We’re fast approaching festival season and you know what that means: an exciting summer is almost upon us in the Tri-Region. Are you ready for great food, awesome times and most importantly, fantastic weather? Without further ado, here’s our guide to 2018 summer festivals just west of Edmonton, in the Tri-Region!
Life & Leisure Family Expo (May 12, 2018)
A wonderful event for kids, the Life & Leisure Family Expo embraces the ‘Expo’ part of its title in a big way. This will be a jammed-packed family-friendly with food trucks, carnival games, street hockey, and a petting zoo featuring plenty of exotic animals. We haven’t even mentioned the live entertainment stage sure to blow your mind or the FMX Stunt show or outdoor laser tag – that’s right, outdoors! All ages welcome.
Farmers’ Days Rodeo and Exhibition (June 1-3, 2018)
If your summer is in some serious need of local rodeo, Stony Plain has you covered. Farmers’ Days is an incredible annual Tri-Region event, and this year’s event features plenty including a midway, a petting zoo, an activities area, more than 50 vendors, a pancake breakfast, parade and of course, the rodeo itself.
Aboriginal Day (June 22, 2018)
Experience Aboriginal culture and heritage through a myriad of family-friendly events and celebrations involving music, history and food in Stony Plain. Now in its 19th year, Aboriginal Day is a great way to celebrate Aboriginal life in the Tri-Region.
Dragonfly Festival (June 22-24, 2018)
Named for the giant dragonfly hanging in the Village of Wabamun, the Dragonfly Festival invites families to frolic around the lake for a weekend of fun. Friday night offers up an all-night music jamboree with a healthy serving of fireworks. There’s an art walk, a pancake breakfast, a slow pitch tourney that lasts all weekend, bowling and plenty more waiting.
up!Fest (June 24, 2018)
A Dragonfly offshoot and sponsored by Edmonton radio station up! 99.3, this free music fest takes over Waterfront Park for a packed day of performances. The current lineup is TBA but last year’s bands include Honeymoon Suite, PRISM and Blackboard Jungle.
Summer Sessions (every Wednesday from June 20 to August 8, 2018)
These free weekly outdoor concerts are the best way to unwind and take in some top-tier Canadian talent performing rain or shine throughout the summer. The schedule for the 2018 season is up, with acts like Don Amero, Leaving Thomas, the Silkstones, Olivia Rose, Martin Kerr and Mark Times performing.
Canada Day (July 1, 2018)
If you thought last year’s celebrations for Canada’s 150th birthday were great, just wait until you hear about what the Tri-Region has cooking for this year. In Stony Plain, Heritage Park will be set up for a day’s worth of fun including activities like a citizenship ceremony, an art walk, concession, food trucks and plenty of fireworks. Spruce Grove’s celebrations in Jubilee Park feature country upstart Madeline Merlo headlining the main entertainment stage, plenty of vendors hanging out in the nearby Heritage Tent and games, crafts, face painters ablaze.
Alberta Grown Music Festival (July 13-15, 2018)
Heritage Park plays host to a weekend wave of fantastic local music, with lots of rock, blues and country sounds to offer from talented Alberta artists. Bring your own lawn chairs and get ready for an incredible July weekend at Heritage Park!
Flapjacks at the Tracks (July 21, 2018)
A long-enjoyed community staple, Flapjacks at the Tracks transforms Spruce’s historic grain elevator site into a giant pancake breakfast. Expect fresh pancakes and eggs, live entertainment and plenty of fun to be had!
Blueberry Bluegrass Festival (August 3-5, 2018)
Every summer, bluegrass and country music artists flock to the Tri-Region for the Blueberry Bluegrass Festival – a yearly favourite event for music lovers. The 2018 iteration promises amazing (as always) with performers such as the Travelin’ McCourys, the Po’ Ramblin’ Boys and Ricky Skaggs on the bill. If you’re looking for a change of pace during the weekend-long bash, look no further than the market vendors and food trucks dotted nearby, as well as the jam sessions, workshops and craft tent. Blueberry Bluegrass is a great event for families.
Stony Plain Cowboy Festival (August 17-19, 2018)
Fresh off its 25th anniversary celebrations, there will be plenty of cowboy culture to get into and explore at the Stony Plain Cowboy Festival. It’s called a Gathering for a reason – where else can you find an incredible collection of visual arts, music, poetry and entertainment all dedicated to Alberta’s glorious cowboy heritage? Last year’s festivities saw a bit of a revamp by tapping Juno-nominated Aaron Pritchett to perform – meaning it’s best to expect the unexpected this year.
Alberta Open Farm Days (August 19-20, 2018)
Explore the Tri-Region through the eyes of our farmers. Open Farm Days is your backstage pass into the working life of farms across the region, where you can discover Alberta-inspired culinary events and get to know local farmers. 2018 host farms have not yet been announced – stay tuned to find out which Tri-Region farms will be participating this year.
Alberta Culture Days (September 28-30, 2018)
Started as a one-day celebration of everything arts and culture, Alberta Culture Days is now a three-day smorgasbord of events province-wide. As usual, Stony Plain will play host to several events with a complete schedule of events available in July. For now, we recommend you mark your calendar in anticipation.
Harvest Festival (September 29, 2018)
Take a step back into time at the Pioneer Museum. Start the day with an ‘Old Time Church Service’ before delving into a world of vintage demonstrations including grain elevator tours, pony carousel rides, western shootouts, blacksmithing, ice cream making and plenty of kid-oriented activities to really bring you back.
Feature Photo: 2016 Farmer’s Days Parade