The Grand Dame of folk festivals makes her valiant return to Tudhope Park after a two-year hiatus, as the 2022 Mariposa Folk Festival kicks off July 8th through 10th with a stellar line up and near sold-out tickets. (For real! Get ’em before they’re gone!)
The anticipation is growing as the Festival asks HOW WILL IT FEEL to return to Mariposa? Whether you’ve been in attendance for all 60+ years, or if this is your very first time, the energy is sure to be electric and impossible to contain for just three days.
Situated in the heart of Orillia & Lake Country, the Mariposa Folk Festival is an extension of the year-round creativity, arts and culture that are vibrant in our area. So, make the most of it! Get hyped pre-festival or extend your stay to keep the good vibes going. We’ve got some recommendations to extend your experience and make the most of Mariposa.
Downtown Orillia – Vintage Records, Outdoor Art, Patio Dining
Did you know that there is a dedicated Downtown Orillia Stage for the Festival? And that it starts before the main gates open? That’s right, you can get a sneak peek of the talented musicians hours before they hit up the main venue. The stage starts at 2pm on Friday through Saturday, in the downtown. Shuttle Buses run regularly to-and-from the festival throughout the day so you can get settled at your accommodation, head downtown for the afternoon and then out to the festival grounds for the evening!
While you’re downtown, check out Alleycats Music & Art, a vintage record and poster shop that will be a highlight for any music enthusiast. Records line the walls with a huge collection spanning any number of genres. Pick up some vinyl from your favourite Mariposa artists or find a gem you didn’t even know you were searching for.
Stop in at Apple Annie’s Cafe for some lunch without missing a beat of the Downtown Stage, or stroll the streets and discover hidden gems like Mark IV Brothers just outside the downtown core, or Lone Wolf Cafe heading towards the Port of Orillia.
No matter where you end up in Downtown Orillia, give yourself time getting there as the streets are lined with public art around every corner. This summer’s Streets Alive public art project is all about Flower Power in honour of Mariposa Folk Festival’s 60th anniversary celebration. Larger than life art sculptures showcase the variety of artistic talents from the local community. Be sure to walk the Orillia Arts District on Mississaga and Peter Streets with a series of galleries and art shops featuring even more artist exhibitions and sales.
Enjoy a lunch or early dinner on a patio! The Common Stove has an intimate alley patio to enjoy a glass of wine and some fine dining. Enjoy some tapas at Picnic Tapas & Wine Bar‘s back patio. The whole family will love the front patio at Brewery Bay Food Co. or Rustica Pizza Vino. Bakes By The Lake Bistro and Shine Orillia Plant Based Kitchen both offer fantastic gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan menus. If you’re not in a rush to get to the festival grounds for line ups at the gate, stick around downtown for See You on the Patio Friday Night street closures featuring Orillia Farmers Friday Night Market, Orillia Arts District Art Hop, walkable downtown streets and even more pop up patios and vendors.
Explore the Great Outdoors – Paddling, Cycling, Treetop Adventures and Trails
Part of the allure of Mariposa is the location, situated at Tudhope Park along the shores of Lake Couchiching. Orillia & Lake Country shines with many natural landscapes from beautiful blue waters to rolling hills of canopied forests. Set out onto the waters of Lake Couchiching following one of our Orillia & Lake Country Paddling Routes. Kayaks can be rented right at Tudhope Park from Kayak-ity-Yak‘s Pop Up tent (outside festival grounds by Moose Beach). Alternatively, head over to Couchiching Beach Park for kayak rentals from A Breath of Fresh Air Outdoor Sports.
Did you know you can get to the festival by bike? In fact, it’s encouraged! Save on gas and the stress of parking your car, follow one of the recommended Getting Here Routes and the festival has on-site bicycle compound lock ups. If you’re looking for a mid-festival break or want to keep on rolling post-festival, there are many cycling routes throughout our region. The Orillia Millennium Trail connects from the festival North along the shoreline of Lake Couchiching, to connect with the Simcoe Loop Trail heading towards the Village of Coldwater and Port Severn. Continue South out of Orillia to follow along the Lake Country Oro-Medonte Rail Trail.
Set out on a cycling adventure with Humdinger Bicycle Tours following the festival. Embark on a 3-Day Self-Guided Simcoe Loop Trail Tour or challenge yourself to the Self-Guided Simcoe Loop + Georgian Bay 5-Day Tour kicking off July 11-15. Hang around the area for a few extra days to decompress from the festival and then head out on the popular Pedals, Pints & Pubs 2-Day Tour featuring local craft breweries Couchiching Brewing Co. and Quayle’s Brewery.
Perhaps you’d like to immerse yourself amongst the canopies of the area’s forests for the ultimate nature escape. Hiking trails are available for every level. Scout Valley, Grant’s Woods, and Black River Wilderness Park offer loop trails all within a 10-15 minute drive from Orillia. The Lake Country Oro-Medonte Rail Trail, Uhthoff Trail and Copeland Forest trails all offer different terrains and landscapes for hiking. For a real thrill for adventure, check out Treetop Trekking at Horseshoe Resort for a whole new perspective amongst natural greenery.
Keep the Good Times Going – Casino Rama Resort, Orillia Opera House Events
There’s nothing like the thrill of the final main stage and pub tent shows that wrap up the festival. Avoid that post-festival crash and keep the good times going with even more world-class entertainment throughout the region. Casino Rama Resort not only offers gaming experiences but a fantastic Entertainment Centre. On July 15th Steve Earle & The Dukes grace the stage with his powerful songwriting. For something completely different, on July 16th 90’s pop-hit super group, Aqua, hit the stage for some hard-core millennial nostalgia.
The Orillia Opera House has been entertaining audiences since 1895 with legends of music and theatre gracing its stage, including Orillia’s own Gordon Lightfoot. The main 700-seat auditorium is named in his honour and a bronze statue of Gord’s smiling face can be found in front of the historic building. Visit the theatre in the heart of Downtown Orillia and take in a show from their professional theatre Summer Series. Be part of the world premiere of Norm Foster’s latest comedy, Doris & Ivy in the Home which runs matinees and evenings prior to and after the Festival.
Needless to say, the Mariposa Folk Festival is the experience that keeps on giving. It is engrained in the local community, with rippling effects across Orillia & Lake Country. We are a destination that offers memorable experiences in every season, and the Mariposa Folk Festival is one of the best opportunities to discover all that our region has to offer.
Want to know more? Follow @OrilliaLakeCountry and visit us at the festival! Find the Visit Orillia Booth in the Community Village at the Mariposa Folk Festival to pick up an Orillia & Lake Country Visitor Guide and additional information about the region.
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