6 things to do in Hamilton this weekend

There's more to your weekend than just the World Cup. So for all you England fans who will be watching the festivities from afar this weekend, here's five things in Hamilton to take your mind off an early exit from Brazil.
Steve Featherstone, owner of Little Ray's Reptile Zoo on Barton Street East, hopes the city will amend its responsible pet ownership bylaw to let him keep otherwise banned pythons and crocodiles. The centre is educational, he said, and takes banned reptiles off the city's hands. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

There's more to your weekend than just the World Cup. So for all you England fans who will be watching the festivities from afar this weekend, here's five things in Hamilton to take your mind off an early exit from the soccer in Brazil. 

Soaring Spirit Festival

Join the weekend-long celebration at Gage Park to mark the 18th annual National Aboriginal Day. The day was proclaimed in 1996 by former Governor General Roméo A. LeBlanc to celebrate the unique heritage and diverse culture of First Nations.

Enjoy live aboriginal music and fashion show. There will also be raffles, draws and giveaways. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday,

Cider Fest

What better way to get the mind off soccer than a cold, crisp cider? There will be 15 different featured ciders, but with the annual Cider Fest in Winona, you may want to pace yourself to try them all over the two-day event. The cider starts flowing Friday at 5:30 p.m., and starts again at 1 p.m. on Saturday. If cider isn't your cup of tea, there will be country music and barbecue to get your through the afternoon. 

Something Else!

Don't want to leave the city? The Something Else! Festival of Creative Music is still on, wrapping up Saturday on James North at Hamilton Artists Inc. Doors open at 8 p.m. while the show gets going half an hour later, but be prepared to buy a ticket - which run between $12 and $23 per performance. 

Save the Croc

Little Ray's may have been forced to ship out their crocodiles to conform with city bylaws, but that won't stop them from raising funds to support the population and their habitat. Willow Cove Pavilion at Confederation Park will be the site of Croc Fest. Tickets ($10 for kids under 15 and $20 for adults) get you a BBQ dinner, music (including the cover band, The Practically Hip) and a shot at the Croc Photo Booth. It starts at 1 p.m., rain or shine. 

Remembering John Christie Holland

If you're feeling in the mood for some gospel, that will be the music on tap for a celebration of the life of John Christie Holland - a slave who fled to Hamilton in 1860, who died 60 years ago. On Sunday, Stewart Memorial Church (114 John St. N.) will host the Anniversary Celebration of his life starting at 10:30 a.m.

Cut the cord

The Hamilton International Guitar Festival is on this weekend, but don't expect a rock show. The three-day event is a celebration of classical guitar, and has workshops in the mid-day, followed by concerts in the afternoon and evening. All the concerts will be Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts (126 James Street North), with tickets ranging from $10 to $25.  www.guitarhamilton.com

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