With hot summer weather and many travel decisions to make, we have the guide for what days to stay in town for Calgary’s best summer festivals! Starting with the infamous 4th St. Lilac Fest this upcoming weekend, this blog covers a variety of music, arts, and cultural exhibitions throughout the summer months.
The 4th Street LILAC Festival
Sunday, June 3rd, 10am-6pm
This annual downtown 4th street takeover is a magical time of every year in the city where a lot of our culture is showcased. With hundreds of different types of local business vendors and charities / foundations displaying their colorful products and services, the festival is quite the happening place to be. Please for your own good, go down with the fam jam and even the pup on a leash and enjoy the cultural community that comes alive with thousands upon thousands of people stroll through looking to get their hands on the next local vendors craft. This is one of the most family friendly events out there with everything to please, and becoming more musically friendly showcasing emerging local artists throughout the day. Who knows, you might even see us there! 😉
Since 2007, the people behind this amazing festival, which mimics somewhat of a ‘SXSW’ festival style down in Austin, Texas, have been pushing the city limits both figuratively and literally. The charming reviews that this city-wide festival boasts continue to build a buzz that is heard consistently in the months leading up to this top notch time of year. With a heavy artistic push for innovation and creativity, this event pushes the envelope in showcasing emerging musicians and artists alike across various bars and venues around town. The best part, we find, is that is forces the citizens of calgary to explore their city in an intimate manner taking you to different spots around the city you may not have been before. Discovering new or yet to be discovered talent is an amazing joy that Sled Island produces through creative programming and stacked lineups.
Calgary Stampede, DUH!
This one is a little obvious but a must have on the list. Over 100 years of thrilling fun and entertainment for all, drawing in the largest tourism crowds in a very short time early in July. If you haven’t been to the grounds during the 10 days of magic that takes over this vibrant city, well what are you waiting for?! It’s your city, go enjoy the awesome food, rides, games and even maybe stay for the magnificent fireworks show at the end of each night. Check out the Coca Cola stage for the best in musical entertainment, and then close by are the BMO and BIG FOUR buildings for amazing food and expos. There are far more things to do during the stampede outside of the grounds. For the best go-to resource for that, keep posted on our pages as well as our friends on instagram over at @stmpdr! YEEHAW!
Fiestaval – Latin Fest
This weekend event take places in the middle of summer following the Stampede, down at the Calgary Olympic Plaza. A buzzing multicultural affair that is very family friendly, has an array of music and artistic flair. The main focus is around the Latin American culture however the end goal is to promote our multicultural community that we strive for. The love we have in our city for each and every cultural background is something we celebrate and this festival does a fantastic job at promoting this. We hope that more and more of these international events take place in our wonderful city we call home. Save some energy from stampede and we will see you downtown for this fun weekend fiesta.
July 26-29th @ Prince’s Island Park
This one is the last of our suggestions however is one that doesn’t get the attention and love we feel it deserves. The lineups are always stacked with the best in folk and alternative rock, and even pushing the genre envelope and stretching slightly outside the typical historical fost fests we are used to. By doing so it allows a wider audience to be drawn in to catch some familiar and not so familiar faces to enjoy a long weekend of great music, food and fun. Did you know they also had tents showcasing comedians and spoken word? And also beer gardens! Yes you heard that correctly. Folk music and craft beer, makes sense.
Tell us what other festivals you think should’ve made the list! Reach out to us online or on our Instagram page @yycnow.