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Simcoe Rising Star Karen

Everyone deserves a chance to shine

We know you’ve seen American Idol and Xfactor. We know you’ve got hidden talent. We also know that the thought of performing in front of judges and an audience probably makes you want to projectile vomit.  Well, we have a solution that could give you the best of both worlds.



Barrie Minor Baseball, for a Summer that’s out of the Park

Barrie Minor Baseball

The Barrie Minor Baseball Association has everything lined up to help you and your child have a summer that’s right out of the park!

From skill development clinics to its recreational league and umpire clinics, Barrie Minor Baseball still has spots for those who want to get on the field this spring. Barrie Minor Baseball action takes place in parks throughout the city as well as at the city-owned Barrie Sports Complex in Midhurst.

In recreational baseball – or house league – in Barrie, children and young adults play with others their age; they cannot skip up an age bracket.

Kids age 4 can pick up a bat and start learning the basics, with BlastBall, which teaches the basics like hitting a ball off a tee, fielding a hit ball and throwing a ball. The youngsters play in groups of six for an hour each week.

T-ball is likely what you imagine: the batter hits the ball off a tee and those in the field try to throw the ball or tag the runner out. Barrie Minor Baseball doesn’t keep scores and standings for T-ball and Jr. T-ball, so kids can have fun and learn the game without the pressure of winning.

Levels of Baseball in Ontario

Other variations of the action are Coach Pitch, the supportive skill-building game in which the team’s coach pitches to the batter and Rookie Ball, in which a pitching machine is used. At the Rookie level, there are teams for eight and nine-year-olds, and game night is Monday.

The on-field competition goes up a notch in Mosquito, when a player from the opposite team pitches. Minor Mosquitoes – who don’t bite – are 10 years old and Major Mosquitoes are 11. They play on Wednesdays.

Peewee action begins at age 13 and Bantam at 15. The action continues for 18-year-old Midget players and up to 21s are Juniors.

Regular season action starts mid-May and runs until the last week of August, which is topped off with a Championship Day on the first Saturday after Labour Day.

All your child needs is a glove, running shoes (or baseball cleats), a batting helmet or helmet cage, and protective athletic support to get in on the action at the diamond – along with a drive to have some fun!

Most games begin at 6:30 pm., for those for the younger players, including BlastBall, Jr. T-Ball, Coach Pitch, Rookie Ball, Mosquito and Peewee. Bantam and Midget game times vary based on South Simcoe Baseball scheduling. A complete summary is available online on the official Barrie Baseball website.

Registration fees, which vary by age and program, cover:

  • Field costs and if applicable, field lighting costs, to the City of Barrie
  • Uniforms, including a jersey, pants and hat
  • Umpires’ fees
  • Team equipment including baseballs, bats, bases and catcher’s gear
  • Team and individual photos
  • End of season awards
  • Player and coach insurance

Barrie Baseball Registration

Early-bird registration ends March 31; after that, fees rise by $25. Blastball is $110 and Jr. T-Ball $135. For Coach Pitch and T-Ball, the fee is $170; for Rookies and Mosquitoes, $270. More baseball registration information can be found online. Rep and Select Teams are already formed and training is underway.

If you’d like to get in shape before the season starts in May, you can join The Warehouse, located at 49 Truman Rd., Unit 20 (at the rear of the building). Adults can apply to be an assistant coach when they submit their registration for their child.

There’s nothing more Canadian than a Maple Syrup Festival

Wye Marsh maple syrup festival

Make the Wye Marsh’s Maple Syrup Festival your first spring day trip, and explore the taste and heritage of maple syrup. Watching the sap run from tapped trees, and smelling the scented steam as it’s reduced over an open fire, will make it feel like Spring is on it’s way. Add in some pancakes, taffy tastings, and local artisans and you have the annual Sweetwater Harvest Festival.

Maple Syrup and Canada go Hand-in-Hand

Did you know, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, that Canada produces 71 per cent of the maple syrup sold worldwide? Explore the great Canadian maple syrup making tradition as you hike through the maple forest and see the maple trees being tapped. Pay a visit to the sugar shack and hear about how iconic Canadian maple syrup is made and used.

Wye Marsh’s trees are among the more than 1.7 maple trees tapped in Ontario to produce maple syrup, a product that’s exported to restaurants and family tables in countries around the world – the top five being the United States, Germany, Japan, the UK and Australia.

Wye Marsh maple syrup festival

Image via Wye Marsh.

Each year, the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre welcomes spring with a maple festival on the first weekend after the spring equinox. Join everyone in this celebration of spring by enjoying the all-day $5 deal on pancakes and sausage that the Wye Marsh offers. Some might call it breakfast, but it’s a great Canadian heritage meal that satisfies any time of the day. To bottle up this family fun feeling, pick up your own Ontario maple syrup to take home with you.

More than just Maple Syrup

During the maple syrup festival, the Wye Marsh serves up some history – including the traditions of maple syrup, horse-drawn carriage rides, and a chainsaw wood carving demo. The festival adds a touch of today with live music from local performers. The Maple Market features local artisans, environmental groups and entrepreneurs, including Bonnie Bee Honey, Northern Kettle Corn, Wye Marsh Wildflower Gardeners and MWORDS Photography.

While you’re there, you can explore some of the most popular Wye Marsh attractions – including Meet the Creature and their Keeper program, featuring birds of prey and reptiles. These programs let visitors get up close to owls, hawks, falcons and majestic raptors that we see from afar if we’re lucky. Don’t forget to explore the trails as well, and bring along your your camera! Be sure to dress warm and be prepared for ice, snow or puddles.

Maple Syrup Festival Pass and Parking Information

An adult day pass is $10 for non-members and a pass for a family of four costs $30. Children under 2 years old are free, and all prices include tax. You can save 10% by purchasing your pass online. Parking is free; a shuttle – horse and wagon or minivan – runs from the Ste. Marie Among the Hurons’ parking lot. As the two attractions share a driveway off of Hwy. 26, you can’t miss the parking area. For more information, check out the Wye Marsh’s FAQ page.

Property of the Week: 9 Virgilwood Cres

Barrie Real Estate: 9 Virgilwood Cres

Talk about curb appeal! This home on Virgilwood Crescent is dressed to impress.

Sitting on the corner lot of a quiet crescent on the city’s north side, minutes from Georgian Mall, this home is surrounded by gorgeous mature trees. The street is a calm and tranquil getaway from its surrounding amenities, and nicely maintained houses line its sides. Step up to its snappy red front door and enter into a beautiful and calm space.

Read moreProperty of the Week: 9 Virgilwood Cres