Annual Events in Downtown Historic Perth Ontario

The following list is a partial list of annual events in Perth. No matter what time of year it is - there is always something happening in Perth that will make your visit an interesting one. Where possible, a link to specific information is provided.

For a specific list of events, various organizations in town carry detailed events listings - here they are in one spot for your convenience:

  1. Town of Perth - Calendar of Events

  2. Perth Chamber of Commerce

  3. Lanark County Calendar of Events

The Festival Notes Newsletter by Garry McWilliams often review articles about festivals, including Perth Festivals, and carries many suggestions for Festival organizers.

The Travel Writer Pat Mestern also has some good review of Perth - A Wee Bit o’ Perth and Festival of the Maples

Check out the entertainment all year round at Perth Live Theatre and Music

Parking in Downtown Perth

If you are coming into town, Perth provides 2 hour free street parking in certain marked downtown areas. However, it is highly recommended that you use the convenient parking lots adjacent to the downtown area. Day long parking is available for approximately $4 and is free on weekends. The "on the street" parking has some rules that could inadvertently get you a fine if you don't know them. You may park for up to 2 hours... however should you leave and repark anytime within 5 hours of the original parking you can be fined. Huh?... never mind.. use the parking lots... you can pay over $10 in Ottawa to park for the same time, so Perth parking is the bargain of the year and you can forget about the parking rules.


Polar Bear Plunge

Come watch and cheer for those brave souls who dare to take the polar bear challenge. They do this of course for the good of their health, and to raise monies for local charities and organizations. Call (613) 267-1916 for more information.

Jan-May: Great Plays at the Studio Theatre




Festival of the Maples

Downtown Perth turns on the charm, closes the streets and celebrates the coming of Spring with the Festival of the Maples on the final Saturday of April. Many local vendors of Maple Syrup, Maple candy, and other Maple treats fill the streets with their booths.

Buffalo burgers, beaver tails, and other festival treats can be had from one end of town to the other. Local merchants typically have sidewalk sales to complement the overall festival activity.

Empty Bowls Project

In conjunction with the Festival of the Maples, check out potter Jackie Seaton's "Empty Bowl" Project in front of the Riverguild Fine Crafts at 51 Gore Street East. This project helps raise money for River guild food programs at the Perth Food Bank and Youth Centre (YAK).

Jackie Seaton works Together with chefs from various local restaurants. Pick out a bowl made by Jackie and get it filled with hot soup. For your donation (suggested $20) you get to eat the soup and take home the bowl. Whenever you use the bowl in the future it is hoped you will reflect for a moment on the reality of hunger in our community.

See the new The Empty Bowls site for more details.

Annual Perth Museum Spring Art Show and Sale

Celebrate spring at the Annual Perth Museum Spring Art Show and Sale from April 1 to April 30th. This exhibition is showcases new works by talented local artists in a variety of mediums.

On display will be water colours, oils, pen and ink and sculptures. There is something for everyoneÂ’s taste and budget. A percentage of each sale goes towards maintaining the Perth MuseumÂ’s collection.

The elegant Matheson House home of the award winning Perth Museum, is located in downtown heritage Perth. You can experience an intimate view of the lifestyle of the prosperous Scottish merchant and his family who lived in the house for 90 years. This popular tourist attraction, built of local sandstone in 1840, is a National Historic Site.

The four period rooms have been carefully restored and furnished with original items and the museum features a full calendar of exhibitions in the main gallery. Visitors not familiar with the history of Perth find the third floor exhibitions fascinating. Permanent displays highlight the pistols from the last fatal duel , a sample of the Mammoth Cheese , a unique miniature replica of the house complete with furnishings and much more. Outside you will find a charming walled Scottish garden on one side of the museum and a stone courtyard complete with an outdoor bake oven and herb garden on the other.

Spend a day in heritage Perth, enjoy a walking tour of the downtown area and drop into the museum during your visit for a peak at the Art Show and more. The Perth Museum is located at 11 Gore Street East and is open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 1-5pm on Saturday and Sunday. There is a small admission fee and municipal parking is available at the rear of the building. Call 613-267-1947 for more information.

Perth Gun and Hunting Show

Annual Show at the Perth Arena, 2 Beckwith Street East.

For Vendor inquiries- call Jeff (416)654-2612 or Ken (705) 748-9281. Email inquiries at

Buy/Sell/Trade, New/Used/Collectibles - Military Items, Knives, Ammunition, Hunting Clothing/Accessories, Antique/Modern Firearms, Archery and much more.


May/October - Perth Farmer's Market (since 1992)

From May until the fall, Perth features a Farmer's Market. Local farmers and crafts people provide a wide selection of produce, baked goods, crafts, plants, herbs.

Round Garden for the Blind

The Round Garden for the blind is an interesting garden feature that can be enjoyed by all.

May/October - Crystal Palace Market

The Crystal Palace, located on the Tay basin is home to the new Crystal Palace Market. Numerous local craft people display their wares each Saturday throughout the summer. Wide variety of artisan products, plants and flowers and farm produce.


Doors Open Perth

"Doors Open Perth", a chance to explore heritage sites in Perth including the Perth Museum. In 2007 it is held on the 9th of June (10AM to 4PM)

June/August - Perth Citizen Band Concerts

The Perth Citizens Band is Canada's oldest town band. Come listen to this band playing in Stewart Park - bring a lawn chair. Call (613)267-7931 for further information or to hear clips of their music visit their web site.


Stewart Park Festival

Three days of free music can be enjoyed in the peaceful Stewart Park behind the city hall. Typically 20 or more acts provide entertainment for every musical taste.

A food fair along with crafts and childrens entertainment make this a must visit event.

This year the Festival is held July 20, 21 and 22. Be sure to plan to stay after the Festival for after hour sessions in the Downtown Bars and Pubs.

Please note that no dogs are allowed in the park... there a lot of people sitting there.

For more information visit the Festival Web Site

Art on the Lawn Sale

The 10th annual Art-On-The-Lawn Sale will be held again near Perth. Twenty Artists with their original paintings will there.

The Sale will be held over 2 days [ July 14-15 ] at 3054 Rideau Ferry Road - Perth

If you are in Perth, take Gore Street away from Hwy 7 towards Rideau Ferry.


Garlic Festival

It's time to get acquainted with "Budd". Yes - it's chic to reek! The Perth Fairgrounds is the site for local vendors of garlic and garlic products to display their wares.

You have to try the garlic ice cream! Roasted garlic spread on your lowly hamburger makes for a gourmet treat. Displays of crafts and other products make this another must see event in Perth. Check out the Perth Garlic Festival web site for specific information.

Aug-Dec - Great plays at the Studio Theatre


August/September - Annual Perth Fair - Labour Day Weekend

For those who remember the country fair - or want to experience one for the first time - the Perth Fair is the one agricultural fair to experience.  It has been running since 1845.

Bandstand shows, midway, livestock and produce competitions - they're all alive and well in Perth. Make haste slowly and don't miss this Fair.  More information.

September/March - Perth Performing Arts Committee

The Perth Performing Arts Season is held at the Perth and District Collegiate Auditorium.

For more information contact Sharon Davidson at (613)264-8696


Thanksgiving Weekend - Perth Autumn Studio Tour

Local craftspeople open their studios and invite guests to enjoy the autumn colours as they travel from one studio to another. Read more about the Studio Tour.


Festival of Good Cheer

Heritage Downtown Perth takes you back to the late 1800s to present an Olde Fashioned Christmas. A town crier, merchants in period costume, carolling and music in the streets, chestnuts roasting on the fire at the Perth Museum, a special Christmas Farmers' Market, and seasonal specials at the local restaurants and pubs all contribute to the feeling of an Olde Fashioned Christmas.

This Festival has been combined with the Annual Festival of Lights, with the Crystal Palace full of Christmas trees decorated by local merchants and businesses; an old fashioned bon fire; and a Grand finale of Fireworks over the Tay Basin.

Slide show of photos from past Festivals

November/December - Victorian Christmas Open House

The Perth Museum will host a Victorian Christmas Open House starting at the Festival of Good Cheer, and continuing until Christmas. Hostesses dressed in period costumes will serve up hot cider and cookies in the 1840's museum kitchen. Special exhibits along with the restored rooms of the museum will be reveal the history of Perth.


Santa Claus Parade

Perth has an evening Santa Claus parade each year . All floats are of course decorated with light, making for a unique small town experience. Parade Time is 5PM. For more info please call Sheri Mahon-Fournier, 613-264-0123. Click here for a slide show of past parades.

Nick of Time Artisan Show

December and the holiday season are just around the corner and so is Perth's own Annual Nick of Time Show featuring some of the area's finest artisans. Over the years the Nick of Time Show has established itself as in integral part of Downtown Heritage Perth's olde fashioned traditional Christmas festivities at Mcmartin House, 125 Gore Street East, you will be able to enjoy browsing through a wide array of fine arts and crafts. Admission is free.

The Nick of Time show is more than just another craft show. It's a juried show with high quality, one of a kind gift items fashioned by skilled local artisans. It is also a unique shopping experience in one of Canada's most elegant homes. Styled in the Federalist tradition, McMartin House's history goes back to 1830 when a wealthy young Perth lawyer decided to build the most imposing mansion in Perth. Today, 175 years later, we can still enjoy the results of his dreams. McMartin House will host the Nick of Time Show where you will be welcomed into cedar and pine draped halls of the old mansion by greeters dressed in period costume offering up free hot cider and cookies.

Three floors of stately rooms will be filled with a diverse range of creations from heritage pewter, hand woven clothing, and quilting to handmade soap and beeswax candles providing you with unique gift ideas for that special person. The aim of the show is to offer traditional, original, and exceptional items that can't be found anywhere else.

This year, the 15th annual show has gone "green" offering '50-mile' gifts made by artisans using organic, renewable and recyclable materials. Handmade quilts. twig baskets, natural centrepieces and carvings made from driftwood will be among the many green creations.

So step back in time and take a break from the hustle and bustle of Christmas activities to enjoy some relaxed shopping in a truly festive atmosphere. While in town, check out the dozens of unique shops in Downtown Hertiage Perth, stay to watch the Santa Claus Parade and don't forget to visit the Perth Museum for a gracious Victorian open house (1:00PM - 5:00PM) For more information call Bonnie Jehu (613) 278-2712.