Once a year food, fashion, artisanal vendors and some of Muskoka’s most talented musicians all come together for a three-day celebration on the shores of Lake Muskoka. For 27 years, the Veridian Dockside Festival of the Arts has drawn hundreds of vendors and thousands of guests to the Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst and this year those numbers are expected to climb even higher.
This year’s Festival runs the weekend of Aug. 17, 18 and 19. There will be ongoing events all weekend for children, a beer garden, live music on stage and, of course, one of the most eclectic mixes of vendors you’re likely to find in one place.
“We’ve been impressed with the response so far,” says Sandy Lockhart, executive director of the Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce, who organize the event. “We’re on pace for a huge show. We have over 100 vendors from across Ontario and we’re still accepting new vendors every day.”
So far, organizers have already lined up bakers, handmade clothing designers, stone carvers, blacksmiths, leather workers and a chainsaw wood carver who will be offering live demonstrations of his trade. “I’m always blown away by the wide range of vendors that are drawn to take part in Dockside,” says Tara Doyle, the Chamber’s manager of programs. “We have dozens of vendors who just love the show and have been coming back for years. Every vendor that take part is screened by a jury of local arts specialists.”
There’s plenty for guests of all ages, as the Kidzone will feature face painting, live animals courtesy of the START Turtle program, arts and crafts and activities at the Muskoka Discovery Centre booth. A variety of musical talent will be on stage, including Nicole Duquette, Sean Cotton, Gina Horswood and Cole and Jess. “There really isn’t another event quite like this,” says Doyle. “We’re also reminding everyone out of the lakes that you make an outing of it by taking your boat right to the wharf, tying up and hitting the Festival and the shops along the waterfront.”
Event organizers say the longevity of the event is largely due to the generosity of the sponsors who show their support. The Veridian Dockside Festival of the Arts runs from 10 am – 6 pm August 17th and 18th, and from 10 am – 4 pm on August 19th with admission by donation. For additional information regarding the festival please visit www.docksidefestival.com or you may follow them on Facebook @DocksideFestivaloftheArts and Instagram @gravenhurstdocksidefestival. The Veridian Dockside Festival of the Arts is organized and coordinated by The Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce, and is supported by local businesses, volunteers, and event sponsors.
Photo Credit: Dockside Festival Of The Arts