festival season in
Ottawa, so get out
often heard people complain about how boring Ottawa is
when nothing could be further from the truth. Ottawa may
be a lot of things, but boring its is not one of them,
especially during the months of June and July when residents
and visitors alike have a multitude of events to choose
from almost every weekend.
past weekend was a perfect example. There were no fewer
than seven festivals going on at the same time, including
the Carivibe Beach Party on Petrie Island. On top of that
you had the Canada 150 Heritage Parade and Street Dance
in Navan and the Summer Sizzler event in Chapel Hill South.
to prove a point, I went to five festivals and the Navan
Street Dance on Saturday in less than six hours.
started on Petrie Island where nearly 2,000 people were
dancing and swaying to the beats provided by DJ Puffy
from Barbados, who recently won the Red Bull Thre3style
has been held at Petrie Island for the past six years
now and we are the richer for it. The festival is a celebration
of Caribbean culture, focusing on two of my favourite
things music and food.
of food, the third weekend in June is traditionally when
the Ottawa Ribfest is held on the Sparks Street Mall.
The event attracts thousands of hungry visitors every
year and this year was no exception. The only downside
is that the lineups are usually quite long. Fortunately
this is not the first rodeo for many of the vendors and
the lineups move along very quickly.
for the ribs, well you cant find much better. I
love ribs and I love Ribfest. Orléans has its own
Ribfest in September and I cant wait for seconds.
of seconds this is the second year that I attended the
Ottawa Beer Fest at Lansdowne Park which is also held
on the third weekend in June. Orléans held its
first annual Beer Fest on June 8-10, and it was a huge
best thing about craft beer festivals is that everyone
you meet is in a good mood. I have yet to meet a grumpy
Beer Fest goer.
third weekend in June is also when the final weekend of
the Italian Festival is held. With a mix of food, music
and Ferraris, Italian Fest is one of my favourite festivals
of the year.
event draws tens of thousands of people to Preston Street
which is closed to traffic from Carling to Somerset.
is also held the third weekend in June on Bank Street.
festivals go, Glowfest is a relatively new phenomenon.
The very first Glowfest, which is billed as a block
party like no other, was held in 2014. The event
is a mix of music+light+art, attracting thou-sands of
people to Bank Street which is temporarily closed for
the occasion from James Street to Slater.
of the unique aspects of Glowfest is the Silent Disco
during which partici-pants are given headsets in which
they all can hear the same electronic dance music. If
you think it sounds strange you should see it.
Ottawa Fringe Festival and the Festival Franco were also
held on the weekend, bringing the total number of festivals
to choose from to seven.
the many festivals, the Red Bull Rally Cross was also
held on the grounds of the Aviation Museum. That adds
up to seven festivals, a street dance, and a rally cross
all held on the same weekend.
thats just the beginning. In the weeks ahead there
is Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival from June 20-23;
the Dragon Boat Festival also from June 20-23; the Ottawa
International Jazz Festival from June 22 to July 2; the
Ottawa Bluesfest from July 6-16; the HOPE Beach Volleyball
Tournament on July 15; the Lebanese Festival from July
19-23; the Ottawa Asian Fest from July 28-30; Ottawa Chamberfest
from July 22 to Aug. 4; the Ottawa Buskerfest from Aug.
3-7; Greekfest from Aug. 10-20; the Arboretum Festival
from Aug. 18-20; and the City Folk Fest from Sept. 13-17.
the city there is the Glengarry Highland Games on Aug.
4 and 5, and the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival from
Aug. 31 to Sept. 4. And lets not forget the Canada
Day weekend festivities, both downtown and on Petrie Island,
and the Navan Fair which will take place during the second
week in August.
to the Ottawa Festivals website there are more than 100
annual festivals, events and fairs taking place in 2017,
proving once again that Ottawa really is the festival
capital of Canada, if not the entire world.
pick one, two or several of the events lined up for this
summer. Go forth and have a good time.
you wish to comment on this or any other View Point column
please write to Fred Sherwin at firstname.lastname@example.org)
to Front Page