Edmonton Area Lesser-Known Festivals

Edmonton Area Lesser-Known Festivals

One of the fantastic features of Edmonton life is the never-ending supply of unique, diverse, and innovative festivals cramming the region’s annual social calendars. From the World Class Fringe Festival to lesser-known fetes like the Silver Skate Festival at Hawrelak Park, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Though far too numerous to mention, it’s worth sharing a small selection of the PR-challenged annual events which add so much to the vibrancy of Edmonton and it’s neighbours. Here’s a look at a different festival per month to give you an idea of the panorama of options, many of which are free!

JANUARY

Flying Canoë Volant 

January 30
Mill Creek Ravine/Edmonton Ski Club 780-463-1144
Cost – FREE

This unique event celebrating winter-time French culture includes many family-oriented activities at the beautiful Millcreek Ravine such as live music, family activities and free hot chocolate. Spectacular demonstration events include axe throwing, log sawing and, believe it or not, downhill canoe races on the ski hill!

 

FEBRUARY

Winter Try It Festival

Feb 8
Wizard Lake Day Camp – Leduc County  780-955-3555
Cost – FREE

Here’s an opportunity to try all kinds of winter activities with gear provided for each event. There is snow-showing, cross-country skiing, ice fishing, lake curling, sleigh rides and more. Free hotdogs and hot beverages provided as well!

MARCH

Edmonton International Beer Festival

March 27-28
Shaw Conference Centre
Cost – <$30 & up –  “Beer God Pass” $79.00
Ages 18+

Enjoy the 15th year of this sudsy event which offers over 300 different beers to sample plus live entertainment throughout. This event is often sold out so get your tickets early!

 

APRIL

44th Sherwood Park Music Festival

April 20 to 24 with Awards Night April 27
Festival Place – Sherwood Park – 780-709-1840
Cost $2 (funds go to charity and are matched by ScotiaBank)

Enjoy spirited music from Alberta’s youth as we celebrate the best up-and -oming performers who have excelled in the annual province-wide Iris Evans Scholarship for the Performing Arts competition. The festival runs from April 20 – 24 with the 27th set for the exciting awards night!

 

MAY

Leduc Black Gold Pro Rodeo

Black Gold Recreation Centre – City of Leduc  780-887-3235
May 28 to 31
Cost – Many events are FREE. Some rodeo performances between $25 – $30.

Rodeos are a vital element of Alberta’s entertainment history and Leduc’s Black Gold Pro Rodeo has been a part of it for over 50 years. Free events include a “Dancing in the Dirt” cabaret, downtown parade, family fun fair, trade show and other terrific family fare too numerous  to list here.

 

JUNE

The Edmonton Circus Art Festival

June 26 to 28
La Cité Francophone, Edmonton 780-463-1144
Cost – TBA (This is a first annual so details may not yet be finalized.)

This is the premiere year of this unique festival and is set to offer audiences performances by the best circus acts from Alberta and across Canada. As well, they promise workshops, information panels and…. parties!

JULY

Edmonton Sourdough Raft Race

July 21
Terwillegar Park, Edmonton
Cost to watch – FREE – Pancake breakfast – $2

Watch all the fun of wild and wacky rafts racing down the mighty North Saskatchewan River or go the extra mile and build a raft yourself! Meant to celebrate the voyageurs and courier de bois who explored our frontiers, this beloved Edmonton event generally devolves into silliness and frivolity. This is one race everyone wins!

AUGUST

Rock’n August Cars and Music

August 4-8
Various venues – Saint Albert
Cost – Many FREE events

A proclamation from the mayor of Saint Albert kickstarts this music and motor sports mashup and best of all, the proceeds go to the Alberta Diabetes Foundation.  Touted as “the largest festival of Cars and Music in Western Canada”  the event features classic car “show and shines” mixed with great live performances by prominent local bands, as well as a soapbox derby for kids.

SEPTEMBER

Kaleido Family Arts Festival 

September 11 – 13
Alberta Avenue, Edmonton – (780) 471-1580
Cost – FREE though donations welcome.

The Kaleido Family Arts Festival is a celebration of extreme performance art in an outdoor setting along historic Alberta Avenue (118th avenue between 90 and 96 streets). Performers use any and every space possible along the drag, including rooftops and alleys, to share some of the most avant-garde art performances available in the region.

OCTOBER

 Lakeland Haunted House

Mid-October to Halloween
Aspen Place, Sherwood Park 780-710-6399
Cost – FREE though Food Bank donations welcome.

What festival guide would be complete without a Halloween Haunted House to attend in October? Enjoy spooky mayhem fueled by the twisted imagination of the wickedly inventive creators at the Lakeland Haunted House. The event features army of animatronic goblins, ghosts and ghouls to fright and delight the kids in all of us.

November

FarmFair International

Nov 11 to 15
Edmonton EXPO Centre 780-471-7300

Cost – $15 (Kids under 15 FREE)

FarmFair International is a great reminder of the importance agriculture has in our region. The event offers a kaleidoscope of country living products and information of interest to our vital farming and ranching community. Events include the Heritage Ranch Rodeo plus cattle, equine and stock dog shows. This farming festival is in its 50th year of operation.

DECEMBER

Candy Cane Lane
Crestwood Community, Edmonton
Mid-December to January 1
Cost – FREE though a Food Bank donation would be appreciated.

Okay, our final entry is much more famous than the festivals listed above, but Candy Cane Lane has been a hallmark of Christmas in Edmonton for over 50 years and deserves the acclaim. The festival features six blocks of homes massively, impressively adorned in yuletide decorations. Still run by volunteers, this amazing outdoor Christmas festival of light and sound is a must see, especially for the yard apes and ankle biters in the family. Besides the Christmas-themed displays, there are also special events offered as well as sleigh rides which require buying tickets. (Prices for the 2020 season currently unavailable.)

As you can see there is never a shortage of diverse, interesting and fun festivals in our region. Google the event calendar in your community and get festive!

 

 

service area

  • Edmonton
  • Sherwood Park
  • St. Albert
  • Fort Saskatchewan
  • Spruce Grove
  • Stony Plain
  • Leduc
  • Beaumont
  • Devon
  • Calmar
  • Rural Properties within 50 miles of Edmonton

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