Brace yourself, this year’s August long is jam packed. The Assiniboine Park has a big weekend ahead with a magical Harry Potter Party and the annual Ballet in the Park. From Gimli to Winnipeg to Steinbach, cultural festivals kick off with Folklorama, Islendingadagurinn and Pioneer Days. Everywhere you look, visitors and locals alike will be making the most of one of the best weekends in the summer. Will you? Here’s what’s hot this week in Manitoba…
See it all at Folklorama
July 31 to August 13
It’s here, it’s finally here! This year at Folklorama, you can truly see it all. Grab your passport and venture out from pavilion to pavilion to view world-class entertainment and taste delicious authentic food. As the largest and longest-running multicultural festival in the world, Folklorama offers an incredibly vibrant glimpse into cultures around the globe, right here in Manitoba.
Our Visitor Information Centre at The Forks is a pickup location for Folklorama Tours!
Party Viking-style at Íslendingadagurinn
Jul 29 to Aug 1
To get a taste of Icelandic culture as it once was, attend the 127th annual Islendingadagurinn, or Icelandic Festival of Manitoba. Catch a fashion show of traditional Icelandic garments, enjoy Icelandic horse demonstrations, watch reenactments of Viking weapon and warfare tactics, and last but not least, get “dinged”. There will be Viking roars.
Make friends with the canaries of the sea
A visit to Churchill offers an unparalleled ability to get close to docile beluga whales during the summer months of July and August. A natural phenomenon to witness, each year thousands of whales make their way to the chilly waters of the Hudson Bay’s Churchill River, to birth their calves. Get ready to sputter out a blitz of oohs and ahhs!
This week, we are celebrating all things beluga! Check out our #BelugaWeek posts to see how truly awesome they are.
Jam out at the Fire & Water Festival
July 29 to 31, 2016
Lac du Bonnet
Heralded as Manitoba’s fastest growing music festival, Fire & Water is a family-friendly gathering where you will hear everything from roots to country to metal. See artists from Manitoba and beyond on three stages or take part in an artists workshop. There are trade shows, children’s programming and plenty of camping spaces so that you can enjoy the gorgeous Lac du Bonnet area, located 1 hour away from Winnipeg. Oh, and did we mention it also won this year’s Festival Madness competition?
Ballet in the Park
July 27 to 29
Be exposed to the grace, beauty and artistry of classical ballet and modern dance at Ballet in the Park. This year’s FREE event will feature a special excerpt performance of Val Caniparoli’s A Cinderella Story. You will also be treated to a performance by RWB School Professional Division students and RWB School Recreational Division students.
Apparate to a magical Harry Potter Party
It’s the most wonderful time of the year – for Potterheads, anyway. Harry Potter’s birthday (July 30) marks the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two at the Assiniboine Park – and trust me, this party is going to be bigger than the Yule Ball, bigger than the Weasley Wedding (with significantly less Death Eaters) and way bigger than the Slug Club Christmas Party. The best part? Entry is completely free! Have your fortune read in the Divination Tower, learn about Magical Creatures, free an elf at the Free Elf Sock Toss, or shop curious goods in Diagon Alley.
Experience our delicious Ukrainian culture
July 29 to 31
Bitaemo! Venture out the beautiful Selo Ukraina site, situated at the edge of Riding Mountain National Park, to experience the 51st Anniversary of Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival! In the fresh air and sunshine, enjoy the incredible view and watch the world-class grandstand shows, taste authentic Ukrainian food and be fully immersed in Canada’s rich Ukrainian history.
Walk in the shoes of a pioneer
July 29 to August 1
Mennonite Heritage Village, Steinbach
Hitch your horses and go back in time to relive our Mennonite heritage and history at Pioneer Days. Explore the historic grounds at this four-day event and engage in pioneer activities such as milling and threshing. The delicious and traditional Mennonite fare will leave a lasting impression – but don’t worry, they serve it during their entire open season if you ever want to return to the good ol’ (and very tasty) days.
Go on a musical ride
July 26, August 1
Portage la Prairie and Lower Fort Garry
32 riders and their horses gather in Portage la Prairie (July 26) and Lower Fort Garry (August 1) for the 125th birthday of the RCMP Musical Ride. The Musical Ride is a true spectacle consisting of intricate figures and drills, choreographed to music. Timing, control and coordination come together to create an incredible performance that helps raise money for local charities and non-profit organizations. Learn more about this retro cool spectacle!
Count down to the Canada Games
Are you counting down to the Canada Games? We are! Join us in celebrating One Year To Go with a free, family friendly event at The Forks. Free entertainment includes concerts from Leonard Sumner, DJ Mama Cutsworth and Dirty Catfish. Fourteen of the sixteen Canada Summer Games sports will be represented on site, each with their own interactive game and activity. Test the speed of your pitch or perfect your rowing technique. If you’d like to pick up merchandise, there will be a Gear Tent as well as a pop-up shop in our Visitor Information Centre on July 29 to 31.
Angle in a big one
With fishing season officially open in Manitoba, we will bet many of you are itching to get out on the water! Whether you’re set on reeling in a Master Angler, or if you prefer just to take it easy on the open water, this week is perfect to get out there and hook one in.
Did you know you can now submit your catches as fast as you can reel them in? Download our Manitoba Master Angler iPhone app to easily submit a new catch and to keep your records within reach (for when you really want to brag to your buddies about how awesome you are at fishing).
Pick up fresh fare at the St. Norbert Farmers’ Market
Saturdays and Wednesdays
Every year, farm families travel from St. Adolphe, Starbuck and even Killarney to bring their freshest and most delicious fare to the St. Norbert Farmers’ Market. Manitoba’s largest farmers’ market is sure to impress, with an abundance of flowers, meat, vegetables, fruits and locally made wares such as soap, crafts, toys and even furniture. This weekend the market also includes a Handmade and Vintage sale!
Meet the colourful characters of Fort Gibraltar
Tours offered daily
May 19 to August 30
Take a journey back in time to the Fur Trade in the early 1800’s. Eccentric costumed interpreters will guide you through the historic Fort Gibraltar that originally sat at the forks of the Red and Assiniboine River. Guided tours are approximately 2 hours long and cover everything from the role of the fort as a North West Company trading post to the development of the Red River Settlement and the notorious conflict between competing fur trading empires.
Rock out at Rockin’ the Fields
July 29 to July 31
Rock fans come from far and wide to the beautiful Lake Minnedosa to enjoy great music, good friends at Rockin’ the Fields! In addition to three nights of Rock ‘n’ Roll, you can golf, enjoy the beach, fish, water ski, attend the Heartland Rodeo, visit the farmers’ market and historic park, or kick back and enjoy the days in the fields with all your best Rock Fest Cuzins.
Go full steam ahead at the Threshermen’s Reunion
July 28 to 31
Take a journey back in time to the good ol’ days at Canada’s largest pioneer heritage festival. Over 10,000 visitors each year journey across Canada to the Manitoba Agricultural Museum near Austin to see a Homesteaders’ Village, live farm demonstrations, vintage fashion, antique cars, live entertainment, a rodeo and more. If you’ve ever wanted to live like a pioneer, this is a darn good place to start!
Join into a Festival of Racing
July 30 to August 1
Parades, horse races, BBQ and the RCMP Musical Ride join forces for a Festival of Racing at the Assiniboia Downs. The weekend is jam-packed with racing, family fun and a special concert with Aaron Pritchett. The holiday monday wraps things up with the $75,000 Manitoba Derby, a free petting farm, pony rides and a bouncy gym.
Discover Canada’s history of flight
July 30 to August 1
Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada
This August long, head to the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada to explore Canada’s north through stores that pay tribute to the bush planes that made history, and the men and women who flew them. Admission is just $2.00 on Monday, August 1!
Commemorate Terry Fox’s heroic marathon
July 14 to August 10
Terry Fox: Running to the Heart of Canada is a brand new exhibit at the Manitoba Museum that takes an in-depth look at Terry Fox’s incredible, 143 day, 5,373 km journey from St. John’s to Thunder Bay. The exhibit features artifacts and archival materials, including Terry’s journal, artificial leg, media interviews and press clippings. Celebrate one of Canada’s greatest and most compelling heroes this summer!
Head to the Rodeo in Swan River
July 28 to July 31
Yeehaw! The Northwestern Round Up & Exhibition packs 4 days with heart pounding, adrenaline pumping excitement. Watch one of the largest races in Western Canada, the North American Chuckwagon and Chariot Championships, or scream your heart out at the midway.
Hike the Spirit Sands
Spruce Woods Provincial Park
Explore sand dunes up to 30 metres high in the unique Spirit Sands. The desert is said to be close to the Kiche Manitou — the great spirit — in Aboriginal lore. Follow a self-guided trail to the oasis known as the Devil’s Punch Bowl.
Unlock the mystery of an escape room
Various dates and locations
You’re locked in a room with 60 minutes to escape or find your objective. What do you do? Don’t worry – there are plenty of clues for you to uncover to help find your way out. Escape rooms are growing in popularity across Canada, and Winnipeg just happens to boast a few of the best. Test your skills at Enigma Escapes‘ Jewel of Zanzibar as you hunt down a mystical gem from a powerful warlord or head to The Real Escape to escape Death Row after you and your friends are wrongfully convicted. Whatever you do, don’t run out of time.
Select garden greens for pizza night on the farm
Fridays and Saturdays | 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Pizza night is in full swing at Integrity Foods. Embrace the farm life in this serene setting as your garden-fresh pizza bakes in an outdoor brick oven. Farm animals, pets, gardens, forest trails and children’s activities are just a few of the delights waiting for you on this family abode. Plus, who wouldn’t want to have a pizza picnic? Sandwiches are so overrated!