5 upcoming festivals to check out in Ontario


Published May 30, 2024 at 4:02 pm

ontario summer festivals

Summer in Ontario means it’s time to check out a few of the many awesome festivals happening around the province. While major cities have a lot to offer, it’s nice to venture off the beaten path to see what’s going on in some of Ontario’s smaller towns.

The festivals in these places have tons of heart, let the local community have a little fun right in their own backyard, and open our eyes to new experiences we can have just by taking a short drive.

5 – Craft Gin Festival

Handcrafted gins are in the spotlight at this festival that’s happening in a two-acre yard at the Elora Centre for the Arts in downtown Elora. There will be live music, local food like hot dogs and ice cream, and even “Martini Olympiad” games. The event is being put on by the Craft Gin Trail, an experience that allows you to explore different local distilleries.

Advance tickets are $19 for the event taking place on June 8 from noon to 6 p.m.

4 – Fergus Medieval Faire

Knights, vikings, battles, monks, birds of prey, musicians, archery and magic are all part of this festival in downtown Fergus that transports you back to Medieval times. It’s family-friendly, and the best part is it’s totally free. Kids can even engage in battle with a real knight.

Fergus Medieval Faire takes place on July 20 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3 – Twilight at Templin

This is an ongoing festival that takes place every Wednesday in July and August from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Not only can you listen to family-friendly music for free, there’s also a handmade market. The heritage setting of the Templin Gardens along the river in downtown Fergus is charming and picturesque.

2 – Cogs & Clockwork – Fergus Steampunk Festival

The creativity of sci-fi subgenre steampunk is on full display at this festival that has lots of vendors and scheduled events. Events include steampunk drag show Steam Queens, a parade, fashion shows, belly dancers, artist demonstrations, a steamboat race and puppet shows. There will also be activities like teapot races, scavenger hunts, a poetry contest and an opportunity to try to beat a chess master.

Food with a steampunk twist will be available and food trucks will be on site, and they’re hoping to have a beer tent area this year. Dozens of vendors are signed up to be part of the festival.

Cogs & Clockworks takes place on St. Andrew Street in downtown Fergus on September 7 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

1 – Enchanta Forest

Music, magic and fantasy are the themes of this mystical festival that caps off summer and welcomes fall. The experience encompasses illuminated art installations, performances, strolling performers, immersive acts, magicians and over 30 vendors.

You can expect everything from a golden hour performance by a string quartet to a late night forest dance party. There’s also going to be a licensed bar on site.

Enchanta Forest is now in two locations, with the event at 550 Belsyde Ave. in Fergus taking place on September 20 and 21. If you really can’t make it too far out of the city, Enchanta will also be happening in Black Creek Pioneer Village on September 27 and 28.