4 festivals after Calgary Stampede to extend your summer fun
by Riggs Zyrille Vergara, Publishing Editor
After the wild celebration that is Calgary Stampede, filled with enthralling sometimes-scary rides, weirdly delectable food creations and pumped-up music, people may find themselves wanting more. But alas, Stampede only lasts for 10 days. But don’t fret, Calgary still has lots to offer like these four festivals that are happening after July.
Don’t stow away your cowboy hat and boots just yet, because the country music craze is not yet over in Calgary. Country Thunder Alberta is coming to Fort Calgary from Aug. 19-21. Headlining the festival are Morgan Wallen, Florida Georgia Line and Lee Brice.
The Voice alumni Wallen has been dominating the charts since his debut album If I Know Me which reached number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums. His second album Dangerous: The Double Album also spent 10 weeks at the number one spot of the Billboard 200, something that’s only been done once by Whitney Houston back in 1987. Florida Georgia Line is also a record-breaking band who had their 2012 debut single “Cruise” downloaded over seven million times, becoming the best-selling digital country song. Brice’s “Love Like Crazy” was the hit of 2010 with the song staying in the Billboard country songs chart for more than 50 weeks.
If one of the things that you miss the most from the Calgary Stampede are the marvelous fireworks display every night, you should visit the yearly much-awaited GlobalFest at Elliston Park from Aug. 18-27. Not only is it a showcase of pyro-musical expertise of artists from Austria, France, Germany, India and Canada but it is also a celebration of cultural diversity.
Each day, GlobalFest will be featuring a country to celebrate through their fireworks display, food trucks with international dishes, cultural performances. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the festival will feature a “special” Canadian-produced show on its last day.
If you want to experience the liveliness of Mardi Gras without leaving Calgary, Marda Gras on the streets of Marda Loop, on 33rd Avenue SW between 19th and 22nd street on Aug. 14 is the next festival for you.
Considered as the longest-running street festival in Calgary, street performers flock the streets with music and dance paired with colourful costumes and dresses. Enjoy a variety of food trucks, local businesses and artisans while you enjoy the sun.
A big event of Marda Gras is the Pet Pageant where people get to see adorable animals strut and perform live on stage. Registration fees for the competition will be donated to Tails of Help, “a pet charity who helps fund essential veterinary care for ill or injured pets of owners who are experiencing financial hardship, with the goal to keep pets healthy and with their loving families.”
Calgary Japanese Festival
Another festival that features culture at the forefront is the Calgary Japanese Festival or “Omatsuri”, which is the Japanese term for a “traditional festival”. Expect to learn and be dazzled by authentic Japanese customs, performances of traditional music and dances at Max Bell Centre on Aug. 13.
Much like Stampede, the Japanese festival will also feature a beer garden and even an opportunity for sake tasting, an alcoholic beverage local to Japan. Kids will also get to enjoy some games and activities while others can enjoy the gallery of Japanese arts and crafts and even martial arts demonstrations.