The Festival of Trees is the signature kick off of Christmas events. This festival raises money for the University of Alberta Hospital, the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute and the Kaye Edmonton Clinic every day.
The festival has been around since 1985. In the first year it contributed approximately $15,000, to date they have contributed over $15.5 million to the University Hospital Foundation in support of critically important causes.
There are many beautifully decorated trees, some that are available for purchase. Some adorable creative works. They have a gift shop for the adults, and a secret Santa shop which only kids are allowed in to shop for a special gift for moms, dads, brothers, sisters and other family and friends. There are many gingerbread houses and themed cakes, you can vote on your favorite cake and gingerbread house. The same for the many decorated trees, you can vote for your favorite one.
The kids can head into the Hospital to see what happens while kids are in there. They have to go through admission, then a few stations and eventually are discharged from the hospital.
Or how about Design your own Knapsack - they are given a small cloth Festival of Trees knapsack and fabric crayons to color it using their own creativity.
There's a Ice~N~Eat where you get your gingerbread cookies and are given icing, 2 smarties and sprinkles. If you aren't going to eat it right away you they'll give you a bag to use it a as 'take away'
Don't forget the Post Office where you can write a letter to Santa, decorate your letter and mail it off right in the Post Office.
There's also the Happy Feet and Hockey Shoot for the kids to play in too.
And not to forget Trim Your Tree with your choice of many colored balls to hang on your own tree.
A story nook where kids can sit and listen to classic Christmas stories. Last but not least there is of course Santa's Den were you get to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what you want for Christmas.
Throughout the 4 days of the Festival there are carolers, dancers, individual singers, etc
2013 Festival Of Trees
Thursday, November 28th from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday, November 29th from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday, November 30th from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday, December 1st from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Infants under 2 are free
Children (2-12) $2
Youth (13-17) $3
Edmonton is known as Festival City. There are festivals going on all year round, but the summertime is especially jam packed.
It would be unfair for me to write individual tips on all of them, so I will sum up some of the more popular ones here.
Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival- Held in August in Old Strathcona, this is extremely popular. I'm not sure the exact number of plays, but there has got to be over 75. There are tons of vendors set up on the street-food, street performers, art...there is something for everyone.
Capital Ex a.k.a. Klondike Days- Held in July, this is our yearly carnival. Games, rides, concerts, lotteries, food. Fireworks every night at 11pm.
A Taste of Edmonton- Held in July at Churchill Square in the centre of downtown, across from city hall. A chance to sample offerings from dozens of city restaurants.
Edmonton Folk Music Festival- Held in August at Gallagher Park. Dozens of performers over 4 days. Beautiful setting, very laid back. I saw Norah Jones here :)
Festival of Trees- Held around the beginning of December. A great place to bring the kids. Lots of activities and beautiful trees on display.
This is just a tiny example of what my bustling city has going on all year long!
Heritage Festival is held in William Hawrelak Park the first weekend in August. There are many activities to do while attending the Festival.
There are over 60 pavilions representing 85 cultures around the world. Sample the delicacies from a variety of cultures. There are arts and crafts, performances and clothing from the various pavilions.
The admission to the Heritage Festival is FREE but a donation to the Edmonton Food Bank is greatly appreciated; whether you donate food or money. There is NO PARKING at the Heritage Festival. If you're wondering how you get there - there are Park n Rides all over the city. The ETS adds extra buses specifically for this event. Another way is to bike or take a taxi.
There are also NO DOGS allowed during the Festival.
In order to sample the different delicacies you will need to purchase tickets. There are many ticket booths around the grounds. Be sure to purchase them before you stand in the line-ups. Or you can pre-purchase them at at all Save On Foods locations from July 7th -August 3rd, Servus Credit Union branches in Edmonton and surrounding areas from July 7th – August 1st or Tix On The Square (420-1757). Tickets are sold in full sheets of thirty for $25.
Individual ticket $1.00
6 tickets for $5.00
12 tickets for $10.00
18 tickets for $15.00
24 tickets for $20.00
30 tickets for $25.00
I generally stop at the Greek Pavilion and get a Beef Donair (8 coupons in 2013) and the Irish Pavilion for the Irish Stew (7 coupons in 2013). For an idea of what is being served check out the menu for 2013.
In 2003 a group of creative individuals wanted to showcase their ice carvings - thus Ice on Whyte was born. For the next 6 years it the talent came from local artists, in 2009 it became an international event and now each year there are 10 teams selected and come from all over the world to showcase their ice carving talents.
What amazes me is that the teams only have 35 hours to complete their sculpture.
There is a kids area - a huge slide usually! There is live music in the evenings from Albertan artists.
HOURS OF OPERATION
Monday to Friday from 2 pm to 10 pm
Weekends from 10 am to 10 pm
Children 2 - 12 years old $3
Under 2 free
An absolute must if you are coming during the summer.
Edmonton is known as Festival City, for good reason. To compensate for the dreary, long and dull winter, the city comes alive with a bunch of festivals, one after another, from June to August.
The bigger ones are Children's Festival (St. Albert), Jazz City (downtown), The Works - visual works (downtown), Street Performers (downtown), Klondike Days - parade, fair, exhibition (throughout the city, mainly Northlands and downtown), Heritage Festival - multicultural celebration (Hawrelak Park), Folk Music Festival (Gallagher Hill), Fringe Festival - alternative theatre (Old Strathcona).
My personal favourites are Taste of Edmonton during K-Days, Heritage Festival, and Fringe Festival.
K-days or also known as Klondike Days is a 10 day exhibition in Edmonton ending on the last Sunday in July. K-days was started in 1879 and originally was held at Fort Edmonton Park. It is now held at Northlands Park. It was originally called the Edmonton Exhibition, from 1879-1924 when it was changed to Klondike Days coinciding with the Klondike Gold Rush that took place several hundred miles from Edmonton. It was said that Edmonton was the stopping point for the prospectors heading to the Yukon territory.
The opening parade for K-days is done in costumes from the Gold Rush era. There are anywhere from 700,000 to 800,000 visitors that attend K-days.
What to do there?
There's a midway with many exciting rides. There's nothing like standing in line watching the other people going on the ride, your own anticipation of the ride, it comes to your turn and a few minutes later the exhilarating ride is over, time for you to run around and get in line again.
There is musical concerts every night. Both local talent and big name singers/bands to listen too.
Don't forget the beach volleyball area. Have a fun game and then head off to the Beer Gardens.
There is a food court that offers a variety of ethnic foods. Try some Ukrainian, East Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino, Italian, Subs & Donairs, Burgers & Fries, Mini Donuts, Hot Dogs, Cake Bites, and Bubble Tea. To name a few.
There are attractions inside the Northlands Expo center. Here you can laugh, dance, learn, play, touch, just have lots of fun.
You can even do some shopping at the exhibition. Although keep in mind they are cash sales only, they do not allow the use of debit cards. There are ATM's around the grounds if you need to pull out some extra cash.
Adult - $12
Child - $8
These are Gate Admission Prices - rides are extra
There is parking at Northlands Park and it costs $15 per car. Another option is to "Park and Ride" and take the LRT saving on the time you will look for a parking space.
The city of Edmonton is known for it's love of festivals ..... and during my visit, it is the time for the Fringe Festival! Blocks upon blocks of food and kitcshy souvenier selling booths, some art, lots of street performers, and other theater venues scattered throughout this portion of the Strathcona neighborhood.
I have to say, half the fun is actually people watching ... some in costume after performing, some in costume just for fun, some not in costume ...... but look like they are :)
There are so many festivals in Edmonton, no matter when you decide to visit you're sure to catch one. My personal favorites are the Edmonton folk music festival, Edmonton's Klondike Days, the Fringe theatre festival and the Street performers festival. Have fun!
For the third time:
The Fringe Festival in August..
We ended up seeing only one play, a hilarious one (I think titled "Roomies"; details tend to fade at my age) about two men and women and an apartment. It was slightly risque for my 17-year-old son but I'm only a mother and what do I know. He loved it.
There was also outdoor stage and street entertainment (those pesky mosquitoes at night), and we were going to go to a comedy club show. However, when we were in line someone was checking IDs and since you were supposed to be 18, we chickened out. It was too bad (despite probably more risque material) because Matt loves improv
The Heritage Festival is held every year on the long weekend in August and features food and entertainment from over 50 cultures around the world..It is a great way to spend the day sampling various foods from around the world...There are also booths set up to purchase local handicrafts from many of the countries...It is a great day out in a beautiful park in Edmonton..
Klondike days is an amazing festival that is very much worth the wait for all the rides. Not only is it like a year round amusement park, it also features interesting trade shows and wonderful interest shows. You can purchase any number of beautiful souvenirs from the giant building found within the grounds, and there is such a wide variety of food (including deep fried twinkies and candie bars) that you'll feel as though you're 8 years old once again. The dog show is truly magnificent.
Edmonton Folk Festival
At the Festival ticket office at 10115 - 97A Ave. in Edmonton or charge by phone (VISA or Mastercard) at 780-429-1999 or through Ticketmaster 780-451-8000 (limited supply). Maximum 10 adult passes per customer. See Ticket Info for details.
For 10 days each summer, Edmonton gets back to its roots with the annual Klondike Days. Celebrating the Gold Rush era of the late 1800's, K-Days is a community-wide event for all ages and tastes. Activities take place all over the city, with the Klondike Days Exhibition at Northlands, the Sourdough Raft Race on the river, and daily shows at Sir Winston Churchill Square.
If you're ever in Edmonton around mid August, make sure you head down to Whyte Ave and check out the Fringe. Hundreds of groups of performing artists hold live shows in intimate theatres all over the Old Starthcona area. You'll also see street performers from all over the world around the area doing what they do best, entertaining.
Located in Hawrelak park, on August long weekend (in '07 it'll be 8/4,5 & 6). Come here for amazing pavilions representing most ethnic groups. Food, sights, sounds are superb. Unique among major North American cities. This festival will bring out the travel bug in everyone. No parking allowed just take the bus it's no problem. Enjoy Edmonton's summer while it lasts!