Billy Bulletin Aug. 4-10: Caribana, Osheaga, and Making Air Force One Great Again

The Billy Bulletin appears every Thursday with news about travel and the cities we cover, to help our readers and passengers navigate the week ahead.


What is happening across the land of Billy here at the height of summer?


When last we checked, passes were still available for Osheaga, which has to be the splashiest weekend-long outdoor music festival in a big Canadian city. (Correct us if we’re wrong.) Sure, Lorde will be there, but we’d personally get dorkily excited to see the amateurs of Toronto’s Choir! Choir! Choir! up on stage.

Meantime, if you’re thinking about bringing a headdress or other Indigenous attire as some sort of costume… don’t.


What happened when television’s Top Chef rolled into Beantown? According to a trial now under way, the production and hosts got threatened by some Teamsters who didn’t appreciate the show hiring non-union crew.

The allegations are serious – the court will reportedly hear that someone threatened to “bash” co-host Padma Lakshmi’s “pretty face” – but some commentators can’t help snickering at just how very Boston the whole thing is; as Grub Street suggested: “Anyone who loves a good courtroom drama should either stay tuned, or wait about a year and catch the feature-length film Mark Wahlberg’s already hard at work on.”


Padma Lakshmi


A tax on sweetened beverages, especially soft drinks – or “pop,” as it is known locally – is now in effect. The Cook County measure adds a penny per ounce to the cost of any nonalcoholic drink that contains sugar, or an artificial sweetener such as Aspartame. Want to avoid the tax? You could stick to water to be on the safe side, or prep for decision time by taking the Chicago Tribune’s quiz here. (Hint: Chocolate milk is exempt for some reason!)


Holiday Alerts

Reminder! Ontario observes its idiosyncratic midsummer “civic holiday” on Monday, Aug. 7. For those who don’t know, the occasion goes by different names around the province (sometimes just “August long [weekend]”). In Toronto, it’s known as Simcoe Day after this guy, a colonial-era lieutenant governor who tried to turn this place into a prim little mirror image of Southern England. The project eventually – thankfully – failed pretty hard; and Simcoe now shares his weekend with Caribana, the biggest, most fun Caribbean carnival this side of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s better this way, Sir John.



Most Ontario liquor stores, meanwhile, are open. (Never ask us to explain how holidays in Ontario work; no one knows.)

Meanwhile, in St. John’s, N.L., Wednesday, Aug. 9 is either Regatta Day – or it’s not. The timing of the city’s big summer holiday is, as far as we know, the world’s only day off that depends on the weather.

Aviation news

Two recent pieces of aviation news have come together: First, no one is buying 747s anymore, which presumably means Boeing isn’t really set up to build lots of them at a good price. Second, the U.S. will need to replace the present, aging Air Force One before long (“Air Force One” is actually a duo of identical 747s). Now Boeing is reportedly eyeing a chance to buy two nearly new 747s off a defunct Russian airline and convert them into the next generation’s Air Force One. Currently languishing in the Mojave Desert, the surplus aircraft could be converted into the POTUS’s personal ride in time for Donald Trump’s second term. (Kidding! … Defence contracts are always delayed; they’ll never manage in time.)


A comparison of Air Force One with Donald Trump’s personal 757

Billy Bulletin Aug. 4-10: Caribana, Osheaga, and Making Air Force One Great Again
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