One of the great things about summer in the Kitchener Waterloo region is that there is never any shortage of things to do, no matter what your age or your interests. There’s kilometer after kilometer of parkland, there are excellent and affordable summer camps for kids, fantastic al fresco dining opportunities and made for the summer destinations like Bingemans, where they have added escape rooms this year alongside all of the amusement park fun. Then there are the festivals.
The Waterloo Region boasts a lively concert, event and festival calendar all year round, but those held in the summer tend to be extra special, a the warmer weather gives residents and visitors alike the chance to get out and really enjoy the area as well as the entertainment. For music and art lovers that should include a trip to at least one of the festivals gracing the area in the coming months:
Every year, in Downtown Kitchener, on the evening of the Summer Solstice, the Summer Lights festival begins to mark the first real night of summer. Artists, performers, businesses, community groups and some very talented tech people come together to stage an evening of art, music and fun. This year there will also be the chance to sample the wares of the best local food trucks, join in a light-hearted karaoke contest and much more. This year the action is set for Saturday, June 17 and begins at 8pm. For more information check out the festival website here.
The storied summer staple that is Guelph’s Hillside Festival is returning to Guelph Lake on July 14th – 16th for its 34th staging. It’s a weekend of marvelous music and fabulous fun that will be headlined this year by Billy Bragg, Sarah Harmer, Xavier Rudd, Lindi Ortega, Lucas Stagg, Duchess Says along with many others. And don’t worry about a babysitter, this is a family friendly event, so friendly in fact that kids under 12 years of age are admitted free all weekend. For more information head to the official website here.
Kitchener Blues Festival
Returning August 10 – August 13th, the Kitchener Blues Festival takes over Downtown Kitchener for three days to bring the sweet sounds of the blues to multiple stages and it’s all offered free of charge. Artists slated to perform include The Sheepdogs, Harpooinst and the Axe Murder. David Wilcox, Shawn Kellerman, Miss Angel and the Homewrecker and more, you can check out all of the details here.
Staged in late August, this year on August 18th through August 20th, the Riverfest is a chance to head out to Bissell Park in Elora and enjoy some fantastic music and entertainment along the banks of the Grand River. Performers this year includeMGMT, Monster Truck, Mother Mother, Gogol Bordello, Sloan, Hollerado, USS, and DJ Jazzy Jeff. (yes!) alongside local favorites like Safe as Houses, Wax Mannequin and The Boo Radley Project. To check out times and dates, and get more information, you’ll find the festival’s official website here.