By Chloe Mulliner, on April 15, 2015

Celebrating summer in Edmonton

Living up to its nickname as Canada’s Festival City, Edmonton, Alberta, jumps at any opportunity to throw a party. If there’s a holiday, cultural gathering, theater performance, or concert, you can count on Edmonton to host a festival. 

This year’s summer solstice is just another excuse to celebrate in Edmonton. On June 20th, the weekend marking the first day of summer, three festivals are storming the city: Aboriginal Day Live & Celebration, Summer Solstice Music Festival, and the Summer Solstice Swing Dance Festival. From ethnic food samples to live music sets, these events promise to start the summer season off with a bang. 

Take a peek at our June 20th itinerary, highlighting the top things to do in Edmonton, and get ready for a legendary summer solstice in the city: 

Sunrise: The sun will rise super early at 5:04 a.m., so we totally get it if you choose to catch some extra Z’s instead of getting up at daybreak. However, if you are feeling extra bright eyed, mosey over to Constable Ezio Faraone Park to watch the sunrise with views of the Saskatchewan River and the High Level Bridge. 

Brunch: Being an adult means you can eat dessert for breakfast, right? Start your summer with some sweetness at Under the High Wheel Noshery and Catering. Its chocolate and hazelnut crepes and Belgian waffles with berries are enough to make you drool, while the more savory options like the traditional breakfast and bangers ’n’ mash are equally as mouth-watering.     

Viewfinder tip: The Aboriginal Day Live & Celebration will shoot off fireworks at 10:30 p.m. to round out the festivities.

Afternoon: Get in touch with your roots at the Aboriginal Day Live & Celebration at Louise McKinney Riverfront Park. Taking place on Canada’s National Aboriginal Day, this diverse cultural event presents traditional food, indigenous concerts, and art installations from around the globe.  The festivities runs from 2 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. 

Evening: The Edmonton Chamber Music Society is at it again. For the eighth year in a row, the group is hosting a 3-day Summer Solstice Music Festival. At 6:45 p.m., the Robertson-Wesley United Church will showcase The Art of Transcription, a compilation of current musicians’ renditions of traditional pieces. From new spins on Stravinsky’s work to modern arrangements of Bach’s masterpieces, this performance will be music to your ears. 

Sunset: Swing your way into the summer season. The sun will set at 10:07 p.m., but the celebrations will keep rolling all night long at the Summer Solstice Swing Dance Festival. The Sugar Swing Dance Club is hosting the bash at Sugar Foot Ballroom. Live jazz will start wailing at 5:30 p.m. and literally won’t stop until the Lindy Hoppers leave the dance floor on Sunday morning as the sun comes up. 

A sunrise excursion, brunch, and three festivals later, tourists staying at the hotels in Edmonton will get a glimpse of why the locals call it the City of Champions. 

Here’s what you missed during the 2014 Edmonton summer solstice

-We hit the trails bright and early at the North Saskatchewan River Valley.

-The West Edmonton Mall Surf Club reminded us that we didn’t need a beach to welcome summer.

-The Edmonton International Jazz Festival hosted concerts at the Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre.

-The Edmonton Chamber Music Society presented one of its Summer Solstice Festival performances in the Convocation Hall.  

How are you planning to spend summertime in Edmonton? 

Feature Image Attribution: Flickr/Creative Commons/Kurt Bauschardt/Via/

Body Copy Image Attribution: Flickr/Creative Commons/Kurt Bauschardt/Via/