August Guide: Major Events & Festivals in Ottawa

Published Aug 1, 2018

The month of August makes parenting easy- There's so many awesome kid-friendly events and festivals (and lots of them FREE). Whether you're a visitor or local, we think you'll find something new in this list of the major events and things to do this month.

Who doesn't enjoy throwing in some fun festivals into the mix? I know I do. Especially when they're free!

Here I highlight the major annual events, some totally free and some ticketed, but you can also visit ChatterBlock's full calendar of events for a snapshot of everything that's happening around Ottawa and beyond.

1. Ottawa Busker Festival

Ottawa International Buskerfest is taking over Sparks Street for the 27th year for an exciting 4 days! World class performers from all over the world will grace and amaze downtown Ottawa with award-winning shows perfected after many years of training and practicing in blood, sweat and smiles (no tears here)!

When: August 2nd - August 6th
Where: Sparks Street
Price: Free (or by donation to the street performers you see)
Learn More

2. Capital Ribfest

One of the tastiest BBQ's in town! At this all ages festival you just pay for what you eat! There will a whole lot of barbecuing all in one sticky spot, from ribs to Baconfest to a new pig roast, and more.

When: August 3rd - August 5th
Where: Ottawa City Hall
Price: Free admission
Learn More

3. Ottawa GreekFest

They invite you to "Live a Day the Greek Way!" at this amazing festival celebrating Greek culture. From amazing food and desserts to wonderful live music, traditional Greek dancing, and more entertainment, you'll have a great time with the family. OPA!

When: August 9th - August 19th 
1315 Prince of Wales Drive
Price: Free admission
Learn More

4. Casino du Lac-Leamy Sound of Light

Five international fireworks designers create amazing displays that light up the Ottawa/Gatineau’s sky during 5 nights filled with lights, music, entertainment. See performances from Spain, United States, Germany, China, and the grand finale!

When: 5 Dates: Aug 4th / Aug 8th / Aug 11th / Aug 15th / Aug 18th
Where: Museum of History
Price: With Admission (Free for kids 11 & under)
Get Tickets & Learn More

5. TD SouthAsian Fest

This free family friendly event in the heart of Canada's capital is the largest South Asian gathering in the nation. Featuring action packed activities, this annual festival is tons of fun for all ages and draws crowds from diverse cultural backgrounds.

When: August 10th - August 19th
Where: Various locations
Price: Free
Learn More

6. Capital Fair

Everyone's favourite 10 day fair that comes every end of August! The fair offers free admission so everyone can enjoy the shows and activities. You can purchase ride tickets or wristbands for the midway (pro-tip if you buy them online before August 18th you can save a good chunk of money). To keep the kids entertained is stunt dog shows, magic shows, hypnotists, tasty fair food, backyard zoo, monster truck show, and much more!

When: August 17th - August 26th
Where: Rideau-Carleton Entertainment Center
Price: Free admission - Pay for rides
Learn More

7. Arboretum Festival Bon-Fire

The Arboretum flagship event, BON-FIRE, is an annual end-of-summer music festival that has become a nationally-recognized platform for creativity.

When: August 17th- August 18th
Where: Rideau Pines Farm
Price: Varies per day ($29.99 & Up), Free for kids 10 & under
Get Tickets & Learn More

8. Westboro Fuse Street Festival

This free and lively two-day street party is a perfect outing for the family, and sure to please all ages. The street festival boasts live music, street performances, activity zones, kids zone,  relays, and even an inflatable obstacle course.

When: August 18th - August 19th
Where: Westboro Neighbourhood
Price: Free
Get Tickets & Learn More

9. Capital Pride Parade & Festival

Celebrate love at the most colourful event of the year. The parade will take place from 1:30pm-3:30pm along Bank Street (from Gloucester Ave to Somerset St) and you can watch over 125 groups march through the streets with colourful floats. You can join the festival afterwards on Pennsylvania Ave with live entertainment, food vendors, and over 300 exhibitors.

When: Sunday August 26th
Price: Free
Learn More

10. Lumière Festival

Lumière is a fun, free, family-friendly festival with a magical atmosphere for all to enjoy. With lantern making workshops throughout the year and on the day itself, it’s an invitation to express your creativity and truly become a part of the festivities. Costumes are encouraged to add to the fun!

When: Saturday August 25th
Where: Stanley Park
Price: Free
Learn More

11. Outdoor Movies

While July brought quite the line up, there's still plenty more to look forward to. Bring your friends, bring your family, bring your blankets, and watch a film under the stars.

Presented by: A Capital Pop-Up Cinema Production (FREE)

Wed August 1               Les Visiteurs (Canadian War Museum)
Fri August 10                The Princess Bride (ByWard Market Square)
Fri August 17                Jurassic Park (Sparks Street)

At Dundonald Park, Presented by: Centretown Movies (By Donation)

Fri August 3                  Thrashin
Sat August 4                 Bon Cop / Bad Cop
Fri August 10                Desert Flower
Sat August 11               Wonder Woman
Fri August 17                Wild
Sat August 18               Speed

More Fun Things To Do

Have a read up on some of our other articles with awesome ideas of things to do that aren't specifically events.

6 Coolest Splash Parks Around Ottawa

Bucket List- 36 Ideas of Things To Do With Kids Around Ottawa

Full Event Calendar

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