Edmonton…On a Student’s Budget - August Festivals

Edmonton is extremely beautiful in the summer, with many things to see and do. Here are some budget-friendly ways to enjoy ‘Festival City’ and save money.

1.     Heritage Festival; August 1-3, 2015

Photo credit: City of Edmonton

During the August long weekend, Heritage Days gathers at Hawrelak Park in the River Valley near the University of Alberta campus. Booths and tents representing various nationalities showcase their food, fashion, and entertainment.

Food tickets can be bought on the festival grounds, but watch any of the performances for free throughout the weekend. Cultural dances, battle recreations, martial arts displays, and more take stage for your enjoyment.  Hawrelak Park is also a great way to relax and spend time with friends as a picnic destination.

Price: Free entry; $1.00 a ticket – most food items require 3-8 tickets each

2.     Folk Fest; August 6-9, 2015

Photo credit: City of Edmonton

One of the leading folk festivals in the world, the Edmonton Folk Fest boasts incredible music at a beautiful location in downtown’s Gallagher Park. Famous artists come from around the world to play. A day-pass allows you entry to all venues and performances for the day – with 8 stages and over 40 performers, that’s a lot of music! Tickets sell out quickly, but the Festival uses a volunteer force of over 2000 people – and you could be one of them.

Volunteering at the Folk Fest – in addition to helping run the world-class event - gets you access to any of the shows performing that day, for when your shift is over. Sounds like a sweet deal!

Price: Free to volunteer; Admission: $63+

3.     Cariwest – Caribbean Arts Festival; August 7-9, 2015

Photo credit: City of Edmonton

Caribbean culture comes to Edmonton for a weekend of costumes, music, theatre, and cuisine. Food at the Cariwest festival does cost money, but enjoy any of the free performances during the festival at Churchill Square downtown, including a costume contest and parade.

Price: Free admission

4.     Dragon Boat Festival; August 14-15, 2015

Photo credit: City of Edmonton

The Edmonton Dragon Boat Festival Association (EDBFA) holds a dragon boat festival each year on the North Saskatchewan River. Inspired by traditional Chinese culture, the dragon boats are adorned with dragon heads on the front. The festival grounds at Louise McKinney Park contain vendors, entertainment, and a perfect view to watch the races.

Price: Free

5.     The Fringe; August 13-23, 2015

Photo credit: City of Edmonton

The Edmonton International Fringe Festival is a world famous celebration for the theatre arts. Tickets are available for purchase to attend produced shows featuring local talents, but the main fairgrounds - where food and performers gather - feature free outdoor entertainment, including clowns, street performers, and buskers.

Price: Free street shows; Theatre performances’ tickets can be purchased here.



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Article by Maryn Sommerfeldt

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