Cannington’s Dog Sled Racing & Winter Festival Is The Perfect Canadian Weekend

on January 24, 2013

Is there anything more Canadian than spending a winter weekend watching a good old-fashioned mutt marathon?

The Cannington Dog Sled Races & Winter Festival (MacLeod Park, Cannington ON) has announced its ninth season taking place on January 26 and 27. About an hour’s drive from Toronto and 45 minutes west of Peterborough, the Cannington event is perfect for a quick weekend family adventure. Last year’s event drew over 5000 visitors.

For a small town, it’s the perfect tourism boost as bed and breakfast spots in the area are almost always booked up by the time the event rolls around.

Don’t worry if this is your first dog sled racing experience… I needed a primer myself.

The course is made up of farm field, railway bed and hardwood bush. Prepared by the local snowmobile association it is approximately 10-14 feet wide promising to be easy enough for newbies while also being challenging enough to draw attention from some of the top racers in North America.

Make no mistake, dog sled racing isn’t a joke. There is a $10,000 purse for winning canines and racers and we’re expecting 80+ competitors.

In terms of options, there are sprint races for four or six dogs, ski-joring for one or two dogs, novice two-dog races and even a kid and mutt race available. Registration is still open and has been for the last year.

As the event is one of Cannington’s most high-profile, other attractions are also set-up to compliment the races.

On Friday night the event begins with a live music concert/dance. Melissa Payne (Emerging Artist Award Winner) performs and is joined by The Stone Sparrows. The Stone Sparrows have combined their diverse backgrounds in classical, funk, soul, blues, jazz, bluegrass and folk into a unique sound all their own. This is one show not to be missed. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Age of majority required. See website for more details.

On Saturday night, there is a Comedy Night starring Andrew Chapman (former host of CRUNCH on YTV), Steve Cox (Comedy at Club 54, Much Music, Mike Bullard Show) and Miller Crosby (Just for Laughs, Comedy Now). Advance tickets can be purchased for $25 or at the door for $30. Age of majority required. See the website for more details.

During the weekend there is: an ice sculpturing contest, petting zoo, snowshoeing, dog sled rides, pony rides, horse and wagon rides, vendors and a host of activities for your kids. New this year is “BodyZorbs” – smash, crash, roll and become a human ball in the amazing BodyZorbs! Plastic life-size balls for interactive smashing laughs.

For more information, check out