Western Living Magazine
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Calgary has a range of vibrant, entertaining festivals and markets to make your summer even brighter.
It’s an extra special year for this classic Calgary festival, as it celebrates its 30th anniversary of bringing food, fun, and friends to the city’s streets. Of special note is a performance by Calgary-based rock band, The Static Shift, who competed on CTV’s The Launch. The street market has more than 500 vendors (five hundred!), and you can also enjoy live entertainment and eat tons of food. The event kicks off with a parade, and everything is ultra kid-friendly.
When: June 2, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: 4th Street between 13th Ave and Elbow Drive SW
More info: lilacfestival.net
You’ll have a few opportunities to check out this market happening every second Friday throughout the summer. You’ve surely experienced food trucks, but what about flower trucks? Catch Prairie Girl Flowers selling gorgeous floral arrangements out of their bright blue truck. You can also expect local art and handmade goods from 100+ artisans and, of course, food and performances by local musicians. New this year is a fully licensed area—one pitcher of sangria, please!
When: June 7, July 12, August 9, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Where: Inglewood on 9th and 10th Street SE
More info: inglewoodnightmarket.ca
This all-day event is as kid friendly as they come. It has crafts, face painting, airbrush tattoos, a petting zoo, and a magician. Added bonus: there’s free ice cream—while supplies last, of course. If you’re needing a drink after spending the day with the kids (don’t feel bad, we would too!), Garage Sports Bar will have a licensed area with music until 9 p.m.
When: July 1, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Eau Claire Market Plaza, 200 Barclay Parade SW
More info: todocanada.ca
This list wouldn’t be complete without this infamous mention. Endless food, drinks, and entertainment opportunities await. And we can’t forget the world-class rodeo that happens daily! New tasty treats this year that have us salivating already: deep-fried artichoke hearts with lemon-garlic aioli and melted cheddar cheese and ramen-covered corndogs. On the more adventurous side, try the pickle cotton candy and bug covered ice cream (or don’t…). Need even more incentive to go? One name: Tim McGraw.
When: July 5-14
Where: 1410 Olympic Way SE
More info: calgarystampede.com
Mexifest made its debut last year, and now it’s back again to celebrate and showcase Mexican culture (and it’s a day longer!). New this year: 8 Luchadores from Mexico will brawl it out in a spectacle of Mexican wrestling. You can also take in folklore and music (with special guests La Sonora Dinamita from Colombia and Mariachi Sol Azteca from Arizona), and enjoy some incredible cuisine. Tres tacos por favor!
When: July 5-7, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
More info: mexifest.ca
If you’re enjoying the Central/Southern American theme, you should also check out Fiestaval. This three-day event will showcase authentic food and cultural celebrations, and is expected to have over 60,000 attendees. A new addition this year is international entertainment from Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, and Chile. Naturally, you can also find everyone’s three favourite Latino cocktails: mojitos, piña coladas, and margaritas!
When: July 19-21, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Where: Olympic Plaza, 228 8thave SE
More info: fiestaval.ca
More than 200 vendors will come together to celebrate the last month of summer for this market. Jump in a bouncy castle, listen to local musicians, admire a street performance (did someone say sword swallower?), and stop at a food truck. An extra special event-within-the-event is the Show n’ Shine, where you can bask in the glory of beautiful cars both young and old.
When: August 3, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Mainstreet Inglewood 9th Ave SE
More info: inglewoodsunfest.ca
If you’re a foodie, this one’s for you! At this event, you can sample food and beverages from a range of Calgary restaurants. This year, Taste of Calgary will showcase the city’s ever-growing beer and spirits scene. Keep a special eye out for newcomers Cabin Brewing Company and Citizen Brewing Co. And of course, fan favourite WafflePops will be serving up their beloved sweet and savory waffle treats.
When: August 8-11, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
More info: tasteofcalgary.com