With so much of Dalhousie’s student body hailing from outside the city, summers in Halifax can feel like a well-kept secret. Those who stay in the city can attest to the beautiful weather and the multitude of things to do through the city. So, collected here is a (small) list of festivals and happenings going down in Halifax through the summer months, for those of you smart enough to stick around:
Blue Nose Marathon (15-17): The Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon is a charity run from Summer St. to the Citadel Clock tower. Sign up by yourself or with a team and select one of over 75 charities to support.
Full House Craft Beer Fest (16): So, for the price of a ticket, you get twelve beer samples to spend on brews from every member of the Craft Brewers Association of Nova Scotia? This shouldn’t be a hard sell, guys.
The Adams Family Musical (Now-24): Who doesn’t love that tastefully gothic suburban family? This musical number at the Neptune Theatre centres around a grown-up Wednesday Adams finding love, which pains me deeply.
OBEY Convention (21-24): This eclectic weekend-long music fest is a bit of an unknown sensation. The acts that OBEY brings out thrive on the fringes. There’s going to be some pretty crazy sounds – including those from locals MOON, Vulva Culture and Rebecca Baxter.
Scotia Festival of Music (25-Jun 7): A two week festival of chamber music, featuring renowned musicians from all over the world. Most of the concerts are being held on Dalhousie campus, at the James Dunn Theatre, so there isn’t really any excuse for you not exposing yourself to some finer culture this summer.
Doors Open Halifax (6-7): Take a waltz through the homes of the bigwigs as over 35 historic and cultural properties are opened to the public.
Halifax Greek Festival (11-14): Whether you’re Greek, or just a faithful adherent to their fine, fine cuisine, this festival is an easy way to escape Halifax for an afternoon (or two) and soak in the culture.
Play On! Halifax (20-21): A weekend-long ball hockey tournament, with 20-50 “street rinks” going on at once. All skill levels and ages are welcome. For those of you with some degree of hand-eye coordination.
EPIC Dartmouth (28): The word epic gets thrown around a lot, and is usually misappropriated. However, this triathalon seems to fit the description. The thought of it inspires in me a feeling of awe and dread, which, I think, is the effect the word is supposed to have.
Ribfest Halifax (26-28): Meat on the waterfront. Its sort of self-explanatory, isn’t it?
Halifax Jazz Festival (8-12): Jazz, Blues, Latin and more! So far, a few headliners have been announced for the annual downtown music festival, including Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and tUnE-yArDs.
Lebanese Festival (9-12): Held at the Olympic Centre on Cunard Street, last year’s festival had some of the best chicken shawarma that I’ve ever had in the city. Aside from the drool-worthy food, there’ll be music and dancing.
Halifax Pride Parade (25): Probably the city’s best parade – a march from downtown Halifax to the base of Citadel hill, where a massive stage will be set up for the day. Vendors and craftsfolk from Halifax set-up booths throughout the grounds, and at night: a dance party.
Atlantic Film Festival Outdoor Film Experience (17-Aug 14): Know what’s better than a great movie? A great movie under the stars. Bring something comfy to sit on.
Halifax International Busker Festival (29-Aug 3): The quinessential street festival. Buskers from all over the world take to Halifax’s streets to perform their craft – anything from sword swallowing to fire danc- ing. Prepare to see talents that you didn’t even know existed. Don’t be a jerk: tip performers.
Seaport Beer Festival (7-8): More beer! For this beer fest, the brews are being brought in from all over, so it’s a great excuse to wet your whistle and learn at the same time.
Please bear in mind that this is an incomplete listing. There’s way too much going on in the city through the summer to list every event here. Keep in the loop, and I’ll see you in the sun.
Mat Wilush once went to see Agent Orange on the outskirts of Toronto, where the beer was salty and drunken teenagers took turns sitting in a prop electric chair. The music had aged poorly. A mohawk’d middle-ager danced through the first couple songs, but quickly tired out. There just isn’t much room for surf rock in the world anymore. What next? Mat Wilush wants to know.
Mat is the Gazette's Arts Editor. Follow him on Twitter at @wilushwho and email him at email@example.com.