Are you searching for ways to stay entertained and get involved in Ottawa’s community events this season? Look no further! Continue reading for a list of some of the most exciting festivals taking place in Canada’s capital this summer:

Tulip Festival

May 11 – May 21

Inspired by the 1945 Tulip Friendship Garden gift from the Netherlands to Canada, the Tulip Festival is a celebration of tulip art, culture, heritage, friendship and gardens, recognizing the lasting friendship between the two countries.  This annual world-famous festival features a million tulips blooming around Ottawa, including 250,000 in Commissioner’s Park. These symbolic flowers serve as a backdrop for authentic art, cultural, historic, culinary and family experiences.

Franco-Ontarian Festival

June 14 – June 16

For over 40 years, this annual festival has been recognized as the biggest Francophone and Francophile celebration in Canada. Ontario’s French population celebrate in the true French spirit at this event, surrounded by vibrant colours of greens and white, paying homage to the Franco-Ontarian flag. The festival is held at Major’s Hill Park and features musical presentations, family entertainment and fun. Nightly performances will connect up-and-coming with established artists to develop new audiences and to perform in a prime showcase

Ottawa Ribfest

June 20 – June 24 

Be a part of Ottawa’s largest front-yard BBQ! Ottawa Ribfest features food trucks from across North America serving ribs, chicken, slaw and veggie options. Throughout the weekend, celebrity and community judges award trucks with prizes for their ribs, chicken and sauces, while entertainment (including The Hip and Weezer Tribute), street performers and Fun Zones captivate visitors. There will be an open patio and delicious beverages available to all. The best part? Admission is free!

Dragon Boat Festival

June 21 – June 24

Following its inaugural festival, 24 years ago, the Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival has become one of the world’s premiere dragon boat festivals. One of the most prominent sporting and entertainment events in Ottawa, the Dragon Boat Festival hosts 200 teams entered into competitive, corporate and community categories. North America’s largest dragon boating festival boasts free admission to concerts (including Sam Roberts Band, Broken Social Scene, Wintersleep and Hollerado, and Matt May), amusement attractions, sports demonstrations, a children’s area, non-stop racing, and a variety of artisans, exhibitors, delicious culinary treats.

Escapade

June 23 - June 24

Join the party at one of the most popular electronic dance music festivals in Canada. Escapade Music Festival, hosted at Ottawa’s Lansdowne will be returning for a 9th year of performances by some of the biggest names in the EDM industry. This year it will feauture artists including Alesso, Armin Van Buuren, Kaskade, Zedd. This show will guarantee flowing beverages, endless shuffling and incredible talent.

Bluesfest

July 5 – July 15

RBC Bluesfest is a two-week-long outdoor music festival that takes place annually in Ottawa. Located at LeBreton Flats, on the grounds of the Canadian War Museum, this festival hosts nearly 300,000 music fans from all over the country. Four stages surround the Ottawa River to create a unique and picturesque setting where everyone is welcome to enjoy a diverse lineup of the world’s biggest and most innovative artists. This year’s lineup includes Bryan Adams, Passenger, Shawn Mendes, The Foo Fighters, Keys N Krates, Blue Rodeo, and many more. The festival is a not-for-profit organization that relies on 3,500 volunteers each year. If you’re looking to add to your volunteer experience, and gain inside access to the festival, give back to the community by signing up to volunteer.

Capital Fair

August 17 - August 26

Spend the weekend entertained outdoors at one of the largest Agricultural Fairs in the area. Take advantage of live music, engaging shows and a wide variety of carnival attractions all located on the Carp Road fairground. You can also unleash your inner animal lover and experience agricultural learning at the world-class horse show, President’s Choice SuperDogs, the agricultural tent, and the petting zoo. This four-day festival is an affordable way for people of all ages to have a fun-filled day in Canada’s capital.

Capital Pride Festival

August 20 - August 26

Wrap up the summer by attending the annual Capital Pride Festival. Entering into its 32nd year, this festival strives to foster advocacy and education while supporting the vibrant Rainbow Community within the Nation’s Capital region. Throughout the week, the festival features twelve signature events as well as numerous community events open to all. The culminating weekend of the festival hosts a diverse line-up of performers on two stages, a community fair, a beer garden and the impressive pride parade. Many of the events are free and welcome everyone to participate and celebrate.

If you are planning on spending this summer in Ottawa it is certain that you will never be bored. Don’t miss out! Take advantage of all that this beautiful and cultured city has to offer this summer.

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