Foodie or Four-legged friend - there's a festival for you in Newmarket.
Guys- I'm a true Canadian – (heck I was born on Canada Day). I love skiing and skating and warm fires and sparkling snow as much as the next Canuck but I cannot be the only one here who let out a hallelujah when May came in like a lamb basking in the mid-summer heat.
For me –summer is when I embrace the idea of getting out of bed before half the day is gone on the weekend. It's the time of year when I want to get out and explore the world rather than hiding under the covers and binge watching “This is Us.” Thankfully, summer is also the time when Newmarket's streets come alive and start to literally buzz with all that's going on. In an effort to not miss a moment of glorious sun, live music or great food this summer I've pulled together some of my favourite festivals in Newmarket that are can’t miss.
In June, you cannot miss the jam-packed, triple header of a weekend that is June 16 and 17, 2018. To kick things off - York Region's Pride Festival takes place on the historic Main Street on June 16. Last year the street was alive with colour and smiles as it kicked off it's first year in Newmarket - and I for one, am happy to see the return in 2018 The theme this year is "All Together Now" and it truly is a family friendly event! The festival is so much more than a parade, with a beer tent, live music and a community fair.
In the same weekend, Newmarket's Riverwalk Commons will play host to the first annual Craft Beer & Food Festival. This event will be packed with great food and music from 11:00am to 10:00pm.
Finally, this packed weekend wouldn't be complete with the 21st Annual Fairy Lake Artisan and Food Truck Festival. Taking place in the Fairy Lake park, in the historic downtown - the event showcases handmade items, entertainment and, of course, food trucks.
If you are looking for more of a cultural event- I cannot say enough great things about the Newmarket National Ten Minute Play Festival. Taking place July 25th-29th, this event features 10 minute plays, all weekend long. It's a great way to get in a bit of culture, see some up and coming actors, directors and writers, all in the core of Newmarket. While you are downtown, check out the photography exhibition at Old Town Hall, take in a historic Walking Tour, partake in Directors’ and Actors’ talk-backs in coffee shops, grab a beverage on a patio and try out some of the special festival menus in the outstanding restaurants the Historic main street has to offer.
Between your 10 Minute Plays that same weekend check out Busker Festival. It's taking place on July 28, 2018 from 3pm-10pm. The event is known for talented street performers who can keep everyone entertained, all evening long.
August is busy with lots of great festivals and events happening. I’m going to start the month with the 3rd Annual Splash of Culture on Friday August 3 at Riverwalk Commons. The event features first class live music in a gorgeous setting --- ON the Tim Hortons’ Skating & Water Feature. Last year there were three performances happening right in the water. We got to pull up chairs on solid ground though. Also the beautiful lighting in the dark of night was amazing!
Two fabulous festivals are on my radar for August. The first is the Garlic is Great Festival on Saturday August 18. The event name pretty much sums it all up - all things garlic, all morning long. (Sorry vampire friends). Think garlic bread, fresh garlic all alongside the amazing farmers market.
The second great August festival you need to check out is the Newmarket Music Festival. The organizers put on live music at venues across Newmarket throughout the summer on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. All of this leads up to the main event taking place from Friday night to Sunday night the weekend of August 24-26. There's something for everyone in terms of music taste - with Jazz, Country, Funk, Latin and Rock music being showcased. I'll be there Friday night, dancing along to the country roots under the late summer sun.
I know September seems forever away, but in terms of festivals and events, in my mind - we've saved the best for last. September 8 & 9 - Newmarket completely goes to the dogs with New'Bark’et (see what I did there) - a weekend long celebration of our four legged friends. This event features dog swimming at Gorham pool, Aqua Dogs, and a dog lure course for your pup to try. There is also lots for any two legged children to do as well including inflatables and face painting. Dogs, dogs, everywhere the dogs.
I told you - it's a busy time in Newmarket and you don't want to miss a thing. Put these on your calendar and your summer will not be wasted!