Summer festival season is upon us. No matter what you’re into, you can rest assured knowing you’ll get an entire summer’s worth of entertainment in every possible way. Let’s get into just what’s waiting for us East of Edmonton this summer!
M.D. Bonnyville – Cold Lake Air Show – July 20 – 22
The Cold Lake Air Show is coming back this year! The air show will be paying homage to the 60th anniversary formation of NORAD, the historic pact that brought the air forces of Canada and the United States together, by highlighting a series of sky-high performances by some of the world’s best in air displays like the country’s only performance of the US F-22 Raptor demonstration team, riding high alongside the CF-18 Demonstration team, the SkyHawks parachute team and the Canadian Forces Snowbirds. This is the largest Military Air Show in Canada!
Hardisty 70th Annual Rodeo – July 20 – 22
The 70th Annual Hardisty Rodeo & Combine Crunch promises a ‘buckin’ good time’ and their track record speaks for itself. The annual rodeo takes over the town for a weekend of high-calibre rodeo action, drawing in contestants and rodeo fans from all across the country. Beyond the rodeo, you can expect to see an exhilarating combine crunch and several chariots & chuckwagon races taking place over the weekend. Music fans will be stoked to get a headlining performance by country artists Aaron Goodvin and Eli Barsi on Saturday night. We mentioned there’s an amazing pancake breakfast too, right?
Thorhild County – Radway Polka Fest & Pioneer Days – July 27 – 29
For three days, Radway turns into a smorgasbord of festive entertainment as the Polka Fest & Pioneer Days rolls into town. Your weekend itinerary will go something like this; polka, beer, mixed slo-pitch, polka, a steak supper, a quilt show, parade, polka, a pancake breakfast and to top it off, a polka dance extravaganza that runs all of Saturday, stretching well into the evening hours with music by the Country Fiddle Band, the Country Gems and Emile’s Old Time Dance Band! Reserve your tickets as soon as you can.
Smoky Lake – Smoky Lake Stampede – August 4 – 5
The Smoky Lake Stampede is a barnyard raiser of a good time and in its 37th year, expect all of the rodeo staples you know and love – barrel racing, tie down roping, bull riding, steer wrestling and to top it off, a rodeo dance featuring Kory Wlos. The rodeo action starts at 1PM every day and is expected to run all weekend long.
Vegreville – Country Fair – August 9 – 11
Vegreville promises excellent family fun at their annual Country Fair. We’re talking real country fair activities – midway games, hair-raising chariot races, a festive parade, tractor and truck pulls, a petting zoo and a barnyard for the kids to raise some muck in! Meanwhile, adults can get their dancing on in the Grandstand, relax in the Beer Gardens or play Bingo. The choice is yours!
Redwater – Discovery Days – Aug 17 – 19
Discovery Days is a fantastic way to explore Redwater in the summer. This annual heritage festival gets bigger and bigger each year and with a centennial parade, inflatables, axe throwing, a circus show, laser tag, a ball tournament, a pancake breakfast, legions of bouncy castles and fireworks galore, how could you disagree?
Alberta Open Farm Days – August 18 – 19
If you’ve ever been curious about how farmers in Alberta live their lives, Alberta Open Farm Days is a great time to take the plunge and explore the exciting world of agriculture. Farms and ranches up and down the province (including lots in the Go East of Edmonton region like Barr Estate Winery) open their doors up to patrons, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at how they harvest and grow Alberta food products. You’ll hear stories and see some wicked demonstrations and most importantly, try out a lot of amazing food!
If you’re thirsting for a kick-off to Alberta Open Farm Days, the Flagstaff County Country Roots takes place on the 17th and is a whirlwind tour of historically significant agricultural sites like a refurbished heritage barn and a viewing of the beaver dam before ending with cocktails, supper and entertainment from Toolshed Brewing.
During the same weekend, the Camrose County Prairie Fun Days takes you on a similar tour of farms and historical buildings throughout the Camrose region. You’ll travel on a deluxe coach and take in exquisite locales on your tour through Camrose County while enjoying some fantastic food and drink.
Strathcona County – Western Canadian Antique Tractor Pull & Show – August 25 – 2
This weekend is made for antique tractor pull fans. The historic Bremner Farm will play host to 100 tractors competing in a number of different weight classes and top prizes! The Western Canadian Antique Tractor Pull & Show will be a dramatic display of some serious tractor power and you’ll get a great view from the grandstands. Beyond the jaw-dropping tractor pulls, other activities include horse and wagon rides, silent auctions, a vendor tent, vintage farm demonstrations and last but not least, a noon hour parade along the track. Like we said – tractor fans will love it.
Lamont County – Babas & Borshch Ukrainian Festival – August 25 – 26
Get up close and personal with Ukrainian culture by dancing and eating some borshch. Both of these things kick off the annual Babas & Borshch Ukrainian Festival taking place at Lamont Recreation Centre. Free admission to the festival also means free camping, the best way to experience bazaar, plenty of food, arts and crafts!
Elk Island National Park – Milky Way Day – Sept 2
Elk Island National Park offers you portals to the night skies with a celebration of everything celestial. It’s a great place to stargaze and with the help of volunteer astronomers, guest speakers, local musicians and plenty of activities, you and your family will be in the perfect state of mind to try and catch the Milky Way! Don’t forget your camera!
Looking for a place to stay?!
For a campground? See our blog!
If a hotel is more your style, here’s a few great places to stay…
Lamont Heartland Hotel
Smoky Lake Super 8
Redwater – Paradise Inn
Cold Lake Waterfront Harbour Bed & Breakfast
Cold Lake Hamilton House
Cold Lake Marriott Hotel at Casino Dene
Sherwood Park Hotels
Sherwood Park – Park Centre & Hotel
Need more info? Please feel free to contact our Go East of Edmonton team at 1-888-632-8755.