As the weather begins to warm up and the days grow longer, we are reminded that there really is no better way to experience our community and all it has to offer than by taking in a local festival. From carnival rides to boat races, sticky fingers to foodie finds, there is something sure to be a must-do for everyone. Here is our guide to a few of the festivals you will want to add to your summer bucket list.
JUY 8 -10
Mariposa Folk Festival
Tudhope Park – 500 Atherley Road, Orillia
Canada’s most iconic music event, The Mariposa Folk Festival was first held in Orillia in 1961. It later moved to Toronto and other sites in Ontario until returning home in 2000 to Orillia. The 3-day Festival is a family-friendly celebration of song, story, dance, and craft in the bucolic setting of Tudhope Park.
More than 50 artists appear on stages throughout the park including a pub stage and outstanding evening main stage performances. Special areas for children’s activities, artisans, and food vendors make Mariposa a magical experience for people of all ages.
Taking place in a beautiful lakeside setting, Mariposa features some of the most renowned artists on the North American and international scenes, as well as emerging artists for you to discover. It is a 3-day getaway with 100+ performances on 11 stages. For those camping at Mariposa, the fun starts the day before the festival opens and finishes the day after it closes.
44th Annual Orillia Scottish Festival
Port of Orillia
The weekend kicks off with the Ceilidh on the Friday at the Orillia Legion. Performances by the Orillia Legion Branch 34 pipe band and the group Strange Potatoes will entertain in style. Saturday will lead off with a parade launching from Peter Street down Mississaga and along Centennial Drive into Terry Fox Circle where you will find a children’s village, vendors, beer tent, 50/50 draw and clans for everyone to visit and discover their roots. Festivities wrap up Sunday at the Legion with the Ontario Massed Band and Fiddlers Friends. Don’t forget to purchase a festival button for only $2.00.
JULY 29 – AUG 1st
Kempenfest’s 50th Celebration
Kempenfest is one of the largest outdoor arts, crafts, and music festivals in North America. It has been an annual event along Barrie’s beautiful waterfront for 50 years. This four-day festival features over 300 juried artisans and crafters, four days of live music on two stages, a midway, over 15 different food vendors, antiques and so much more. Whether you attend one day or all four, there is something to be enjoyed by all ages and areas of interest with each visit.
The 18th Annual Barrie
Heritage Park, Barrie
Hosted by the Barrie Public Library, the Barrie Dragonboat Festival has been drawing crowds since 2003. Watch more than 40 teams compete in races throughout the day at beautiful Heritage Park. The goal of this event is to promote community spirit, vitality, and unity while raising money to support local charitable organizations. There are fundraising opportunities on-site as well as local vendors to take in. Make your way to the waterfront to enjoy the sights and sounds as these big colourful boats compete for Festival champion.
AUG 25 – 28
An event for all ages. Find artisans, food trucks, rides, and attractions at the Barrie Fair. As this is an agricultural-based event, you will also see farm animals and equipment, demonstrations, a tractor pull, and a demolition derby. The fair is sure to be a smash-up good time for the whole family.
AUG 26 – 28
Tudhope Park, Orillia
When you attend the Orillia Craft Beer and Ribfest you are in for a weekend full of finger-lickin’ food, fun, and entertainment. Grab some BBQ from one of many food trucks and head over to the Beer Market to grab a craft beer or cocktail from local top brewers from across Ontario. Don’t worry, there is something for the kids here, too! Enjoy a kid’s zone with classic carnival eats and treats. With free admission, free parking, live music, and a taste of summer BBQ, this event is not to be missed.