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street festival

Weekend Roundup August 10 – 12

Enjoy Calgary’s beautiful August weather at these great outdoor events this weekend and relax on Sunday by watching the Summer Olympics’ closing ceremonies.

AFRIKADEY! FESTIVAL Saturday Aug 11

On Saturday, the Afrikadey! Festival at Prince’s Island Park celebrates Calgary’s rich African culture, 10 am until 10 pm. Merchants and food vendors will be set up around the park, and the main stage features a star-studded lineup including Sudanese hip-hop act Emmanuel Jal and contemporary Ethiopian ensemble Krar Collective. Tickets $25 adult, $20 youth, available at the gate.

MARDA GRAS Sunday Aug 12

Experience that vibrant New Orleans Mardi Gras atmosphere right here in Calgary at this weekend’s annual Marda Gras festival. The event will be held between 33rd Avenue and 34th Avenue SW in the Marda Loop neighbourhood. (more…)

Hot Date: Chinatown Street Festival

Interior of the Chinese Cultural Centre. Photo: Courtesy Travel Alberta.

This Saturday, the annual Chinatown Street Festival takes place in the vibrant historic area between Centre Street and First Street SE and along Second Avenue and Third Avenue SE.

Savour the flavours of authentic Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese and Chinese eats in the Dragon City Mall shopping complex or at one of the food booths located along Third Avenue. Merchant booths will also be set up along Third Avenue with various clothing, accessories and gifts for sale. Karaoke, tai chi and other demonstrations will be held along Second Avenue SE. (more…)

Hot Date: Kensington’s Sun and Salsa Festival

Kensington Road during the festival. Photo: Kensington BRZ.

This Sunday, Kensington brings heat to the street for its fun outdoor Sun and Salsa Festival. Attendees are invited to wander the neighbourhood’s many shops and boutiques while sampling over 25 salsas lovingly prepared by a variety of the area’s businesses. (more…)

Hot Date: Sidewalk Spectacle

Victor Rubilar is renowned for his ball-juggling act

AUGUST 26 TO 29 The circus moves out from under the big top to one of Toronto’s main avenues, as more than 100 international street performers animate the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood for Scotiabank BuskerFest. North America’s largest annual gathering of buskers—from hilarious comedians to daring fire eaters—features a bevy of new acts for 2010, including contortionist Bendy Em, renowned Argentine football juggler Victor Rubilar and Australia’s FlameOz, a dynamic combination of dance, acrobatics and fire manipulation. Front Street East, between Yonge and Jarvis streets, admission by donation; proceeds aid Epilepsy Toronto.

Weekend Bonus: Ice, Wine and Dine Festival

Holiday Ornament MartiniNovember 20 & 21 Fire jugglers, stilt walkers and strolling songsters take over Elm Street this weekend, as the Ice, Wine and Dine Festival transforms the relatively quiet downtown strip into a festive holiday block party.

Organized by local businesses, the event also features live music, fortune tellers, magicians and ice-sculpture carvers, while restaurants and cafés serve up delectable food and drink specials under heated patio tents—recently opened pub The Queen & Beaver offers mulled cider and warm gingerbread, Commensal has organic hot chocolate and a tasty $5 vegetarian sampling platter. Even the Elmwood Spa participates in the festive fun by handing out free Lindt chocolate goodies. Those who seek heartier fare can stop by the Duke of Somerset and feast on pot roast sandwiches and the miniature deep-fried Mars bars, or pop into the Wolf and Firkin pub for spicy chili served with toasted garlic bread.

Culture vultures are encouraged to peek inside the Arts and Letters Club—a heritage building that, this weekend, hosts visual artists, poetry readings, music performances and more—while party enthusiasts will want to stop by the impressive Ice Martini Lounge, a chic outdoor space featuring a frozen ice bar. Here, revelers can pose for photos beside large-scale ice sculptures and sip on signature cocktails like the “Yongetini,” made with crème de menthe, chocolate liquor and vodka, and garnished with chocolate rosebuds. This downtown neighbourhood event has something for anyone looking to catch a bit of early holiday cheer.

Elm Street (two blocks north of Dundas Street) between Yonge and Bay streets. 4 to 9 p.m, free (excluding food samples); for further information, click here.