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Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for July 22 to 24

Elaborate costumes are part of the fun at Odyssey Theatre.

Friday, July 22
Odyssey Theatre‘s annual Theatre Under the Stars production celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Players take to the stage of an open-air theatre to present The Fan by Carlo Goldoni – a comedy about misconceptions, gossip, meddling, and intrigue. The real joy, though, comes form the fantastical costumes worn by the actors, the bizarre masks, and the stunning set.

Classic flicks, recent blockbusters, and family films are all on offer at the Centretown Movies Outdoor Film Festival, which kicks off this weekend and runs until Aug. 13. Give date night a lift by grabbing snacks and laying out a blanket on the grass of Dundonald Park. Every Friday and Saturday night the festival will screen a movie at 9pm, starting with Eat, Pray, Love and Despicable Me.

Saturday, July 23
People from all communities are invited to Festival Haïti en Fête, a celebration of the beauty and uniqueness of Haiti. Highlights include a Caribbean band and other local and international performers, children’s activities, Caribbean food, a barbecue, a soccer tournament, and more. The event begins on Friday night with a dance party, followed by entertainment and sports for the family on Saturday (and another dance party Saturday night!), plus cultural sports and activities on Sunday.

The Urban Art Show is a juried event showcasing the original offerings of local artists and artisans. This year’s show puts emphasis on the “urban” element, with photography, new media, graphic design, live graffiti art, a DJ, an interactive art tent in conjunction with the Ottawa Art Gallery, and more.

Sunday, July 24
Midsummer Herbfest features dance performances, live music, demonstrations and workshops,  a market with 100 vendors, and a cook-off with local chefs. Held on the grounds of the lovely Herb Garden in Almonte, the festival is a must for small growers, entrepreneurs, and anyone passionate about herbs, cooking, gardening, and healthy living.

Music lovers, head over to the 2011 Governor General’s Summer Concert Series, being held in partnership with the Music and Beyond Festival and Ottawa Chamberfest. Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic and enjoy these free outdoor concerts on the historic grounds of Rideau Hall (where Will and Kate visited just a few weeks ago!). Concerts feature everything from step dancing and fiddle music to a classical string quartet to Mariachi musicians from Mexico. Concerts run Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

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