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.
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!
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
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..
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.
The Place to Shop if you really like to Shop.
West Edmonton Mall
At almost 500 000 square metres, West Edmonton Mall is the largest, most comprehensive indoor shopping and entertainment complex in the world as well as Alberta's #1 tourist attraction. Millions of visitors come from around the world to visit this mall which features over 800 stores and services, over 110 restaurants and kiosks, the world's largest indoor amusement park, the world's largest indoor waterpark, an NHL-size ice arena, four seaworthy submarines in the world's largest indoor man-made lake, dolphin shows, an exact replica of the Santa Maria ship, a miniature golf course, 19 movie theatres and a Las Vegas style casino. With the Fantasyland Hotel, many fine restaurants and nightlife, the mall is a vacation resort in itself. Open 365 days a year, hours vary for retail and attractions.
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.
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
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!
Edmonton is transformed into a "festival city" in the summer time, and with mostly sunshine and lots of hot weather in late July/August, it is a great time to visit the city and take in the sights. These are my personal two favorite festivals, if you like music and theatre. The Fringe can be kind of hit and miss though depending on your tastes. It may be worth your while to ask around about certain performances, and make sure you are prepared for some less than moralistic plays - some which might be considered absolutely absurd! All in the name of artistic impression, I'm afraid... All kidding aside, it is very affordable to take in some of this Edmonton blended culture, and a good idea to do so, because in the winter YOU'LL BE SHUT IN BY THE EXTREME WEATHER FOR A FEW MONTHS!! :)
One of the biggest Fringe Festivals around taking a big block of Edmonton during the summer. The Fringe Festival for the uninitiated is a week or two long festival of short plays and street performers. Typically one is held in each of the more cultural refined(so I like to think) cities of the world.