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7 Fall Festivals in Calgary


Serpent Mother by San Francisco artists the Flaming Lotus Girls. Photo by Tristan Savatier.

As the days get shorter and the trees lose their leaves, there is no reason we should run inside quite yet. There is still plenty to see out and about around the city this fall.

September 13-16
One of Calgary’s biggest and most unique festivals, you have to experience it to fully understand its awesomeness. There are over 70 events to check out inspired by art and engineering. Featuring Engineered Eats at restaurants across the downtown core, test your nose at the Scent Bar, Butcher This Anatomy Class, and witness the majesty of a gigantic fire-breathing Serpent Mother. Many events are free although others – the Science of Cats and Dogs, Inked: The Science of Tattoos, and The Time Traveler’s Agenda, among others – do require ticket purchase.

October 9-15
Wordfest packs a cataclysmic literary punch with over 70 programs over the course of the festival. Programming includes readings by both local and international best-selling authors, writing workshops and discussion panels, and even engagement programs at Calgary schools through Wordfest Youth. Featured guest authors have previously included Margaret Atwood, David Suzuki, Chuck Palahniuk, Yann Martel and Guy Gavriel Kay, and this year promises a similar array of shining literary stars.

YYComedy Festival
October 16-21
The saying goes that laughter is the best medicine, so the YYComedy Festival may be the perfect prescription. Back for its sixth year, this funny festival showcases stand-up comedians at shows across the city. This year, there are performances by Steve Patterson, Christina Walkinsha, Ali Hassan, Sandra Battaglini, and many more.

Calgary International Film Festival
September 20 – October 1
If you like to watch stories unfold on screen, be sure to attend some of the movies that Calgary International Film Festival is bringing to the city. There are more than 90 different screenings, but you can pick and choose the movies you want to go to. Headlining films include The Light of the Moon, Rock Bottom Blues, Barracuda, and The Queen of Spain.

September 22-23
Bringing this German tradition across the pond, at Calgary Oktoberfest you can eat, drink, and be merry while samplings dozens of craft beers from Calgary and Germany. Featuring 36 breweries and unique entertainment, with the addition of Fuller Pints and Later Nights, this Oktoberfest is bound to be a party.

Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival.

Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival
October 13-14
Celebrate their 20th anniversary with international and local wines, beers, spirits and food. The festival works by way of sampling coupons, which are sold individually at the event for 50 cents a piece (in addition to cost of admission). Different food and drinks cost between one and 20 coupons, so you can try as little or as much as you want.

October 13-31
For the thrill seekers and spook lovers, Screamfest has six wonderfully scary, themed haunted houses to get your blood racing, as well as live entertainment, carnival games and rides! While designed to scare adults, all ages are welcome, if they are brave enough.

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