FOOD FOR THOUGHT. . . Amherstburg’s Open Air Weekends & The Amherstburg Farmers Market

Let us introduce you now to some of the summer events and activities taking place in the historic and friendly town of Amherstburg.

To begin, Amherstburg’s Open Air Weekends are a recognizable and popular annual event, turning into a favourite and popular festivity to attend since June of 2020.

Recently awarded in 2023, by Biz X magazine, The Most Wonderful Event of the Year, it also earned the Best Street Festival award from the Best of Windsor Essex Awards. These awards guarantee that good times are ahead at this event!

As Jake Kigar, Tourism Coordinator from the Town of Amherstburg explains: “In June of 2020 during COVID, the Town in a community support effort during lockdown, allowed the residents to be able to shop and dine outside, while following all mandates at the time. The popularity of the event has continued to grow and it has become a large summertime staple downtown ever since it began.”

Running from May 31 until September 1, Open Air Weekends has different events taking place, like clockwork, once the streets are closed, every Friday from 3 p.m. to Sunday at 8 p.m.

Some of the various activities include: art workshops with the Gibson Gallery on Sundays; Night Markets on Fridays (more details later), plus business markets on Saturday and Sunday; live entertainment in the streets and in the King’s Navy Yard Park; yoga in the park on Sundays; guided historical tours in King’s Navy Yard Park on Saturday and Sunday; fashion shows throughout the summer and bagpipe parades. As usual they also continue to have the interactive games in the streets like basketball, chess, cornhole and table tennis.

Musical entertainment takes place throughout the Open Air area on the streets, and of course, at the King’s Navy Yard Park gazebo. Musicians are busking throughout the downtown core area on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Music in the Park series (in the gazebo) on Sundays, features local artists Adam Butcher and Justin Jewel.

“Open Air Weekends have become a regional attraction and continues to draw visitors to Amherstburg,” Kigar indicates. “Besides the joy and excitement the event brings to our streets, Open Air also brings visitors eager to experience the best of what our community and our local businesses have to offer. We are excited for another great season!”

For this year’s Open Air, there are plenty of amazing eateries on the list to check out, including Pepper Cat, Royal Sushi House, Artisan Grill, Downtown Espresso Café, Caffeine & Co. Café & Bakery, The Açai Shack and more.

Burger Sixty-Seven (now located at 273 Dalhousie Street in the old Lord Amherst Pub location as of mid June — a gem right in the middle of it all — also returns to the Open Air line-up.

Owner David Bshouty comments: “We’re excited to participate in Open Air again this year and to nourish a healthier, happier and more connected community.

We’ve witnessed first-hand our community come to life in a relaxed and inviting atmosphere where guests are encouraged to mingle and enjoy all that our downtown corridor has to offer.”

Another really good reason to get down to Burger Sixty-Seven is their legendary burger made for the hungry traveller — the Amherstburg’er — loaded with layers of cheese, bacon, pickles, fried jalapeno, onions and sweet BBQ sauce. To go with it, kick back with a Kentucky Sweet Tea (tea, bourbon, peach schnapps).

“Having participated since 2021 (at their previous location of 67 Murray Street), we look forward to being able to expand our footprint and serve our community in this naturally beautiful environment our downtown and parks provide,” says Bshouty.

The Salty Dog (237 Dalhousie Street is another restaurant participating in the festivities.

“We like to be involved in street festivals and events, being included with other activities, vendors and music for a good time and celebration in the core,” states Owner Kevin Lafontaine. “For Open Air weekends our patio is expanded into the streets to add an extra 25 seats to the restaurant.”

Food for Thought Continues on Page 16