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Announcements & Press Releases

Stratford's Swan Parade Weekend Celebrates the Arrival of Spring

Stratford, ON
For Immediate Release: Thursday, March 20, 2014 NEW DATES!

Stratford salutes spring with a weekend of family fun on April 12th & 13th as our graceful, yet feisty feathered ambassadors parade to the Avon River!

The festivities begin on Saturday with the Swan Quest, a search for decorated topiary swans in Stratford's heritage district; free horse-drawn carriage tours; photos with BJ the swan mascot and a swan inspired children's book launch. The highlight of the weekend is Sunday's Swan Celebration, one of Canada's most unique events announcing the arrival of spring along Lakeside Drive (between Waterloo St. and Morenz Dr.) from 12 noon - 3:00 pm. The Swan Parade, marking the return of the swans to the Avon River begins at 2:00 pm on Sunday.

Saturday, April 12th
* The businesses of downtown Stratford present the Stratford Swan Quest; distinctive topiary swans are decorated and displayed in front of downtown businesses celebrating the arrival of spring. Shoppers are invited to find all twelve swans and nominate their favourite for the People's Choice Award and a chance to win a $100 City Centre shopping spree. Ballots are available at each shop with a decorated swan and at Stratford Tourism Alliance where completed ballots will be received until 5:00 pm Sunday, April 6.
* Want to learn more about our feathered ambassadors? Join us on Guided Swan Walks. Stories about Stratford's swans are shared as you view the swans in their winter quarters and see popular nesting spots. Tours begin at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm at the William Allman Arena. Tickets are $7 per person and are available on-line for tours on Saturday and Sunday or at Stratford Tourism Alliance.
* Free horse-drawn carriage rides will be offered courtesy of the businesses of downtown Stratford from 12 noon - 3:30 pm (Sat & Sun) departing from Memorial Gardens, Ontario Street.
* Swan Children's Book Launch: Meet author, Tara Trachsel Green as she reads Sammy the Swan's Summer Adventure in Stratford on Saturday at 1:30 pm at Stratford Tourism Alliance and Sunday at the Kiwanis Centre. Signed copies will be available for sale following the readings.
* Pose for photos with BJ, the official swan mascot at 11:30 am, 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm at Memorial Gardens on Ontario Street.
* Watch for street performers downtown and a Dance Arts performance at City Hall at 12:45 pm.
* Innkeepers Dinner: Chef Max Holbrook recreates a historic menu reminiscent of dinner in the Huron Tract Inns during the late 19th century. Music, short snappy speeches, silent auction and fun. Proceeds support the Stratford Perth Museum. Tippling begins at 6:00 pm and dinner at 7:00 pm at Knox Church.

Sunday, April 13th
* Bring your family to the Swan Celebration from 12 Noon - 3:00 pm along Lakeside Drive. Enjoy Stratford's own Freddy Fusion Science and Magic show, an original puppet show, music, chainsaw carving, Bogle the Clown, Playmakers! Theatre School street performers, face painting, castle jumper, swan hats and crafts for children - all free.
* Guided Swan Walks are offered at 12 noon and 2:30 pm beginning at the Wm Allman Arena. Reserve tickets on-line .
* Street food trucks offer tasty menus along with a charity BBQ and complimentary Tim Horton's coffee and Timbits.
* Enjoy a dance performance by Onstage Dance Studio, then learn the steps, a swan book reading, face painting and swan crafts by Kids Play Perth inside the Kiwanis Community Centre from 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm.
* A Swan photography exhibit by Vlodek Tydor offers a charming view of nature and a chance to meet the artist.
* A swan tribute unveiling takes place at 1:40 pm honouring both the late Ted Blowes and Robert Miller for their dedication and community leadership.
* At 2:00 pm, the Swan Parade, organized by the volunteer Civic Beautification and Environmental Awareness Committee, begins as The Stratford Police Pipes and Drums lead the swans from their winter quarters along the parade route to the Avon River.
Free parking is available in the Stratford Festival parking lot, corner of Lakeside Drive and Queen Street and along Lakeside Drive east of Front Street. People are encouraged to walk or ride their bicycles to the event.

For more information, a Swan Quest Ballot and a video clip of the swan parade, go to, call 519-271-5140 or 1-800-561-7926, or visit us at Stratford Tourism Alliance, 47 Downie Street, Stratford.
- 30 -

Cathy Rehberg
Marketing Manager
Stratford Tourism Alliance
519-271-5140 ext 2

POSTED ON 2014-03-20

Stratford Says "Cheese" February 2nd - 9th

(STRATFORD, ON) Savour Stratford presents Stratford Says "Cheese" Week to welcome the Canadian Dairy XPO with delicious cheese features at 10 great Stratford restaurants February 2 through 9.

If you like cheese, then you'll love our local chefs' unique variations on everyone's favourite comfort foods, from tasty apps and snacks, to delicious pizza, pasta and poutine - three ways! There's even cheese for dessert. The grilled cheese sandwich is always a hit, and we've got it made with Stratford's Monforte cheese or with three cheeses topped with caramelized onions and smoked ketchup.  If mac ‘n cheese is more your style, try it with local cheddar or kick it up with lobster and three cheeses to satisfy a sophisticated palate. For a different twist, add Canadian Gouda to your burger. Mild or sharp, just Say "Cheese" to satisfy your hunger during Stratford Says "Cheese" week.                                                                              

Go to to learn more about cheese features at each of these participating Stratford restaurants:                                    

Boomers Gourmet Fries, 26 Erie Street
Canadian Grub to Go, 85 Downie Street
The County Food Co., 38 Erie Street
Downie Street Burgers, 107 Downie Street
Fellini's Italian and Mediterranean, 107 Ontario Street
Foster's Inn Restaurant, 111 Downie Street
Let Them Eat Cake Restaurant, 23 Albert Street
Madelyn's Diner, 377 Huron Street
Monforte on Wellington, 80 Wellington Street
The Parlour, 101 Wellington Street

Visit these restaurants and ask for the Stratford Says "Cheese" specials.

For more information, visuals or to arrange an interview, please contact Cathy Rehberg, Marketing Manager, Stratford Tourism Alliance, 47 Downie Street Stratford, ON N5A 1W7.  Tel: (519)271-5140 x 2223 or (800) 561-7926 Email:

POSTED ON 2014-01-30

Savour Stratford Culinary Festival offers Unique Ontario Cask Ales at its Taste of Ontario Artisan Alley, Saturday September 21

-- Award-winning festival showcases local craft brews, VQA wines and artisan cheese makers -

Stratford, ON. Savour Stratford Perth County ( celebrates Ontario's artisan craft brewers in a unique tasting of cask ales at the Taste of Ontario - Artisan Alley on Saturday afternoon, September 21, at the Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival.

In keeping to its commitment of featuring the best of Ontario's local foods, this year's Festival will extend the culinary tasting to a selection of limited-run, cask ales - the freshest beer one can taste. Using traditional ingredients - malted barley, water, hops and yeast - cask ales are unfiltered, unpasteurized and naturally carbonated. The results are a variety of ales with their own distinctive aroma, flavour and character.

Aaron Brown, Programme Director for the Artisan Alley, says "We are very pleased to offer some exclusive beers for tasting at the Savour Stratford Festival and welcome visitors to sample dozens of select Ontario beers, each offering their unique character". He goes on to say "Even more exciting is that many of the cask ales will be infused with local herbs native to Ontario, including thyme and lemon balm."

Some of the craft breweries offering cask ales will include Flying Monkeys, Niagara Oast House Brewers, Beau's All Natural Brewing Company, and Forked River.

In addition, the festival features booths from 19 Ontario craft breweries and Ontario wineries and in conjunction with Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Ontario artisan cheese makers and Dillon's Small Batch Distillers. Artisan Alley will present a complete range of the best of Ontario's artisan food craftsmanship for a very rich Taste of Ontario experience.

Where: Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival, presented by GE Cafe´ Appliances, Stratford Ontario

When: Saturday, September 21st | 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Admission: Free, Cost of Tickets: $1.00

For more information about the Festival go to or follow on Facebook or on Twitter @SavourStratford #SavourStratford.


For more information, visuals or to arrange an interview, please contact Susan Willemsen, Renee Lalonde or Ashleigh Mair at The Siren Group Inc. Tel: (416) 461-5270. Fax: (416) 778-9047. Email:, online: or on Twitter: @thesirengroup.

Or, Cathy Rehberg, marketing manager, Stratford Tourism Alliance, 47 Downie Street Stratford, ON N5A 1W7. Tel: (519) 271-5140 x 2223 or 1-800-561-7926 Email:, online: or on Twitter: @savourstratford and Facebook: savourstratford

POSTED ON 2013-09-10


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Stratford Tourism Alliance
47 Downie Street
Stratford, ON N5A 1W7
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