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Weekend Roundup, August 20 to 22

The Canadian National Exhibition opens this weekend, but it’s hardly the only game in town. There’s plenty of entertainment for everyone!

Friday: Be touched by the timeless musical, South Pacific

Friday, August 20
Get a major dose of theatre tonight at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, which offers three highly anticipated plays on its various stages. The main event is the debut of Window on Toronto, in which artists from Soulpepper Theatre Company’s academy examine the city from the perspective of a hot-dog vendor. The evening also offers preview performances of Joe Orton’s bold and witty What the Butler Saw, as well as Sharon Pollock’s award-winning drama, Doc.

The play’s the thing at the Four Seasons Centre, too! Take your loved ones to witness a triumphant re-staging of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. The heart-rending musical romance has received glowing reviews from Toronto critics and audiences.

Head to the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre to see a Canadian folk-rock institution, as ebullient East Coast band Great Big Sea is in concert tonight. Get to the venue early for a real treat: emerging all-female country group Ladies of the Canyon opens the show.

Celebrate Cuba with the third annual Havana Cultura festival, which showcases that country’s music, arts and food all weekend long. Tonight, hear popular Cuban musician Julio Cuza, see a cigar-rolling demonstration, and much more.

Saturday: Enjoy the midway rides and more at The Ex (photo by Scooter Korek)

Saturday, August 21
Let’s go to The Ex! What better way to spend your afternoon than at the  Canadian National Exhibition. Saturday brings many events: the warrior’s day parade; the popular veterans parade, a sculpting competition and much more! There are plenty of rides, shows, vendors, concerts and circus-style performances, too!

Catch Bieber Fever at the Air Canada Centre, as Canadian-born teen-pop king  Justin Bieber performs his hits and drives the girls crazy. The mop-topped Bieber arrives with special guest Sean Kingston in tow—he shares vocals on their chart-topping hit “Eenie Meenie.”

Indulge in authentic Ontario craft beers and an exclusive seven-course meal at Beer Bistro, which hosts the annual Golden Tap Awards dinner. Craft breweries from across the province are featured along with cuisine that complements the different beers. The prize for best tasting brew will be presented at evening’s end.

Groove to the music mix at Kensington Market hot spot Supermarket during its Do Right Saturdays event. DJs Fase, John Kong and MC Abdominal are set to bust out catchy funk, soul and hip-hop tunes that will keep you dancing through the night.

Sunday: Tuck into dumpling noodle soup and more at Harbourfront Centre

Sunday, August 22
Cool off at Ontario Place today! Not only does the park’s Froster Soak City offer numerous waterslides, but the Extreme Wake Series has arrived to present daredevil stunts performed by top wakeboarders. The-dropping spectacle is fun for all ages.

Reenergize with delicious Asian-flavoured fare at Harbourfront Centre’s Fortune Cooking Food Festival. Here, numerous vendors and local restaurants offer up their best apps, mains, desserts and drinks for your gustatory pleasure. As with all of Harbourfront’s World Routes events, there are also cultural performances to keep you entertained.

Put on your dancing shoes and swing your way to Mel Lastman Square in north Toronto. The weekly Sunday Serenades Concert and Dance Series offers visitors the chance to learn some unique dance steps and hear some great live jazz.

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