A sure sign that the summer is coming to the end, the Canadian National Exhibition capped off the 2015 season Labour Day weekend by bringing in some great country acts. No stranger to the genre, the CNE/The Ex has been home to some great shows this summer, including country stars Brett Kissel, Dallas Smith, Cold Creek County, Autumn Hill, Alan Doyle (formerly of Great Big Sea bringing in some maritime charm) and Them Dang Rattlers taking over the main stage band shell.
The event did not disappoint from the electrifying shows (which included an onstage proposal at the Dallas Smith/Cold Creek County show - she said yes!) to the wide variety of attractions to the ever popular/horrifying fried food experiments. This year welcomed more rides and games for the kids, a casino, an arts and crafts building full of kitschy and cool gifts and homemade goods, the farm, Celebrity Chefs, a Big Bang Theory art exhibit, stunt shows, parades and so much more.
The farm is the place to go to visit all kinds of livestock and learn more about where all of our farm fresh food comes from, but by far the highlight this year, was the butter sculpture contest which included an entry/homage to the great Toronto Dead Racoon memorial from earlier this summer.. (if you don't know what i'm talking about, the jist of the story is that a poor racoon met his demise in the financial district of Toronto and it took the city quite a long time to pick him up, so city residents began leaving tokens of respect, including flowers, a framed photo and many more trinkets around him as the day went on, you can get the whole Buzzfeed pictorial rundown HERE) Now he has been forever immortalized (or at least as long as refrigerated) in butter!!
Special Thanks for Ray Williams, Staff Photographer from Liveinlimbo for his amazing photos from the Dallas Smith & Cold Creek County show.
For more photos of the event, Them Dang Rattlers, Dallas Smith and Cold Creek County, click Read More below!!
The Northern Comfort Saloon is another great attraction which had been made even better this year! The open air saloon was a great place to relax and catch live country music while enjoying a drink or enough drinks to make you brave enough to take on the mechanical bull. Kelly Prescott, Jaydee Bixby, Cory Marquardt, Marshall Dane, Livy Jeanne, Ty Baynton and James Barker Band (the two latter have both been finalists in Boots and Hearts Emerging Artists Contests) all performed residencies at the saloon throughout the summer.
The highlights of the Ex for me this year were checking out some amazing bands, eating ice cream waffles and making a little stop by one of the psychics. Though I didn't get too creative with my food options this year, the new shock factor foods included: Deep Fried Rice Pudding, Coffee & Donuts Milkshakes, Poutine Balls, Frosted Flake Battered Chicken on a Stick, Deep Fried Red Velvet Oreos, Deep-fried Cheesecake, Blooming' Apple and Timbits Poutine (for those of you not from Canada, Timbits are the Tim Hortons brand name for Donut Holes and Poutine is sometimes referred to as Disco Fries in the U.S. Northeast and consists fries, gravy and cheese curds.. i can't quite wrap my heard around this combo).
We can't wait for next year!! Let the summer tradition continue!