhibitions, Families, Annual EventEvent Description: The 19th annual Wiarton Willie Craft Show will be held at Peninsula Shores District School on Saturday, February 4th from 10: 00 am until 4:00 pm. There will be a wide array of local vendors selling such things as homemade candles, soaps, clothing, jewellry, food, knitted items, wood products, cards and much more. A delicious lunch is available
Admission Fees: Free Admission
Event Venue: Peninsula Shores District School, 115 George St Wiarton, ON N0H 2T0
Event Phone: 519-534-2205 Ext 528
Event Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Event Name: K'NEX Challenge
Event Date: Sunday, February 5th, 2017
Event Time: 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Event Category: Families
Event Description: Come bring your imagination and visit the Wiarton Public Library to take the K'NEX challenge on Sunday, February 5th.
Admission Fees: Free and for all ages
Event Date: 578 Brown St, Wiarton ON N0H 2T0
Event Phone: 519-534-2602
Event Email: email@example.com
Event Name: Ground Hog Jog
Event Name: Wiarton Propeller Club Bid Euchre Tournament
Event Date: February 2, 2017Event Category: Annual EventEvent Description: Play 6 games. Must register as a couple. Games will be 20 mins each. Must Register prior to February 2, 2017 by calling Event Phone number below.
Event Venue & Address: 575 Edward St Wiarton, ON N0H 2T0
Event Phone: 519-534-0135
2017 Queen of the Festival Pageant
Don't miss the 2017 Queen of the Festival Pageant on Friday, January 27, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at the Wiarton Meeting Place (Propeller Club). Admission is just $6.00 for adults and $5.00 for Seniors and all others. Entertainment by the Dave Nixon, Brooklyn Hewton, Steenika Gilbert and Alexa Miller and the contestants themselves. Who will be the People's Choice winner in 2017? This is your chance to vote.
2017 Little Miss Festival Queen Pageant
Come out to see the first ever Little Miss Festival Queen Pageant sponsored by Mother's Fabrics in Wiarton. 7-10 year old young ladies from across Grey and Bruce counties will be participating in this new event. Enjoy musical entertainment by Dave Nixon, Brooklyn Hewton and Maddie Perreault and a special little sing song presented by Dave and the little contestants. $6.00 admission for adults and $5.00 for seniors/others. Arrive early for a good seat at the Wiarton Meeting Place (Propeller Club) on Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.
Event Address: 575 Edward St Wiarton, ON
For information, contact the event organizer, Mary Lynn Standen at (519) 534-9125.
Let’s stroll down the Willie’s Queen lane. I bet you will recognize some of these names for sure.
2016 Pageant Contestants
Photo (Front Row) left to right: Paige Concordia (Spirit Rock Outpost & Lodge) and Alexandra Nixon (Rankin River Trading Co.)
Photo (Back Row) left to right: Mariah Slot (Davis & McLay Insurance), Kaitlin Smith (Forbes Sand & Gravel), Sarah Spragg (Josie’s Fashions), Tianna Krampien (Shear Style Studio), Kristina Mountain (Dockside Willie’s), Emily Urbshott (Hair Solutions) and Channing Miller (Paul Miller Excavating & Landscapes Inc.)
Gateway Haven Senior Shadow Seekers Crowning of Royalty
Event Date: Friday February 3, 2017Event Time: 1:30 pm
Event Category: Annual Event
Event Description: Annual Event that is the crowning of Gateway Haven Residents for Queen, King, Miss Congeniality. "Royalty"
Event Venue & Address: 671 Frank St Wiarton, ON N0H 2T0Event Phone: 519-534-1113
Event Name: BPACL Wiarton Self-AdvocateEvent Date: Friday, February 3, 2017Event Times: 11:00 am to 1:00 pmEvent Category: FoodEvent Description: Bruce Peninsula Association for Community Living offers 100 free take away lunches for Wiarton Willie fans at their 550 Berford St location.Events Venue & Address: 550 Berford St, Wiarton, ON N0H 2T0Event Phone: 519-534-0553
Event Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgEvent Website: www.bpacl.com
Event Name:Cheap Chili Chowdown
Event Organizer: Cedar Masonic LodgeEvent Date: February 4, 2016
Event Time: 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
Event Category: Food
Event Location: Cedar Masonic Lodge 560 Claude St Wiarton, ON (Across from the Fire Hall)
Event Description: This popular event is an inexpensive way to keep you going as you enjoy the various outdoor events throughout the town. The Chowdown runs from 11-2 on the Saturday of the Wiarton Willie Festival. For only $5, you get a bowl of chili with a bun, a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate to wash it down.
As always, the Mason's will serve you either some delicious Willie Chili (meat-lovers heaven...regular flavour or ultra-mild) or if you prefer, Willie's Chili (veggie-delight). This well-guarded recipe is a perennial favourite, served up hot and fresh. It is guaranteed to be the best way to take the chill off a cold afternoon of serious Groundhogging.
Admission Fees $5.00/meal
Event Email: email@example.com
Event Name: St. John's United Church-Pancake Brunch
Event Date: Saturday February 4, 2017
Event Time: 8:00 am to 1:00 pm
Event Description: Pancake Brunch 8:00 am to 1:00 pm at St. Johns United Church on Berford St right beside Town Hall!!. Enjoy some warming hospitality on a cold day along with pancakes, sausage, tea, coffee, and juice.
Prices: Regular Price $8.00; Ages 5 to 10 $4.00; Children under age 5 $Free
Event Venue & Address: 528 Berford St Wiarton, ON N0H 2T0
Event Name: Wiarton District Optimist Club's Fancy Tea
Event Time 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Event Category: Food, Annual Event
Event Description: A fancy tea featuring tea, a light lunch, music and prizes. Wear a hat, dress in 1867 consutme to celebrate Canada's 150th Birthday.
Event Venue & Address: 576 Edward St Wiarton, ON N0H 2T0Event Phone: 519-378-6758Event Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Wiarton Willie Festival Committee appoints Willie’s Shadow Cabinet annually in late November – early December. Being a Shadow Cabinet member is an honour bestowed upon individuals, representatives of the Committee and Community. Shadow Cabinet members graciously show their presence at all Festival events, most particularly, on Prediction Day, February 2.
2017 Shadow Cabinet Members include:
Festival FounderRegan McKenzie (representing her father Mac McKenzie)
Mayor of the Land and of the MarmotMayor Janice Jackson
MPP Bruce-Grey-Owen SoundBill WalkerMinister of Sea, Sand and SunDavid Wright(representing Sunwing.ca)Minister of Hot Air and HogwashStephen Canton(representing Wiarton & District Lions Club)
Minister of Youthful AffairsHunter Lemon (representing Peninsula Shores District School)
Minister of Ancient HistoryArt Haley(recipient of the Ontario Senior of the Year Award)
Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First NationChief Gregory Nadjiwon
Saugeen First NationChief Lester AnoquotTown CrierBruce Kruger
Minister of Bucks and Dough
A thank you to the 2017 Wiarton Willie Sponsors.
SunwingTDBruce PowerOCWATim Hortonsthe Dock 92.3Mix 106.5560CFOSCountry 93101.7 the OneThe Wiarton EchoCaframoJLT CanadaNicol InsuranceSparlingsFoodlandHarold Sutherland ConstructionWiarton Home Building CentreShouldice Designer StoneGeorgian Bay Marble and Stone