As we approach 2023, wait… 2024? Already? Wow! Anyways… 2023 is soon to be in the rearview mirror, and I think it's safe to say that it has been quite the year for the Railway City!
From the Talbot Street reconstruction in early March to arguably the most eventful holiday season yet, we’ll be reflecting back on some of our personal highlights from the last 12 months.
So without further ado, we at Railway City Tourism invite you to hop in the DeLorean, buckle up, and join us on a trip back through time as we revisit the last year!
Although we kicked off to a cold start in January, it was the perfect opportunity to peruse the Downtown Core and warm up with some of our fantastic local businesses. Whether that was with a hot beverage of your choice at Las Chicas Del Cafe or Streamliners or simply extended browsing at your favourite shops, you certainly made the most of it!
When February came around, the groundhog’s shadow was nowhere to be found, and with that, came an early Spring - well, that was what was supposed to happen at least. Despite the frigid temperatures, there was always plenty to do, especially at the St. Thomas Public Library, which was the perfect place to go to read, relax and participate in the many wonderful activities that they offer!
In March, Talbot Street’s mega makeover was finally underway, and following that, we revamped the famed Downtown Hunt to much enthusiasm! Spanning from April to September, we had record participation, more challenges, more prizes, and ultimately more fun! While competition was intense and many of you took first place, it eventually came down to three winners - you know who you are! Congrats not only to you, but a huge shoutout to everyone who participated and made it such a great experience, we were really impressed and we hope to see you back out there next time!
May the corn be with you! Well, that’s not quite in season until June, but you know what is? Our magnificent markets in and around St. Thomas! From Horton, to Howe’s, to Wildflower’s, and the new Old Imperial Market in Alymer the selection of not only fresh produce, but vendors too, is top tier. That goes without mentioning that the market atmosphere is the premiere place to make new memories with old friends, we honestly couldn’t recommend it enough!
June saw the return of the beloved St. Anne’s Fair to town, which never fails to provide fun for all ages. From the rides, to the games, to the food (personally my favourite part, who else could go for some freshly squeezed lemonade and a funnel cake right now?), there’s truly something for everyone! Personally, I enjoyed the drop tower and Viking ship rides - by that I mean that I observed from a safe distance in abject terror but that’s close enough, right?
July began with a bang! Canada Day festivities this year were moved from Pinafore Park to 1Password Park complete with entertainment, food, and an extravagant show of fireworks to conclude an amazing night. On July 12th, we had our annual Senior’s Day picnic in the park which included a nice barbeque, a car show, and the musical stylings from Studio Arts Music academy here in town.
August was a hot one, which was the perfect excuse to crack open a cold one from one of your favourite one of our favourite breweries around town and cool off with some friends. August was also a busy month for the Railway City! Starting with Elgin County’s Pride Week Celebrations, 2023 marked our second ever Pride in the Park at Pinafore. Despite the rain, the drag performance was absolutely sensational and you could really feel the energy! We also had the the Music and Arts Festival, which showcased the incredible talent that we’re so proud to have in this city
In September, the leaves turned a crimson shade of red and Talbot Street was back open for business and looking brand new! To celebrate, the Downtown Development Board held our very own aptly named Octoberfest, which encouraged people to take a look around at the revitalized downtown. We also went back to our roots and offered free train rides for the day from our replica L&PS station at 605 Talbot, who doesn’t love that? Finally, we can’t forget our downtown Pumpkin Prowl! We saw so many awesome costumes out there and despite the insane amount of candy that we had ready, we ran out with 30 minutes still to go!
November might have been our biggest month yet though. The Horton Christmas Market was certainly one to remember and it was the largest turnout that we have ever had - it was such a blast! That same night, we had our annual Santa Claus parade and my goodness were those floats spectacular, the level of effort that was clearly put into these masterpieces was nothing less than astonishing! Finally, the Downtown Development Board put together our first Light Up Talbot event to coincide with the annual tree lighting at City Hall topped off with hot chocolate, pop-up vendors, and live music!
And that brings us back to the future, nearing the end of December and on the cusp of a new year. With that comes new opportunities to explore what the Railway City has to offer, and as you can see from the momentous year that we’ve just had, you never know what’s out there and the opportunities are endless. We’re truly honoured that you chose to spend parts of your year with us and we’re excited to inform you that we’ve got plenty more in store next time around!
So with that, we wish a Happy New Year to all, and to all a tremendous 2024! We can’t wait to see you this upcoming year!
Hi there! We are here reporting from the L&PS Station - home of Railway City Tourism. We do our best to bring you seasonal and relevant information on what to see and do.
It is not down in any map; true places never are.