by Alex Kinsella | July 2023
Golf has the front nine and back nine.
Summer has the front four and back four—weeks, that is.
We have a great list of events for the first four weeks of summer, that make up the month of July.
From jazz in Uptown Waterloo to our newest outdoor entertainment space in Cambridge, Waterloo Region is the place to be! We’ve also put together a midweek road trip idea for you to help you explore all that the beautiful area in and around Cambridge has to enjoy during the ‘front four’ of summer!
Things to Do in July
Cruising On King | July 7
Ontario’s best classic cars will be on display during the annual Cruising on King party on July 7 in Downtown Kitchener. After you check out some sweet rides and listen to live music, cool off with a cocktail or craft beer on the patios of Bobby O’Briens, McCabe’s Irish Pub, the Grand Surf Lounge, and more.
Insider tip: Check out this great map of patios in Downtown Kitchener, Uptown Waterloo, and Belmont Village patios.
Neebing Indigenous Art Fair | July 7–16
Experience the vibrancy of Indigenous art and culture at the Neebing Indigenous Art Fair at Bingemans. The fair brings Indigenous artists from Waterloo Region and across Turtle Island together to showcase their talents, techniques, and unique perspectives that make Indigenous art so remarkable.
Insider Tip: Check out An Evening with Cedar Spoon. It’s an opportunity to indulge in an exclusive culinary experience curated by Cedar Spoon Catering, while you take in art fair. This special events takes place on two nights during Neebing – July 8 & 15.
KW Punk Rock Slobberknocker | July 8
Downtown Kitchener’s Elements Night Club is your home for live music and wrestling. Check out the KW Punk Rock Slobberknocker on July 8 for a day of loud, live punk, vendors, and, yes—wrestling. The lineup features mat-slamming action from Tyler Bateman, Sabrina Kyle, EZE, They/Them Mayhem, Rider Furlong, Jeff Black, and Daddy Davis Punk Rock.
Kultrún World Music Festival 2023 | July 13–16
The Village of St. Jacobs comes alive with music as the Kultrún World Music Festival returns for 2023. The free festival brings amazing musicians from around the world, across the country and from our own backyard together for four days of learning, listening, and dancing. Check out the full schedule of interactive workshops for children and adults, from drumming circles to theatre to dance.
Cambridge Scottish Festival | July 14–15
Ceud Mìle Fàilte to Cambridge for the annual Cambridge Scottish Festival at Churchill Park. The two-day event celebrates all things Scottish, from culture to food to sports. On Friday, July 14, check out live music from 7 to 11 p.m. Then, on Saturday, experience the thrill of piping, drumming, and highland dance.
Insider tip: Make a trip to close-by New Hamburg to the Scran & Dram Public House for the best authentic Scottish food and drink this side of Glasgow.
Kitchener Ribfest & Craft Beer Show | July 14–16
Enjoy ribfest with a few thousand of your closest friends at the 20th annual Kitchener Ribfest & Craft Beer Show. The must-attend event returns to Victoria Park for three days of mouth-watering ribs, pulled pork, barbecue chicken, craft beer, and live entertainment.
Insider tip: The ribs aren’t the only thing hot at Ribfest. July can be sweltering, so grab your tickets for the Chestnut Park in the Park VIP Zone. Your ticket gets you access to a VIP entrance, beer sample tokens, and a server who will pick up your ribs so you can avoid the lines!
Afro Festival | July 15
Celebrate African heritage at the African Women Alliance of Waterloo Region’s Afro Festival in Waterloo Park from 12 to 6 p.m. It’s your chance to experience traditional drumming, dance, delicious foods, beautiful art, and more.
Sun Life Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival | July 21–23
Speaking of significant anniversaries, the Sun Life Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival is celebrating its 30th year of bringing some of the world’s best jazz musicians to Waterloo Region. This year’s festival includes musicians Alex Cuba, Jesse Cook, Ted’s Warren Commission, and the Barbara Lica Quintet.
Wayback Festival | July 22
Go back in time with Kitchener’s classic rock celebration. Experience retro fun with performances from two legendary Canadian acts—Kim Mitchell and Sass Jordan—and Canada’s Teen Jam!
Good Co. Productions Sunset Sessions | July 28
The awesome people at Good Co. Productions, Downtown Kitchener, and the City of Kitchener invite you to enjoy a free outdoor concert in Vogelsang Green.
Insider tip: Bring a blanket to enjoy the show and pick up some goodies from the Eby Street Bodega or a bucket of chicken from the Grand Truck Saloon to make your concert a fantastic picnic experience.
Gas Light District Grand Opening | July 28–29
The Gas Light District is opening on July 28, and you’re invited to the grand opening celebration. The new entertainment area is Waterloo Region’s largest public square featuring a concert stage and a massive outdoor video screen. Its free grand opening celebration includes art, food, and two days of free live music featuring Walk Off The Earth, Big Wreck, Tebey, and VILIVANT.
Insider tip: Grab some tickets for the Grand Opening After Party at Tapestry Hall featuring a performance from Waterloo Region’s own Romeo Sex Fighter on July 29.
For The Love of ButterTarts Festival | July 29
Sure, ribs are great. But have you ever had a really fresh butter tart? The For the Love of ButterTarts Festival takes over the Woolwich Memorial Centre in Elmira for a day dedicated to all things butter tarts—even ones with raisins. A portion of every ticket sold will go to their charitable partner—Woolwich Community Services.
Take a Midweek July Road trip
We know summer weekends can be jam-packed with weddings, festivals, and—fingers crossed—invites to your friends’ cottages. That’s why, this month, we’re giving you some Midweek Road Trip ideas. For this road trip, you’ll need a nice outfit and something to get dirty in.
On Monday, July 10, make your way to the Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa in Cambridge. Check in to one of Canada’s most beautiful hotel rooms and experience a world of luxury. The grounds are particularly lovely in the summer – take a walk through the gardens, head out on the trails that will take you through the Carolinian forest that surrounds the property, enjoy a cocktail in Wilk’s Bar, or indulge in award-winning cuisine.
While there’s more to explore at Langdon Hall, you’ll be back later for more pampering! Now it’s time to head into Cambridge for tacos and margaritas at the newly opened Mule on Main St. This entirely gluten-free restaurant features a delicious array of traditional and not-so-traditional Mexican-inspired fare. (We recommend the habanero brisket taco—trust us!).
After you wake up feeling refreshed (and papmered!) from a amazing sleep at Langdon Hall, grab your boots and head next door to the rare Charitable Research Reserve. The reserve sits on 1,200 acres of highly sensitive lands with over 12 kilometres of trails for you to explore. On Tuesday, July 11, you can even sign up to help with the reserve’s native plant project, where you’ll learn about the flora throughout the reserve.
A day of hiking and seed collecting has earned you a shower and a spa treatment at Langdon Hall. Once you’re relaxed and ready to go, head downstairs for live classic rock from Wellington Music and The Guitar Guys – it’s part of Langdon Hall’s Summer Music Series.
We hope our midweek plans inspire you to explore Waterloo Region—even on a Tuesday!