School’s out for the Summer, and that means the local event scene is kicking in to high gear to woo tourists and Kingstonians alike. There’s certainly no shortage of daily activities and big festivals vying for your attention, so much so that you’d be hard pressed to take it all in. Beyond the Canada 150 celebrations, we’ve pulled together five of the absolute must-see, don’t miss ’em events in Kingston this July. Whether you fancy the local arts and agricultural scenes, live entertainment or movies under the stars, our top five things to see and do in Kingston this July will ensure you get off on the right foot this Summer.
Artfest, July 1-3: located in beautiful City Park, Kingston, this annual art spectacle features the work and performances by over 150 Artists and Artisans from across Ontario and Quebec. Celebrating its sixth year in Kingston, Artfest takes place over three days starting on Saturday (Canada Day) and concluding on Monday. Admission is free, so you can take a leisurely stroll on the shady paths throughout the park, and casually peruse everything from pottery to glass and wood, and from gourmet food to live music and live outdoor theatre. For a complete list of exhibitors and performers, check out the Artfest website.
Kingston Penitentiary Tours, now through October: notably shuttered in 2013, Canada’s oldest and most notorious maximum security prison is now open for tours, which provide a rare and unique opportunity to go behind the institution’s storied walls. Guided tours provide an up-close and personal look at KP as an amazing historical building and a national historic site, which predates Canadian confederation. Hear stories and first hand accounts from past guards and wardens regarding infamous inmates, lock downs, escape attempts and inner workings of a maximum security prison. Admission $35/person; advance booking is highly recommended.
Drive-In at Kingston Family Fun World, all month long: founded in 1966, decades later, Kingston’s local drive-in continues to be a fan favourite. Every night throughout the summer, all three of silver screens will be aglow with double headers; that’s two movies for the price of one. With Hollywood blockbusters abound, why not take in the likes of Spider-Man: Homecoming, War for the Planet of the Apes, Dunkirk, Atomic Blonde and Girls Trip, under the stars. Let the kids run wild before the show, or take a few laps on the peppy go kart track. With surprising affordable prices (Adults/$11, Kids 5 to 12/$5, and Kids 4 & under/free), you’ll get your money’s worth and then some.
Buskers Rendezvous, July 6-9: Kingston’s annual Buskers Rendezvous is a four-day cavalcade of juggling, dancing, singing and balloon twisting fun! Confederation Park, Ontario and Princess Streets, as well as Market Square serve as the backdrop for all the action for hardworking and high-flying buskers who ply their craft for donations from the crowd. New this year is Busker Play, featuring staged performances by the likes of Bandaid the Clown, David Eliot, Wacky Chad, Secret Circus, Bang Bang Boys, and Mighty Mike. Of course the Saturday evening Fire Show at 10pm in The Hub will continue to be a big draw, and is certainly something you’ve got to see to believe.
Zucchini 500, June 23-24: the Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market is an increasingly popular destination for consumers looking to connect with farmers you grow the food they eat. This producer-run market distinguishes itself from others in the city in that all the food that is sold is grown and produced in the Kingston foodshed. To keep things fresh, they also offer special entertainment and events from time to time, such as the upcoming 3rd annual Zucchini 500. The popular attraction is chock full of silly fun for all ages, from car-making to actual races and prizes. While it’s free to participate in, be sure to register in advance and check out the schedule for more details.