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Summertime in The City

For those of us who have ever spent a winter in Edmonton Alberta, we know exactly how long and bleak they can be. Due to the bustling economy of the past few decades, many Canadians, from east to west coast, have been witness to it. The snow piles itself high and the temperatures drop well below zero for month after month. Edmontonians, however, still find a way to keep moving in conditions that would literally put cities all over the world at a total standstill.

These winters eventually give way to the coming of summer and with the few beautiful weeks it brings, the City of Edmonton comes to life. Thus the festival season of Edmonton lives in infamy amongst those who live here.

 

 

The Edmonton Folk Festival

What was, in the beginning, a humble music festival starting with one staff member and 300 volunteers, has grown into to become one of the leading folk festivals in the world boasting a volunteer force of over 2000. Artists from across the globe come to perform to a weekend crowd that reaches beyond 100,000 attendees. This family friendly environment has managed to keep ticket prices out of the stratosphere and people from all over the province coming back year after year.

 

Klondike Days

Edmonton K-days event has been around for decades although it was known for a period of time as the “Capital-X Days” in a failed political remarketing scheme. The event lasts for over a week and has all sorts of entertainment, games, gambling, and rides in which one can participate. Musical performances happen every night as do 11pm fireworks. In 2016 the musical venue portion of the Fair had some major upgrades and will likely attract even larger audiences going forward.

The Edmonton Fringe Festival

Beginning in the 1970’s the Fringe festival has grown into the second largest of its type in the world. Dozens of venue’s host 100’s of plays over a ten day period in August. Street performers, beer tents, buskers, volunteers and audience members come to the festival in the tens of thousands. Only the original Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland (which dates back to 1947) can boast a larger attendance.

The Edmonton International Street Performers Festival

Is 18 years old and devoted exclusively to street theater. Held in the heart of downtown Edmonton in Sir Winston Churchill SQ, the Street Performers Festival presents 60 of the world’s best street performers.Traditional street acts, roving character actors, dancers, mimes, musicians, puppeteers and performance artists of every kind.  A relatively modest event, with about 180,000 who attend throughout the week, but internationally recognized as a premiere showcase for street talent, and a shining model of the festival “spirit” at work in the city.

For those of you who don’t enjoy the festival atmosphere, there are still many ways to enjoy the short summer season in the city. Bike/walking trails line the river valley. Several Beautiful parks are open to the public hosting both city and private events.