Located in the middle of the Canadian prairies, most people may never put Winnipeg on their travel radars —but they should.
Sure, the city is known for its long summers and harsh winters, but that doesn’t stop them from knowing how to have a good time! Winnipeg is home to an array of awesome festivals year-round, so no matter when you visit, there’s sure to be something going on.
Here are Eight Winnipeg Festivals You Don't Want to Miss:
Festival du Voyageur
Celebrating French-Canadian culture and the country’s rich history of fur trading, the Festival du Voyageur is one of Winnipeg’s most anticipated yearly events. Despite being partially outside in the dead of winter, thousands of visitors come to dress up in period costumes, marvel at larger-than-life ice sculptures and go for a ride on the snowy toboggan hill.
Winnipeg Whisky Festival
Winnipeg’s premiere whisky tasting event, the festival hosts over 95 distillers from Scotland, Ireland, America, and of course, Canada. Attendees will enjoy tasting and learning about different varieties of whiskies paired with gourmet cuisine before heading home with a souvenir glass.
Winnipeg Comedy Festival
Held annually for 10 days in April, over 2 million viewers tune in to Canada’s largest comedy festival for both the live performances and TV screenings. Attracting big name headliners, it’s pretty much guaranteed that your sides will be aching from laugher.
Aboriginal Day Live & Celebration
A celebration of Canadian ancestory through demonstrations, artisan craft fairs, and plenty of local cuisine, don’t let the fact that that it's just a one day event deter you because Aboriginal Day is still one of the best cultural experiences in Winnipeg.
Winnipeg Folk Festival
What began as a one-off, independent music festival in 1974 has since evolved into Winnipeg’s largest musical extravaganza. Attracting over 80,000 attendees each year, outdoor stages are packed for five straight days with over 250 awesome performances.
Red River Exhibition
As Manitoba’s largest summer event, the Red River Exhibition is like a state fair on steroids. Come festival time, hundreds of thousands of visitors flood the Park for free nightly entertainment, vendors and local talent competitions. Take a chance on thrilling carnival rides, learn about the local agriculture, and gorge yourself on classic festival foods — it’s all free with gate admission.
Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival
Showcasing the work of local, national and international artists, the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival is North America’s second-largest Fringe Fest after the one in Edmonton. Well-known and up-and-coming artists come together for an epic celebration of live theater.
Bringing in over 400,000 visitors each August, the Folklorama Festival is arguably Manitoba’s most popular event. The largest and longest running festival of its kind, it's billed as the world’s largest multicultural celebration. For two weeks, festival-goers get to experience volunteers dressed in traditional garb while celebrating ethnic diversity through games and food.