By Quentin Schroeder
Everybody loves a good festival. Some festivals stretch down city streets while others seek shade from the summer heat in neighbourhood parks. Edmonton is a hub for big summer events. With more than 50 festivals held annually, it’s easy to see why our city is nicknamed “The Festival City.” After a couple of years of minimal festival action, Edmonton is gearing up for a jam-packed summer.
- Edmonton Craft Beer Festival (June 3 to June 4)
Who doesn’t like a hazy IPA or a refreshing sour in the summertime? Edmonton is home to one of the largest growing beer festivals in the world. This indoor festival at the EXPO Centre pours more than 500 beers from over 100 breweries; the biggest challenge is which beer to sample first.
- Edmonton International Street Performers Festival (July 8 – July 17)
More than 60 international, national and local artists take over Churchill Square for the International Street Performers Festival. Spinning acrobats, energetic dance troops, and fearless jugglers will entertain and dazzle. There’s a “Be Your Own Busker” workshop to impress your friends and an adult cabaret called “Late Night Madness” if you are looking for some big-kid jokes.
- Taste Of Edmonton (July 21 – July 31)
Certainly the tastiest of the festivals. Sir Winston Churchill Square fills up with dozens of local restaurants and food trucks for Western Canada’s largest food festival. Sample a variety of dishes from the most delicious restaurants in Edmonton. Whether it’s sweet snacks, savoury sandwiches or dairy-free ice cream, you’ll be able to taste whatever YEG treat your heart desires.
- The Edmonton Folk Music Fest (August 4 – August 7)
Gallagher Park plays host to this iconic annual four-day music festival. The National, The War on Drugs, and Lord Huron are some of the headliners for this year’s musical guests. Gallagher park also provides festival-goers with a beautiful view of the Edmonton city skyline while listening to great folk live music. Tickets go on sale on June 4 and historically sell out on the same day, so mark it in your calendars!
- Cariwest Festival (August 5 – August 7)
Get your dancing shoes on and wear something comfortable for this festival. Starting off in Sir Winston Churchill Square and spilling into the streets of Edmonton, Cariwest Festival is the most colourful and vibrant festival on this list. This fiesta gives people of Caribbean heritage a chance to share music, cuisine and carnival culture. You’ll find a costume extravaganza, parade and a Caribbean village packed with live entertainment.
- The Edmonton Fringe Festival (August 11 – August 21)
Almost every Edmontonian looks forward to North America’s oldest and largest fringe festival taking over Old Strathcona every August. Before public health restrictions, The Edmonton Fringe Festival never failed to break box office sales and fan attendance records yearly. Hundreds of national, international and local theatre performers bring their creative energy to the streets of Edmonton for thousands of spectators.
COVER PHOTO by Gail and Alfred Buckner