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COLUMN: Easter gives rise to return of special events in Orillia, area

After two years of cancellations, Chappell Farms and Hewitts will be hosting Easter-themed events and welcoming kids of all ages this spring
Blair Bailey hamming it up at the piano
Blair Bailey and Friends will be among the featured acts at an April 3 fundraising event at St. Paul's Centre that will raise money to help the humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

We are coming up to the end of March, March break is over, and spring is in the air. Can Easter be far behind?

Easter this year sees the return of two special events in our area: The Hewitts and Chappell Farms’ spring festivals. So much fun (and candy, of course) for the littles in your lives, and a dose of something normal after two very abnormal years. In my mind, this counts as arts and culture!

Chappell Farms’ Spring Festival runs April 9, 10, 15, 16, 17 and 18 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The candy hunts occur at the top of the hour, and you must book your tickets ahead of time here. Tickets are $14 each, kiddos 23 months and under are free, and it’s a BYOB (bring your own basket) affair.

In addition to the candy hunt, there are lots of animals for petting and fun outdoor activities to enjoy. Chappell Farms is located at 617 Penetanguishene Rd., just north of Barrie.

Hewitts Fun Farm’s Easter Event is running April 15, 16 and 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 plus HST when purchased online ahead of time. If purchased at the front gate, tickets are $14 per person. Anyone over 24 months old requires a ticket. Online tickets can be found here.

Admission includes an Easter egg hunt, wagon ride, visit with the Easter bunny, animal visits, and playing in the fun farm. Every child can hunt for hidden eggs, which will be redeemed for a candy loot bag. Hewitt’s is located at 3331 Town Line, just outside of Orillia on the way to Coldwater.

The Orillia Scottish Festival has been planning its return in July 2022 all year and, to that end, has hosted a couple of events, as possible with COVID-19 restrictions. The latest event, on Tartan Day, April 6, looks like a lot of fun.

It’s an evening at Quayle’s Brewery, with awesome beer, food, trivia, and entertainment by Sean Patrick. Tickets are already more than 60 per cent sold, so better grab yours today here.

Of course, this is a fundraiser for the main event in July, so, even more reason to come out.

I have saved the big April event for last. Some folks at St. Paul’s United Church decided they needed to help the humanitarian crisis in the Ukraine, and they have organized a fundraising concert for April 3 at 3 p.m. at St. Paul’s Centre, 62 Peter St. N.

All money raised will be going to the Canadian Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal fund.

The performers are all Orillia-based musicians, including Zachary Lucky, who is of Ukrainian heritage, Julia Johnson’s Sing It! Choir, Blair Bailey and friends, and lots more. Tickets are $25 and $15 for youth ages 16 and under, and can be bought at the door or at St. Paul’s next week during the mornings. Ticket sales are cash or cheque only.

If you are looking for a wonderful afternoon of music and a chance to make a difference, this is where you need to be April 3. See you there!

Have a great week and weekend.

If you have arts news, send it to annaproctor111@gmail.com by Tuesday at noon to be included.