By Kelly McDonald. Photography by Tom Church
For those fortunate enough to have experienced one of our spectacular Lake Huron sunsets, you’d be sure to agree that it’s the fabulous way to round out a perfect day spent in Kincardine.
But what if we told you that the sunset is just the beginning? Because around here, when the lights go down, Kincardine After Dark is just lighting up.
Kincardine After Dark (KAD), is a movement. Celebrating and promoting the live music and entertainment scene in Kincardine—and not just during our peak seasons. Year round, and multiple times throughout any given week, arts and culture come to life. Showcased through live music, events, evening shopping and various other mediums that grace our local restaurants, shops, pubs and stages—offering a wide array of talent, with an emphasis on celebrating local.
Now, we should insert a disclaimer here that ‘After Dark’ is essentially defined as activities that take place ‘after the workday wraps’, so all of you early-birds can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that you don’t have to wait until after the sun sets to soak up some of our local culture!
Shining a light on some of our local champions of this movement is an easy task. These are the real heroes of the movement—the businesses that have embraced the challenge to bring people into our local venues to not only showcase talent, but to support each other. Business promoting other business, artists promoting other artists and creating partnerships that flourish. And these partnerships shine, as we continue to build on the momentum of some great offerings for various ages to enjoy.
Annual Lighthouse Blues Festival Main Stage
So, what can you expect? Let’s dig in! Although no two weeks ever look the same in scheduling, we have a few ‘mainstays’ that are locked in week after week, month after month. Local event calendars are always available and accessible online to check the line-up of regular and special event additions, but you can be sure to expect some consistent after dark experiences at the following haunts:
The Bruce, a restaurant and haven for year-round blues performances (including being home to the award winning and annual Lighthouse Blues Festival held in July) showcases all walks of talent as the stage is graced for their weekly Open Mic Night. Positioned on Thursday evenings, it’s the perfect way to gear up for the weekend—whether you’re behind a microphone or enjoying a beverage on the lakeview patio during the warmer months or partaking inside at this atmosphere rich venue. This stage typically brings in a headliner to keep the evening going, but all are welcome to perform.
Not to waste the momentum, Bar Down in downtown Kincardine plays host the following evening at their weekly Famous Fridays, which spotlights a musical act—you guessed it—every Friday night at 9pm. Local and regional acts are brought in to keep things fresh, and genres can range from country to rock to pop offerings. A great spot to grab some dinner before or during the show at a favourite locale.
Weekends seem to take care of themselves in Kincardine with zero shortage of goings on falling into place organically, so we certainly encourage you to keep yourself in the loop through the Municipality of Kincardine APP. This free download will keep your finger on the pulse—both daily and nightly, and with a changing lineup at varying venues, your ‘After Dark’ experiences will depend on it.
Enjoy a flight of locally crafted beer at Grey Matter Beer Co.
If you’re concerned that we’re just about live music, not to worry! Amidst the vocally blessed and instrumentally talented, one can choose a multitude of other activities and KAD experiences to suit, showcased at unique and historic venues and buildings maintained throughout Kincardine. You can expect (to name a few) trivia nights, comedy shows, live theatre (both professional and local/amateur), sunset paddle board rentals, festivals and events, food and of course, drink! From pubs to heritage designated venues, extraordinary memories are waiting to be made.
We could wax poetic about every venue, every event, or even every beer that you could add to your flight at Kincardine’s premier brewery, Grey Matter Beer Co., but we don’t want you to just take our word about all of this buzz. We were fortunate to share Kincardine After Dark with a popular, regionally based blogger, well versed in all-things-culture. His first-hand account may better entice you to sample our wares, especially after consuming the blog post, entitled ‘Kincardine, You’re Absolutely Wild: Adventures After Dark in a Beautiful Port Town’, detailing an evening spent drinking the proverbial kool-aid, and I think we hooked him. To quote, “There’s a little charge in the air, a certain feeling you pick up on when chatting with the locals”, and we think that you’ll agree.
We can’t wait to share Kincardine After Dark with you, and remember, when the sun goes down, the stars come out.
For more information about Kincardine After Dark, visit kincardineafterdark.com or contact Kincardine Tourism, Toll Free 866-546-2736.