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COLUMN: Santa's parade Saturday kicks off festive season

There is lots to do this weekend including your last chance to enjoy the 'must-see' final Rocky Horror shows, says arts and entertainment columnist
2018-11-18 Orillia Santa Claus parade 1
Santa waves to the crowd during the Orillia Santa Claus parade. For the first time this year, the parade will be an evening affair and will take centre stage in the city Saturday evening. Nathan Taylor/OrilliaMatters File Photo

If you are still on the fence about Mariposa Arts Theatre’s Rocky Horror show, hop off! Rocky is garnering rave reviews all over town and is definitely the must-see this year. Tickets are almost sold out for the last remaining shows this weekend, Thursday to Sunday, so what are you waiting for? Get your tickets now, here.

Similarly, this Sunday (Nov. 20), hop off the fence and go see William Prince with special guest Le Ren in a fundraising concert supporting the Orillia Youth Centre and Rama Youth Services. This tour has also had rave reviews, so don’t miss your chance to check out this incredible live music at Fern Resort.

Doors open at 6 p.m., and there will be a free shuttle bus leaving at 5:20 p.m. from the municipal lot across from Brewery Bay. Tickets can be purchased online here or you can pick them up at Dapper Depot Menswear and Alleycats Music and Art in Downtown Orillia.

This is another Roots North Music Festival Revisited show, and you can now also get your earlybird tickets for that music festival, which is taking place April 20 to 23, 2023. The $50 weekend pass gives you access to all the headline entertainment at St. Paul’s Centre on both Friday and Saturday evenings of the festival. Go here to purchase, and for updates about the festival.

Music and Mocktails is still going strong, Thursdays from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Orillia Museum of Art and History. You get free admission to the museum, a free signature mocktail, and, this week only, Lakehead Social Work students are hosting a mural-making event. Music this week is by the always awesome Steph Dunn. So, come on out. A really fun way to ease into the weekend.

Speaking of the museum, check out the PA Day camps run there on each PA day. The next one is Nov. 18, so sign your kiddo up today.

Also at the museum, sign up for a workshop in lino block holiday card-making, hosted by Xavier Fernandes, on Dec. 7 from noon to 2 p.m. Price is only $25 for members and $30 for non-members and includes all materials. Click here to sign up.

This Friday from 6 to 9 p.m., Cloud Gallery hosts the opening reception for Patricia Clemmens’ solo exhibition. Free booze, delicious food catered by The Common Stove, and a chance to see firsthand Clemmens’ incredible works, in the main floor gallery.

Reserve your free ticket online and automatically be entered for a chance to win a $250 gift card at the reception. RSVP by phone at 705-330-5445, or via email at to be added to the guest list.

This Saturday is the Orillia Santa Claus Parade, starting at 5 p.m. That’s the official start of the Christmas season in Orillia, in my books, and it’s going to be a doozie. We have Christmas events ad infinitum, and they all look fabulous. I am going to give you a quick rundown on them in next week’s column, so you can plan ahead, so, stay tuned.

Meantime, do not forget about the Orillia Regional Arts and Heritage (ORAH) Awards, Wed. Nov. 23 at 6 p.m., at the Orillia Opera House. Free admission, meet and mingle with snacks and cash bar in the Green Room at 6 p.m., then head upstairs to the Lightfoot Auditorium at 7 p.m. for the awards ceremony.

There are 19 incredible nominees, in five categories. Come see who will be the amazing awards

recipients, and celebrate all of the nominees’ incredible accomplishments.

It’s a red-carpet affair, so dress up, bring your friends, and come take a selfie. This event will be livestreamed through the Orillia Museum YouTube channel. See you there!

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