You Heard It Here at the Bala Cranberry Festival

For three decades, the Bala Cranberry Festival has drawn thousands of people to the Muskoka region of Ontario celebrate everything to do with the delicious ruby-red berry as it is harvested in fall.

With tons of great food and vendors, as well as incredible tasting and tours at two of the province’s best-known cranberry farms, the weekend after Canadian Thanksgiving is jam-packed with incredible things to see and do.

And don’t forget the music.



It’s only fitting that the home to The Kee To Bala will showcase incredible musicians at the 30th edition of this annual event, including The Stampeders on Saturday, October 18.  The iconic Canadian rockers will perform all their hits, including their classic Sweet City Woman, and set the celebratory tone for anniversary weekend. (Tickets available at The Kee, TicketBreak or Bala Falls Pub.)

Other artists appearing at multiple stages throughout the event include Sean Cotton, Valley of Kings, Jenn Morin, Leah Barley, and Small Town Road. Live DJ performances are happening as well, and tons of entertainment for the kids too.

For more information on entertainment at the Bala Cranberry Festival or a schedule of events and performance locations, click here. To plan your getaway, click here.

The Bala Festival takes place October 17-19, 2014 - always the weekend after Canadian Thanksgiving!


Cranberries: We Love You Berry Much

It goes without saying that the favourite fall colour in these parts – is red!  With two of the province’s largest commercial producers of cranberries located near Bala, we’re proud to be known as the “Cranberry Capital of Ontario.”

What’s the big deal about cranberries? Not only are they incredibly healthy to eat – chock full of nutrients and anti-oxidants – but they’re also gorgeous, tasty and versatile when it comes to how you can use them. 

Think cranberries are only meant as a side sauce for Thanksgiving or Christmas? Consider a visit to one of our local marshes to learn a hundred ways the cranberry is king.


Iroquois Cranberry Growers


Owned and operated by the Wahta Mohawks, and located just off highway 400 near Bala, a visit to the store at Iroquois Cranberry Growers will introduce you to just about everything yummy you can make with a cranberry. From jams to chutneys, fresh frozen berries to pure cranberry juice, be prepared to have your taste buds tantalized when you walk through the doors. Walking trails are also located around the marsh as well, and watch for the harvesting of fresh berries in early October each year.  

For more information on the Iroquois Cranberry Growers, including directions to their marsh, click here.

Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh

Johnston's Cranberry Marsh

A family-owned and operated farm, Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh is known as one of the most popular year-round attractions in Muskoka. Offering a huge array of cranberry products in their shop, as well as their signature “From Bog to Bottle Discovery” tour, they also operate an award-winning winery that produces wines from fruits indigenous to Muskoka (the blueberry also grows here) and welcome visitors to use their extensive trail system in all four seasons.

For more information on Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh, including directions to its location, click here.

Visit Iroquois Cranberry Growers and Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh during the Cranberry Festival, and drop by their booths in downtown Bala during the event to check out their incredible products.

The Bala Festival takes place October 17-19, 2014 - always the weekend after Canadian Thanksgiving!


The Bala Cranberry Festival: Get Away & Stay

Celebrating 30 years in 2014, the Bala Cranberry Festival is an annual tradition that sees thousands of visitors from all over the world come to this small village with the “berry” big heart – always on the first weekend after Canadian Thanksgiving. But as we’re located in one of the most popular destinations in the province, why not stay longer and experience more?

Stay Longer & Experience More

Though known primarily as a summer destination (and voted by National Geographic Traveler magazine as one of the world’s Ten Best Trips of Summer), Muskoka is open for business all year round – and offers extra-special appeal during the autumn season. 

 Against a backdrop of pristine blue waters (including the Moon River and the Bala Falls) and colorful trees, you’ll find many ways to experience the leaves changing in these beautiful Canadian woods. 

From paddling to hiking, from fishing to biking, from cruising the lakes to relaxing at a spa, there is much to make your extended stay unforgettable – in addition to attending the Cranberry Festival.  (And don’t forget that a visit to the local cranberry marshes (Iroquois Cranberry Growers and Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh) is a year-round option. Enjoy their delicious products in every season, and head out onto the trails around each marsh as well.)

Take advantage of off-peak rates, no bugs, and more choice at area accommodations before and after the festival. (For the weekend itself, be sure to book early as availability dwindles during our popular event – everybody wants to celebrate all things cranberry with us.)

 For “Friends of the Festival” accommodations suggestions (ask about Cranberry Festival packages), click here. For more accommodations ideas and ideas on things to see and do, visit the regional tourism organization’s website at or Muskoka Tourism.

See you in Bala!

The Bala Festival takes place October 17-19, 2014 - always the weekend after Canadian Thanksgiving!

Welcome To Bala

Located on the western-most side of iconic Lake Muskoka, a visit to the village of Bala leaves folks feeling like they’ve experienced Ontario’s cottage country at its charming best.

 Home to two of the province’s biggest commercial cranberry producers (Iroquois Cranberry Growers and Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh) and an award-winning winery, Bala also has a long history of attracting travelers with its unequaled beauty (be sure to bring your camera to capture the Bala Falls, and the Muskoka River becoming the Moon River, which then empties into Georgian Bay), and by unique things to see and do while you’re here.

Stop in at the Bala Museum and experience life in Muskoka during the early 20th century. The museum pays tribute to Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables and The Blue Castle, who visited Bala in 1922.

Take in a performance by the Actor’s Colony Theatre during the summer season, a fantastic group of professional and amateur thespians who are dedicated to continuing the tradition of 80 years of summer stock theatre in Muskoka.

Marvel at the wonder of the season and of community spirit during Bala’s annual Trek To Bethlehem event, where the whole town gets in on the Christmas action.

Rock out at Ontario’s favourite summer concert venue, The Kee To Bala – a Canadian music tradition since 1942.  Over 70 years of showcasing incredible performers, from Duke Ellington to Snoop Dog. (Don’t miss a special celebratory concert during the 2014 Cranberry Festival at The Kee featuring The Stampeders.)

Kids young and old will enjoy a visit to Balacade, a popular arcade that’s been running for over 50 years, or to Bush’s Watersports Park to learn how to have exceptional fun on the water.

In summer and fall, everyone will enjoy sampling the delights at the famous Don’s Bakery, a family-owned establishment that has seriously perfected the scone (among other irresistible treats). And be sure to enjoy a great meal at one of many fine dining establishments located here.

For more information on Bala, Muskoka, click here. For “Friends of the Festival” accommodation ideas, click here. For a schedule of events for the 2014 Cranberry Festival, click here.

The Bala Festival takes place October 17-19, 2014 - always the weekend after Canadian Thanksgiving!

Top 5 Reasons to Attend the Bala Cranberry Festival

1. You’ll enjoy a final getaway to Ontario’s cottage country before the snow flies…

Fall is a great time to visit Muskoka, with fewer crowds, off-peak rates and no bugs!  No need to worry about the volume of traffic heading north on the weekend either – by July and August it’s a distant memory. There’s also plenty to see and do in the region in addition to the festival, and Muskoka in autumn is just as beautiful as in summer…the lakes are even more blue and the stars sparkle brighter.

2. You’ll learn enough about cranberry farming to share around the office water cooler…

When you picture a farmer it’s usually a person toiling on land, but at a cranberry farm the workers are more likely to be half-immersed in water.  (Who knew – right?) Whether you head out to explore the two local cranberry farms their products (including an award-winning winery at one location), or just want to stay in Bala to sample these ruby-red beauties at the 

3. You’ll experience more than just cranberries…

Even if you aren’t into cranberries, there’s a ton of great stuff happening at the Bala Cranberry Festival each year. Check out the restaurants, shops, markets, vendors, entertainment, and much, much more (including a special performance by The Stampeders at The Kee to Bala). It’s a weekend of fun and flavor you’ll want to experience annually and a super time for the whole family!

4. You’ll be completely charmed by the village of Bala…

It’s cute, it’s quaint, it retains a rustic charm – and it’s a place of long-standing traditions for locals, visitors and cottagers alike. Come and experience Bala and discover why folks love it so.

5. You’ll be in good company – millions of attendees can’t be wrong…

Celebrating our 30th anniversary in 2014, the Bala Cranberry Festival keeps getting better and better. With an estimated attendance of just under a million people since this volunteer-driven event began, we’re looking forward to welcoming new crowds and old friends to the most popular destination weekend in Ontario during the fall season. We hope to see you too!

For more information on visiting Muskoka in fall, click here. To plan your accommodations, click here or visit our Friends of the Festival accommodation page (and ask about festival packages). For more information about Bala and the Muskoka Lakes area, click here.

The Bala Festival takes place October 17-19, 2014 - always the weekend after Canadian Thanksgiving!