Top Five Things to See and Do in Summer 2011

Third Crossing, Cataraqui River, Kingston, OntarioOne of our first posts of 2011 was our new seasonal review of the top five things to see and do in Kingston. In our second edition, we will be looking forward and highlighting five of favourite, most anticipated festivals and activities, which you won’t want to miss during what’s left of Spring, and wait for it, Summer of 2011.

Farmer’s Market, May to September 2011: fancy yourself some seasonal, local produce? Whether you’re hunting for juicy strawberries, mouth-watering corn, delicious tomatoes, gorgeous flowers, or hearty bison meat, Kingston’s Farmer’s Market has it all.  Stocked by regional farmers, Market Square is transformed into a Locavore’s dream. And if you enjoy rummaging through treasured antiques, the Sunday Market has that too!  The Farmers Market is one of the truest signs that Summer has arrived.

Movies in the Square, June to August 2011: who doesn’t love the Drive-In? Okay, maybe you don’t have the same nostalgic memories of the Drive-In as I do, but if you can pull yourself away from NetFlix for one evening, Movies in the Square will not disappoint. From June through August, one Market Square is transformed into a free outdoor movie theatre one night a week, complete with popcorn and cotton candy for sale. Simply bring your own lawn chair, blankets to keep warm and whatever other snacks you fancy. There’s always a great lineup of family-friendly films, which we’ll share as soon as this year’s list is finalized.

Buskers Rendezvous, 14-17 July 2011: a family and budget friendly affair, this festival brings in talented buskers from all over the world, from unicycle-riding fire jugglers to talented sidewalk chalk artists and hilarious clowns, there’s something for everyone. One of the great aspects of this festival is that parts of downtown Kingston are closed to car traffic, making it pedestrian friendly.

Fort Henry’s Sunset Ceremonies, Wednesdays in July and August 2011: the Canada Day Fireworks display has it’s charms, but even better is the Sunset Ceremony hosted at Fort Henry. Every Wednesday in July and August, Fort Henry’s parade square comes alive as the Fort Regiment shows off precision drill movements and field manoeuvres to recreate exciting battle tactics employed over a century ago. With period-specific music and a fireworks finale, the Sunset Ceremony is one of the reasons why Fort Henry is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and why our readers voted it as one of Kingston’s best alt landmarks.

Limestone City Blues Festival, 25-28 August 2011: while I don’t listen to a great deal of blues music throughout the year, I’ve really grown to appreciate this genre thanks to the amazing talent brought in via Kingston’s annual Blues Festival. This is yet another pedestrian-friendly, downtown event, where I’ve enjoyed listening to the likes of Hubert Sumlin, Bryan Lee, Matt Anderson and Carlos del Junco, just to name a few.  While the 4-day festival is not free, the cost is usually around the $10 mark, which is a steal of a deal considering the renowned headliners the main stage tends to attract. Bring your lawn chair!

Thanks to LostBob photos for the harmonica player, and Gangie for the fireworks shown in today’s collage.

Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

4 thoughts on “Top Five Things to See and Do in Summer 2011

  • Y'know, Kingston does -have- a drive-in. I know this is Downtown Kingstonist and all but things do exist outside of the downtown area.

    • I think you've been a reader, or a least a commenter for long enough to realize how much I love the Drive-In. In fact, I've written about it numerous times. I struggled with whether or not to include it in the top 5, as I wanted to strike a balance between events that are free, and those that you have to pay for. Movies in the Square is free fun, whereas the Drive-In is not. Having said that, I will likely be at the Drive-In moreso than the former as I have a problem (read addiction) to crappy summer blockbusters.

  • We LOVE the drive-in and mention it tons when it's open. (April 21st btw!) This post was limited to 5 things though.

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