The end of the semester is near! Spring weather will soon turn to warm summer nights perfect for that next adventure. Ottawa is a great place to socialize during the summer with the city hosting many festivals, shows and featuring plenty of outdoor activities.
This summer, you can expect hundreds of events going on in and around the National Capital Region. For an up-to-date list of upcoming events, visits the Ottawa Tourism Event Calendar. Otherwise, here are some key events to add to your summer plans:
Tulip Festival: May 13th to May 23rd
A celebration of Canada’s role in the liberation of the Netherlands during the Second World War. Many of the city’s parks and walking paths will feature an array of beautiful Tulips! This is a great opportunity to get some fresh air, get familiar with the city and get your next Instagram pic.
Great Glebe Garage Sale: May 28th
Upcyclers rejoice! This is a conglomeration of different yard sales across the Glebe. If you are interested in Knickknacks and various items to decorate your new apartment, then this is the place for you. As they say, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure”.
Ottawa Rib Fest on Sparks Street: June 1st to June 5th
If you enjoy ribs and other street food, then you should check this out. One of the bigger rib festivals in Canada, you can find it on Sparks Street for the week. Pulled pork, ribs, potatoes, coleslaw – yum!
Doors Open Ottawa: June 4th to June 5th
A free annual event to celebrate the city’s heritage and architecture. Doors Open Ottawa provide the opportunity to visit buildings that are usually closed to the public for an in-person or online tour.
Mud Hero Ottawa: June 11th
Ready to race in the mud? Mud Hero Ottawa is a race with multiple events from 8 a.m. to dark over a mud-filled obstacle course.
Escapade Music Festival: June 24th to June 26th
This three day music festival has a lot of big name DJs like DJ Snake and Deadmau5, and accompanied by a number of Canadian DJs!
Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival: June 23rd to June 26th
Mooney’s Bay Park is a hot spot during the Ottawa summers. This festival includes a race pf 44 dragon boats and a small outdoor concert with some well known bands.
Canada Day Fireworks and celebration: July 1st
If you haven’t experienced Canada Day in Ottawa, this summer is your chance! In previous years (prior to the pandemic), the Canada Day celebrations included a concert on Parliament Hill, street party along Rideau Street and fireworks at night.
RBC Bluesfest: July 7th to July 17th
Held at Lebreton flats, this year’s Bluesfest features artists such as Rage Against the Machine and Luke Combs. More artists will be announced soon as well as when the tickets will go on sale.
Carivibe Ottawa Caribbean food festival: July 22nd to July 24th
Experience the different foods of the Caribbean during this festival in downtown Ottawa.
Capital Pride: August 21st to August 28th
A pride festival featuring a line up of events, outdoor concerts, a street festival, and annual pride parade.
Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival: September 1st to September 5th
Held in Parc de la Baie in Gatineau, this annual Labor Day festival feature numerous hot air balloons departing from the park.