Popular Music and Food Festival Kicks Off Tonight in Mississauga

If you're a big blues lover -- or just excited that Port Credit is about to experience the much-anticipated annual festival that's exclusive to Mississauga -- you are in luck! The Tim Hortons Southside Shuffle Annual Blues and BBQ Festival is set to kick off today.

The event, now in its 19th year, is a three-day outdoor music festival held in Port Credit (and this year, it's also working to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary). Although it's known for attracting acclaimed blues acts from around the world, it's aiming to satiate other appetites and offering up its very own Ribfest (hence the BBQ festival part of its moniker).

The festival, which will begin on Friday, Sept. 8 and run until Sunday, Sept. 10, will feature beloved Canadian and international blues musicians, including The Stampeders, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Steve Hill and more. You can actually see a full schedule of performances here.

Attendees can check out the White Oak Ford Blues & Roots Jamstage late tonight and tomorrow at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 82 (35 Front Street North). These events run from 10:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m., so they're ideal for night owls who want to end the summer on a high note. Guests might also be happy to hear that they can swing by Rabba Fine Foods Street Shuffle on Lakeshore Blvd. on Saturday from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

As for the rest of the event, most major performances will take place at Port Credit Memorial Park at the festival's four main stages. The stages include the Sab Memorial Stage, the Fonia Mobile Stage, the Ontario 150 Stage 1 and the Ontario 150 Stage 2.

This year's event will also feature the Bourbon Street Mardi Gras Tent, beer and wine gardens, an artisan market and a BBQ food court.

The first two stages are ticketed. If you're visiting a ticketed mainstage, you'll pay $10 on Friday and $15 on Saturday and Sunday. You can also get a weekend pass for $30.

If you're willing to pay a little extra, you can purchase a daily ($25) or weekend ($65) pass for the Bourbon Street Mardi Gras tent. The tent offers covered seating, a private beer that serves wine, coolers and Mill Street beer and enviable views of the main stages.

Also, since it's officially TIFF time, remember that you just might see a celebrity! According to Ron Duquette, the chair of the Shuffle, some A-listers have crossed the border into our neck of the woods in the past.

“Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp are lovers of the blues and they were both here for TIFF on two separate occasions,” says Duquette. “They came over here with their entourages and got into the music. That happens. People who like that kind of music will come down here. The fact that they were there got a buzz going in the audience.”

As for other housekeeping details, remember to bring your own lawn chairs (seating is not provided). Tickets are non-refundable (even if you’re rained out); the venue is wheelchair accessible and no pets other than service animals are permitted.

For more information, check out the website.

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