Summer festivals in Manitoba

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Manitobans know how to party under the sun! We celebrate summer with many incredible festivals showcasing music, food, art, and the province’s rich history. In Manitoba, festival season starts around May lasting until the end of August. (Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many events and public spaces are cancelled and closed until further notice. A good alternative are virtual tours and events. Stay safe everyone!)

Here’s a list of some of these incredible events happening all over Manitoba:

  1. Manito Ahbee Festival – This is an annual celebration of Indigenous arts, culture and music. This year, it will be held from May 14-17, 2020 and features the many family friendly events like the Manito Ahbee Pow Wow, Getting Jiggy With It – Square Dance Exhibition and Jigging Competition, Indigenous marketplace and trade show, Youth Education Day and many others. The Kick Off and the Lighting of the Sacred Fire will be held on the 14th at the Oodena Circle at the Forks National Historic Site.
  2. Winnipeg Pride hosts Fierté Canada Pride – The event is one of the largest celebrations of LGBTTQ culture that has now evolved into a 10- day event. It has entertainment, concession stands, a parade, and various activities to celebrate inclusion, pride, activism, music, laughter and optimism. It will be held from May 22 to 31, 2020 at various venues.
  3. Dauphin’s Countryfest – Countryfest features country music legends and upcoming artists. Performances start June 2 to 5, 2020. Dauphin is a four-hour road trip from Winnipeg.
  4. Cube Stage Events – This is the venue where the Jazz Festival (June), Soca Reggae Festival (July), Fringe Festival (July), and BBQ and Blues Festival (August) are held. You can check the events calendar on their site for exact dates and other summer events.
  5. Back 40 Festival – This event celebrates Manitoba music in the Pembina Valley. Held in Morden, it is celebrated every year on the first Sunday of June at Morden Park. Aside from musical performances, it also has activities for children, food vendors, and features locally made goods such as clothing, jewelry, and art. Morden is an hour’s drive away from the city perimeter.
  6. Red River Exhibition– Red River Ex is Winnipeg’s premier amusement park. Enjoy rides, carnival games, a petting zoo, shows and musical performances, and many food vendors. It usually opens in June (June 12-21, 2020).
  7. Winnipeg Folk Fest – The Folk Fest is considered the summer festival in Manitoba. It is a four-day event of music, food, and other spectacles (like drum circles and fire dancers). The event features emerging and well-established artists. Thousands camp for the entire festival or just stay for the day. This year, Folk Fest is on July 9 to 12, 2020 at Birds Hill Park.
  8. Manitoba Stampede & Exhibition – Dubbed as Manitoba’s only pro-rodeo, Manitoba Stampede and Exhibition will be held from July 16-19, 2020. Get ready for exciting bull riding, bronco-busting, tie down roping, bareback riding, steer wrestling, ladies barrel racing, and team roping exhibitions. Kids will be amused by a Rodeo Clown as well as entertained by the Youth Stars of Manitoba Talent Competition. There’s even an Agricultural Fair section that features dairy shows, light and heavy horse shows and Betsy bingo. This family-friendly event is held at Morris, MB, about an hour’s drive from Winnipeg.
  9. Canada’s National Ukrainian festival – Join Manitoba’s friendly and welcoming Ukranian community when they celebrate the 52nd Canada’s National Ukranian Festival from July 31 to August 2, 2020. Experience their vibrant and colorful culture through music, dances, food, and other activities great for kids and adult alike. The festival is held in Dauphin, in the outdoors where you can enjoy fresh air, sunshine and an incredible view of the prairies.
  10. Fire and Water Music Festival – This music festival has three stages for performances from up-and-coming Manitoban musicians, as well as Canadian and international performers ranging from country to heavy metal. It also features children’s activities, the Artwave Art Show, the Artisan Square Craft, a Trade Show, as well as unserviced RV and camping spaces. The Fire and Water Music Festival will be held on July 31 to August 2, 2020 at Lac du Bonnet, one hour away from Winnipeg.
  11. Islendingadagurinn (Icelandic Fest) – Whether you are an Icelander or not, there is plenty to see and enjoy at the Icelandic Fest. There’s a fashion show of Icelandic garments, horse demonstrations, and reenactments of Viking weapon and warfare tactics. This is also your chance to see beautiful Gimli, located one hour North of Winnipeg. Islendingadagurinn will be held on July 31 to August 3, 2020.
  12. Folklorama – This is the largest and longest-running multicultural festival of its kind in the world. Over 40 volunteer-run pavilions participate to feature entertainment, cultural displays, and ethnic cuisine. Single admission is $6 (per pavilion), children 12 and under are free (click here for admission information). The festival is held in July-August (August 2-15 in 2020).
  13. Winkler Harvest Festival and Exhibition – This festival is fully packed with activities! You and your family can enjoy anything from carnival rides to agricultural exhibits, fitness events (tennis, volleyball, and the Strong Man Competition) to rodeo riding, as well as musical performances at the Main Stage from major bands. Check out daily schedules online and trek to Winkler, Manitoba from August 7-9, 2020 to experience this one-of-a-kind festival.
  14. Rainbow Trout Fest – This indie festival is held on the banks of Rosseau River, South of St. Malo (about an hour South of Winnipeg). It is a three-day folk fest featuring everything from rock, blues, jazz and everything in between. The dancing starts on August 14th until the 16th, 2020.
  15. The Harvest Sun Festival – This is a grass roots prairie festival featuring Canadian musicians. Aside from musical performances, there will be activities and workshops for people of all ages. Harvest Sun will be from August 21-23, 2020 in Kelwood, Manitoba. Kelwood is located two and a half hours West of Winnipeg.
  16. Morden Apple and Corn Festival – Enjoy free corn on the cob, apple cider, entertainment, children’s events, and a parade. Shuttle bus service and parking are available. The Apple and Corn Festival is held yearly in August (28-20 in 2020).
  17. Whoop and Hollar Folk Festival – From the group who organized the Hot Blizzard Folk Festival held in winter comes the Whoop and Hollar Folk festival in Portage la Prairie on August 29, 2020. This summer, they will be merging Hot Blizzard and Whoop & Hollar into one local music and art event with fun year-round programming.

Article updated 2/20/2020.

Sources: Manitoba Hot (10 Summer festivals you can’t miss in Manitoba), Travel Manitoba.

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For more information about these summer festivals, click on the specific event link or go to Manitoba Hot or Travel Manitoba.

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