15 Best Festivals in Edmonton | Winter & Summer Festivals

Edmonton is the capital of Alberta in Canada, and it is famous for its exciting festivals. All year, the city hosts different events that celebrate music, art, food, and culture. This article will talk about the top 15 festivals in Edmonton. These festivals are special because they show the city’s culture and are fun for everyone. From the Edmonton International Fringe Festival, where you can see amazing performances, to the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, where you can enjoy great music, there’s something for everyone. These festivals are great places to make memories and learn about Edmonton’s culture. Let’s find out more about these fantastic festivals and why you should visit them.

Top 15 Festivals in Edmonton

1. Edmonton Heritage Festival

Description: A group of dancers in colorful skirts perform at a festival in Edmonton.

The Heritage Festival is a huge celebration of cultures from all over the world. It’s held in William Hawrelak Park. In this festival, you will find pavilions, which are like little booths or tents, representing over 90 countries. Imagine walking around and seeing, tasting, and learning about different cultures from so many places, all in one park. It’s like a big, exciting trip around the world, but you’re still in Edmonton.

At each pavilion, you can try foods from different countries—it’s like a big international feast! You can taste dishes that are special to each place. There’s also an art to see, music to hear, and dances to watch. Every country has its own unique art, songs, and dances, and this festival lets you experience them up close. It’s a fun and easy way to learn about how people live, celebrate, and enjoy life in other parts of the world. The Heritage Festival is a colorful, joyful event that brings the world’s cultures together right here in Edmonton.

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2. K-Days Edmonton

An amusement ride at a festivals in edmonton park.

K-Days, formerly known as Klondike Days, is Edmonton’s largest summer festival. This K-Days, which used to be called Klondike Days, is the biggest summer festival in Edmonton. It lasts for ten days and is packed with fun things to do. The festival has exciting rides, like roller coasters and Ferris wheels, which are great for thrill-seekers. There’s also live music and shows, where you can see performances and listen to great tunes. For those interested in farming and animals, there are agricultural displays where you can learn and see interesting things.

Besides all the fun activities, K-Days is known for its tasty food. You can try lots of different snacks and meals, like cotton candy, hot dogs, and more. There are also games where you can try your luck and win prizes. This festival is a time when people in Edmonton come together to have a good time. It’s perfect for families, groups of friends, or anyone who wants to enjoy the summer. K-Days is more than just a festival; it’s a place where summer memories are made.

 3. Edmonton Caribbean Festival (Cariwest)

A group of women in colorful costumes participating in festivals in Edmonton, walking down a street.

The Edmonton Cariwest Festival is a vibrant celebration of Caribbean culture that takes place every August in downtown Edmonton, Alberta. This lively and colorful event features a parade that showcases the diverse and rich traditions of the Caribbean, including vibrant costumes, energetic music, and infectious dance performances. The festival also includes live entertainment, food vendors serving up delicious Caribbean cuisine, and a market selling handmade crafts and art.

For many years, the Edmonton Cariwest Festival has been bringing together people of all backgrounds to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of Caribbean culture. It is a time for the community to come together and celebrate the diversity and creativity of the Caribbean community, offering attendees the opportunity to experience the warmth and joy of Caribbean traditions. The festival provides a platform for local and international Caribbean talent to showcase their skills and share their heritage with the wider Edmonton community. It is an event not to be missed for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the vibrant and lively spirit of Caribbean culture. 

Besides the parade, the Cariwest Festival offers a rich array of activities and experiences. The Caribbean Village, set up in the heart of the festival, is a hub of activity where attendees can taste authentic Caribbean cuisine, from spicy jerk chicken to sweet tropical fruits. The village also features various stalls selling crafts and goods, providing a glimpse into the diverse artistry of the Caribbean.

For those interested in learning more about the culture, there are workshops and demonstrations on Caribbean dance and music, making the Cariwest Festival not just a celebration but also an educational experience. This festival is a perfect opportunity for families and individuals alike to immerse themselves in the lively and rich Caribbean culture, right in the heart of Edmonton.

4. Edmonton Folk Music Festival

A crowd of people at a music festival in Edmonton.

The Edmonton Folk Music Festival is a popular event for people who love folk music. It happens every year in Gallagher Park, a nice outdoor area in Edmonton. This festival is all about folk music, which is a type of music that often tells stories and is played with guitars, violins, and other instruments.

At this Edmonton festival, musicians from many different places come to play their music. You can hear songs from all over the world, and it’s a great way to learn about different kinds of folk music. The festival has a beautiful view of the city’s skyline, which makes listening to the music even more special. People usually sit on the grass with blankets and enjoy the music together. The Edmonton Folk Music Festival is a relaxing and enjoyable event for people of all ages. It’s a perfect place to enjoy good music, meet new people, and spend time outdoors.

5. Edmonton International Street Performers Festival

A man performing a hoop dance at festivals in Edmonton.

The Edmonton International Street Performers Festival is a fun and lively event where you can see all kinds of street performances. It happens every year and is a big hit with people who enjoy watching live acts right on the street. The festival is held at Churchill Square, which turns into a really exciting and busy place during this time.

At the festival, performers from all over the world come to show their talents. You can see amazing acts like juggling, acrobatics, magic tricks, and comedy. These performers are really good at entertaining crowds and often involve people watching in their acts, which makes it even more fun. The festival is great for families and people of all ages. It’s a place where you can laugh, be amazed, and enjoy the creativity of street performers. The Street Performers Festival is a special event that brings joy and fun to the streets of Edmonton.

6. The Works Art & Design Festival

A group of people walking in front of a colorful arch at festivals in Edmonton.

If you love art, you will enjoy The Works Art & Design Festival. This festival goes on for 13 days and is all about showing different kinds of art and design. It happens in more than 40 places across downtown Edmonton. This means you can see a lot of art in different spots in the city. The festival has many kinds of art, like paintings, sculptures, and other creative designs. You can see art made by people from all over, both new and experienced artists.

There are also interactive exhibits where you can get involved and do things, not just watch. This festival is a great chance to see new and interesting art, learn about different styles, and maybe even find some new favorite artists. It’s a fun way for anyone who likes art to explore and enjoy it.

7. Edmonton International Film Festival

Toronto international film festival, one of the largest film festivals in the world.

If you love movies, the Edmonton International Film Festival is perfect for you. This festival is all about celebrating films, and it lasts for nine days. It’s a special event where you can watch many different kinds of movies from all over the world. The festival includes all sorts of films, like documentaries that make you think and exciting story-based movies.

This festival is a chance to see movies that you might not find at your regular cinema. It’s also a place where you can meet other people who like films and talk about what you’ve seen. Whether you’re a big movie fan or just looking for something different to do, the Edmonton International Film Festival is a place where you can get inspired and enjoy some great films.

8. Symphony Under the Sky

An outdoor concert under a large tent at one of the festivals in Edmonton.

Symphony Under the Sky is an annual event that happens every September. It’s held in Hawrelak Park, which is a really pretty place in Edmonton. This event is special because you can listen to beautiful classical music played by the orchestra while sitting outside. People usually bring their own picnics, which means you can sit on the grass with your favorite snacks and relax.

The music at this event is classical, which is a kind of music that’s been around for a long time and is known for being really nice to listen to. As you sit and eat, you can enjoy the music and the lovely park around you. It’s a peaceful way to spend time outdoors and experience something different. Symphony Under the Sky is great for families, couples, or anyone who likes music and nature. It’s a chance to enjoy a calm, enjoyable day in the park with some of the best music you can hear.

9. Taste of Edmonton

A crowd of people at a festival in Edmonton.

The Taste of Edmonton is a festival that’s perfect for people who love food. It takes place in July and is all about trying different kinds of food. At this festival, you can taste foods from many restaurants and food places in Edmonton. There are more than 100 food vendors, which means you have a lot of choices! You can try small bites of different dishes to see what you like best.

There’s also live music, which adds to the fun atmosphere. You can listen to great tunes while you enjoy your food. Plus, there are cooking demonstrations. This means you can watch chefs show how they make certain dishes and maybe learn how to cook something new yourself. The Taste of Edmonton is a celebration of all the tasty food you can find in the city. It’s a chance to eat, have fun, and maybe discover your new favorite food or restaurant.

10. TD Edmonton International Jazz Festival

The Edmonton International Jazz Festival is one of the festivals in Edmonton that brings together a wide array of talented jazz musicians from around the world. With its diverse lineup and enchanting performances, this festival is a

If you like jazz music, you’ll love the Edmonton International Jazz Festival. This event happens in June, and it’s all about jazz, which is a kind of music that’s smooth and often has a lot of rhythm. This festival brings famous jazz musicians from all over the world to Edmonton. They play music in different places across the city, so you can hear this wonderful music in various spots.

The festival is a great opportunity to listen to some of the best jazz players out there. You might hear fast, exciting jazz or slow, relaxing tunes. It’s a chance to experience the rich and soulful sounds of jazz, whether you’re already a fan or just curious about this type of music. The Edmonton International Jazz Festival is more than just concerts; it’s a celebration of jazz music that brings people together and fills the city with fantastic music.

11. Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival

A man mesmerizes the crowd by performing a thrilling fire act at one of the electrifying festivals in Edmonton.

The Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is a big and exciting event for theatre in Edmonton. It’s one of the largest festivals of its kind in the world and is all about different kinds of plays and performances. This festival happens every year in Old Strathcona, a historic and fun area in the city. During the festival, this place becomes full of life with lots of shows and actors.

You can see many types of plays at the festival, like funny comedies, serious dramas, dance shows, and more. It’s great because there’s something for everyone, no matter what kind of play you like. While walking around Old Strathcona during the festival, you might also see performers on the streets doing cool acts. The Edmonton Fringe Festival is not just about watching plays; it’s a place where new and different kinds of theatre are celebrated. It’s a fun event for anyone who loves stories, acting, and the excitement of live shows.

12. Edmonton Blues Festival 

A group of people performing live at a blues concert during festivals in Edmonton.

The Edmonton Blues Festival is a must-visit event for blues music enthusiasts. Celebrated annually, this festival brings the soulful and expressive world of blues music to the forefront in Edmonton. It’s a gathering that attracts some of the finest blues musicians from across the globe, offering a rich and varied lineup that appeals to both die-hard blues fans and newcomers to the genre. The festival’s atmosphere is charged with the deep, resonant sounds of guitars, harmonicas, and powerful vocals, creating an immersive blues experience.

In addition to the live music, the festival also offers workshops and opportunities to meet and engage with the musicians, adding an educational aspect to the event. Whether you’re a hardcore blues aficionado or simply someone who appreciates good music, the Edmonton Blues Festival is a must-visit event for any music lover. The festival’s laid-back vibe and top-notch musical performances make it a truly memorable experience for all who attend. 

13. The Great Outdoors Comedy Festival, Edmonton 

A crowd of people sitting at tables at a festival in Edmonton.

The Great Outdoors Comedy Festival in Edmonton is a unique and exciting event that combines the joy of laughter with the beauty of the outdoors. As one of the city’s most anticipated events, it takes place under the open sky, offering a perfect blend of natural ambiance and comedic entertainment. This festival features a lineup of some of the best comedians from across the country and beyond, providing non-stop laughter with stand-up performances that cater to a wide range of humor styles.

From well-known comedy stars to up-and-coming talents, the festival showcases a diverse array of comedic voices, ensuring there’s something to tickle everyone’s funny bone. Set in a relaxed outdoor setting, attendees can enjoy the comedic acts while lounging on blankets or lawn chairs, often with a backdrop of Edmonton’s picturesque scenery. 

Edmonton Winter Festival

14. Ice on Whyte Festival

An ice sculpture of a man riding a deer created for the festivals in Edmonton.

The Edmonton Ice on Whyte Festival is a really cool event that happens in the winter. It takes place in Hawrelak Park, a beautiful park in Edmonton. During this festival, the park turns into a winter wonderland, filled with amazing ice sculptures and fun winter activities.

At the festival, you can see artists carving ice into beautiful shapes and designs. These ice sculptures are like artwork made of ice, and they look stunning, especially when they’re lit up. There are also activities for everyone to enjoy, like ice skating and playing in the snow. One of the fun things you can do is watch or even take part in snow sculpting, where you create figures and shapes out of snow.

The Ice on Whyte Festival is great for families and people who love the winter season. It’s a chance to have fun in the snow, see incredible ice art, and enjoy the outdoors during the winter. This festival brings a special kind of magic to Edmonton, making it a joyful and memorable place to be in the cold months.

15. Edmonton Silver Skate Festival

A group of people are enjoying the festive atmosphere while skating on an ice rink at one of the festivals in Edmonton.

The Silver Skate Festival is a special event in February that celebrates winter and being outdoors. It’s a fun festival for everyone, especially if you like winter activities. One of the main attractions is ice skating. You can skate on outdoor rinks, which is really fun in the winter air. There’s also snow sculpting, where artists make beautiful shapes and figures out of snow. It’s amazing to see what they can create!

But that’s not all. The festival has horse-drawn sleigh rides, which are like carriage rides pulled by horses. It’s a cozy and fun way to see the festival and enjoy the winter scenery. Plus, there’s live music too. You can listen to bands and musicians play while you’re enjoying the other activities. The Silver Skate Festival is perfect for families and people of all ages. It’s a place where you can enjoy the best parts of winter, try different activities, and have a great time with friends and family.

Conclusion: Best Festivals in Edmonton in 2024

Edmonton’s array of festivals truly showcases the city’s vibrant and diverse cultural landscape. From the lively beats of the Folk Music Festival and the creative displays at the Fringe Theatre Festival to the winter charms of the Ice on Whyte Festival, there’s something for young and old throughout the year. Each festival offers a unique experience, whether it’s through music, theatre, street performances, or the magical atmosphere of outdoor winter activities.

These events not only highlight the artistic talents and culinary delights of the region but also bring the community together, fostering a sense of unity and celebration. As we’ve explored, Edmonton’s festivals are more than just events; they are a reflection of the city’s spirit and an invitation to experience the joy and richness of its culture. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these festivals are a must-visit, promising unforgettable experiences and the opportunity to create lasting memories.

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