After a quiet couple of summer weekends, the weekend of August 11 and 12 is jam packed with activities. Hope you’ll all be in town to enjoy it!
(As usual, these events are for next weekend – stuff happening for the Civic Holiday weekend is here.)
First up, Fortissimo runs from August 9 through 11. It’s a massed military band performance, complete with cannons and gunfire, on Parliament Hill. It’s starts at 7 p.m., it’s free, and goes on for at least a couple of hours; apparently, it’s quite the experience and its reputation has really grown in the past couple of years. Then, if your kids are up for it, you can stay right through to see Mosaika, the sound and light show that happens nightly on the hill – it will start shortly after Fortissimo is over.
In the east end, check out the Navan Fair, also running August 9 through 11. Navan is just south of Orleans and its fair is a pretty big deal – there’s the usual midway and concessions, concerts (featuring Kim Mitchell on Saturday and Dallas Smith on Sunday), animal shows and displays, crafts, kids’ entertainers including The Cow Guys on Saturday afternoon, bed races, and (EPIC ALERT!) a demolition derby. Apparently the derby has a new “Ladies Minivan” category, which is the very definition of awesome. Entrance is $10 adults and $3 children for a one-day pass (four-day passes also available); midway passes are $20.
At the other end of town, the Carp Farmer’s Market hosts its annual Garlic Festival on August 11 and 12. This is probably the busiest weekend of the year for the market and in addition to all the usual cool market stuff, there’s garlic cooking, storage, and tasting demonstrations all day long. If you’re really, really into garlic, consider going even farther out to the Perth Garlic Festival, which not only features garlic cooking and tasting, but also a birds of prey show (do they like garlic?), face painting all day, and, apparently, the ability to buy yourself a bulb of garlic on a stick just like cotton candy. Sounds…tasty? The festival runs August 11 and 12 and admission is $5 adults, children free.
If you’re more of a midtown kind of person, consider the South Asian Festival, August 11 in Confederation Park by City Hall. Their website is low on details, but apparently it’s free admission, and there will be Bollywood dance demonstrations, delicious ethnic food, henna applications, group yoga, and many vendor booths to check out.
Or, consider a drive to lovely Almonte to check out the annual Puppets Up! festival, running August 11 and 12. This year’s theme is Magic, and 10 different puppet troupes will be performing in outdoor tents all weekend long. There’s also a puppet parade each day at 1:45 p.m., a craft tent, a small puppets shopping area, and many other street entertainers. Day passes are $20 adults, $10 children (children under 3 free), and the shows are suggested for all ages ranging up to 9 or 10 years old. Get your tickets in advance online here (tickets can also be purchased at the festival).
Over at the museums, the Museum of Science and Tech is hosting Science at the Games from Wednesday, August 8, through Friday, August 10. They’ve got all kinds of special Olympic-themed goings on, including athletics challenges, giant board games, soccer storytelling, and sports trivia, all included with museum admission. They’ve also got Stargazing on August 10 – free, but you have to register on their website in advance. Meanwhile, the Agriculture Museum is throwing their Ice Cream Festival on Saturday, August 11 from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. There’s puppet shows, crafts, storytime, a yoga class, and of course, the making (by hand) and tasting of yummy yummy ice cream – all included with museum admission. What kid wouldn’t love that?
At Billings Estate, their storytelling series begins on Friday, August 10 (and runs every Friday in August). Storytellers invite families to gather around the campfire and listen to some tall tales while roasting marshmallows. The stories run from 7:30 through 8:30 p.m. and the cost is $16 per family.
In the arts, Centrepointe Theatre presents the classic musical Peter Pan from August 8 through 11, including a matinee on August 11. The performances are in the studio theatre and are performed by the Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet troupe, a group of youth actors aged 12 through 17. Tickets range in price from $25.75 through $45.75 each and are available online here, or at the Centrepointe box office.
For something a little quieter (and a little cheaper), check out the Capital Reading Garden, a pop-up cafe of sorts along the banks of the canal. It’s a free outdoor space with books, chairs, tables, and wifi, for people to gather and celebrate reading in a charming environment. The location is on the canal side of Colonel By Drive, south of Laurier, approximately as far south as Somerset.
August 11 and 12 are also the dates of the second weekend of auditions for the Kwanis Ottawa Idol singing competition (for ages 13-21 at the Merivale Mall, $20 entry fee applies); and it is the second weekend for lantern making workshops at the Lumiere Festival (workshops range between $10 and $20).
Whew! I need to lie down now. Have a great weekend – if you don’t get overwhelmed by all that decision making!