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Four Can’t-Miss Fredericton Festivals

Four Can’t-Miss Fredericton Festivals

Do you like to have a good time listening to your favourite band, celebrating different cultures, enjoying local arts and crafts, or trying different food and drink options? Well, get ready to party because Fredericton has a festival for you! In fact, it can sometimes be difficult to choose just one when there is a festival practically every month, so here is an insider’s tip on some of Fredericton’s “can’t miss” festivals. 

1. St Mary’s Pow Wow

Start your summer off with the original people of the Fredericton area at the St. Mary’s Pow Wow, June 14 – 16.  Held on the Old Reserve on Union Street, along the banks of the mighty Wolastoq (St. John) River, this is the 20th year for this annual celebration by the Wolastoqiyik people, and it is sure to be the best Pow Wow yet! A dynamic cultural program weaves its way through all of the weekend festivities, complemented by a traditional craft and artisan marketplace, and food vendors for everyone to enjoy. Other highlights include the Grand Entry, a sweat lodge, Teepee Teachings, a hand-held drum competition, storytelling and an Indigenous jam night. Highlighted by the Muskrat Singers, and a wide range of dancing on display, including Grass Dancers, men’s traditional, women’s Jingle Dress, and ladies Fancy Shawl dancers, this festival is not to be missed!  

2. Cultural Expressions Festival

In celebration of Canadian Multiculturalism Day, take in dance and music performances, food, displays, a parade and family activities during the Cultural Expressions Festival, running from June 21-23 at the Capital Exhibit Centre. The festival features a wide diversity of events coordinated by the Multicultural Association of Fredericton Inc, in partnership with Fredericton’s ethno-cultural and community groups. Families will love taking part in “El jeugo de la Rana” (the frog game), trying the sport of cricket, or learning about traditional crafts from around the world. To gain an even better understanding of some of the different cultures represented at the festival, the Fredericton Public Library is holding a complimentary event called The Living Library where you can have a 20-minute conversation with a “living book” who will share perspectives about his or her place and culture of origin, or about their story of immigration and integration into the community here in Fredericton. This unique chance for you to ask questions and learn more about a person’s background story and experiences is a wonderful way to compliment your time at the festival! 

3. New Brunswick Highland Games Festival

Since 1981, Old Government House has welcomed the annual New Brunswick Highland Games Festival, being held this year from July 26-28, 2019.  Featuring all of the pomp and pagentry of piping and drumming, highland dancing and traditional athletics, as well as showcasing the amazing entertainment, clan information and workshops, this annual infusion of Celtic culture has something for everyone! Check out the party atmosphere of the Saturday night ceilidh, take in the tossing of the caber, or try one of the workshops on genealogy or whisky.  This event is listed as one of New Brunswick’s ‘Top Festivals’ and was named one of the American Bus Association’s 100 Best Events in North America from 2011 to 2016. Come join us, and be a Scot for a day…or the entire weekend!

4. Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival

The granddaddy of the Fredericton festival scene is the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival, running this year from September 10-15 in historic downtown Fredericton. Spread over 20 different stages across three city blocks, the 29th edition of this annual crowd-pleasing festival is shaping up to be the best one yet! With music ranging from local favourites like Keith Hallett and the Hookers, Matt Andersen and the Mellotones, The Downtown Blues Band, and Matchstick Mike all the way to former Led Zeppelin front man Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, and Jason Ibsell and the 400 Unit, you are sure to find a show to get your feet tapping and your music groove on.  Missed out on getting a ticket when they went on sale? No worries – most restaurants and bars in the downtown area feature local jazz and blues artists. You may discover a new favourite!



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If none of these festivals appeal to you, check out all of the other things happening in Fredericton this summer! There are a multitude of regular events with a flair for fun, and lots of patios to enjoy the bustling craft beer scene or to grab a bite with friends.  If you need other ideas, we have even helped you out by making a list of 19 things to do this year in Fredericton. You will be sure to find something to make your visit a memorable one.