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The Best Waterloo Region Festivals to Enjoy This Summer Season

The Best Waterloo Region Festivals to Enjoy This Summer SeasonThe Best Waterloo Region Festivals to Enjoy This Summer Season

Kultrun World Music Festival

BY MEGAN HONAN | May 2022

As the days get longer and warmer, with it comes the return of festival season! In Waterloo Region, there is no shortage of events to keep the whole family entertained, from highly anticipated headliner music festivals, to delicious world-class cheese tastings––the region offers all of this and just about everything in between.  

To get the most out of the summer season, here are eight can’t miss festivals to enjoy during the warm, sunny days ahead!

Kultrun World Music Festival 

July 7-10, 2022 

Now calling St. Jacobs home, the Kultrun World Music Festival is ready to celebrate in its new location! Showcasing music of the world, this free outdoor festival encourages family-friendly fun with interactive workshops, drumming circles, theatre and dance for all ages. For a little bit of retail therapy, stop by the international vendors offering arts and crafts, as well as delicious fares–– introducing many to various cultures via their tastebuds.

 

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KW Multicultural Festival

June 25-26, 2022

Come and enjoy one of the largest multicultural festivals in Canada in Kitchener’s Victoria Park! Join in the opportunity to learn more about the Region’s diverse population as you share in food, tradition, music and dance. The park is filled with community groups, ethnic associations, artisans, and both professional and amateur performers from our community––everyone is welcome to participate and have fun. 

Cambridge Scottish Festival

July 15-16, 2022 

Mark your calendars! After a two year pandemic hiatus, the 2022 Cambridge Scottish Festival is back and ready for two days of exciting events celebrating Scottish culture and heritage. Get ready for the excitement and pageantry of a traditional Games Day, including pipe bands, highland dance, heavy events and a whole bunch of cultural attractions. On the evening of July 15th talented local bands will perform both traditional and contemporary takes on Celtic music. When not enjoying the music, stop by the vendor bazaar to shop local products.

Downtown Kitchener Ribfest & Craft Beer Show

July 15-17, 2022 

There’s no better way to celebrate summer than by savouring amazing foods from the BBQ, paired with an ice-cold craft beer! Enjoy mouth-watering barbequed ribs and chicken, an incredible selection of Ontario craft-brewed beer, plus live entertainment and a Kids Fun Zone – all in the open atmosphere of Victoria Park.

Life doesn’t get much better!

 

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Sun Life Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival

July 22-24, 2022

This longtime fan favourite is back for three days of in-person live entertainment! It’s an  annual event that is free to attend and held in Uptown Waterloo, celebrating a wide variety of jazz genres and performers. Opening for its 29th season, you can expect to join 20,000 music enthusiasts for three days of music, food and fun. Just bring your lawn chair and your dancing feet.

Kitchener Blues Festival

August 4-7, 2022

Get ready to experience some great tunes at Canada’s largest true blues festival––Kitchener Blues Festival. With over fifty acts to enjoy on three stages, there is endless entertainment to take in over four days. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the festival, and all performances (with the exception of the opening night fundraising concert) are free. During the event, festival-goers can also check out local establishments in downtown Kitchener – perfect for keeping the party going all day long!

 

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Moparfest 

August 20-21, 2022 

Calling all car enthusiasts! Canada’s largest mopar festival is returning to Waterloo region for 2022. Moparfest showcases some of the best Mopar show vehicles with almost 2,000 cars on display. What once started as a way to show off local members’ cars has continued to grow into a popular two day event. To make getting to Moparfest easier, there’s free parking for spectators and a shuttle bus to get you over to the show and back again. There’s also a beer garden and and food trucks on site. And, don’t forget to grab breakfast at the Legion – while it lasts!

 

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Sun Life Financial Waterloo Busker Carnival

August 25-28, 2022 

Ready for some good old-fashioned, family fun? The 34th annual Waterloo Busker Carnival is back, running for four days of action-packed amusement! Enjoy the carnival-like atmosphere, perfect for kids of all-ages. The festival provides edge-of-your seat entertainment as you watch the buskers do what they do best. And, because it’s also a carnival, there are also midway games, the ferris wheel (to get a bird’s eye view of the festival!) as well as delicious food from around the world.  

Wellesley Apple Butter and Cheese Festival

September 24, 2022

This much anticipated Wellesley festival will finally be returning in 2022! After multiple years of pandemic closures, the beloved Apple Butter and Cheese Festival will be back in-person on the last Saturday in September. Running since 1976, this festival shows off the best of local flavour and offers free tours of local specialty farms and the A.W. Jantzi Cider Mill. Early birds to the festival can line up for the Pancake and Sausage breakfast; throughout the day there are booths serving up apple fritters, apple dumplings and lots of other savoury options! As you head from the street mall to the arena filled with craft and food vendors, you’ll also come across performers, demonstrations and more. 

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Apple Fritters at the Wellesley Apple Butter & Cheese Festival

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Megan Honan is a seasoned travel, food and lifestyle writer based in Waterloo Region. Megan currently holds bylines for Suitcase Magazine, NUVO, S/Magazine, Canadian Traveller, Days to Come, Swanky Retreats and more. She’s worked with some of the top travel companies across the globe to create content and help with overall brand strategy, including G Adventures and Cosmopolitan Hotels. To connect, please visit https://meganhonan.com

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