The other day, I heard someone say that they were “stuck” in London all summer. Now, I get it. We all want to go other places than our own home cities – exploring the big wide world and all that. But, it’s pretty darn great right here! There’s LOADS of fun things to do this summer, starting with all of the amazing summer festivals!
SUMMER FESTIVALS IN LONDON ONTARIO
London kicks things off with a big 2 day country music festival on Canada Day weekend. Trackside Music Festival is one of the newer summer festivals here but certainly a fun one for the country music fan. Big names in country music have appeared and this year’s lineup includes: Dierks Bentley, Dustin Lynch, Dean Brody, Tim Hicks, and many more. The musicians range from homegrown local talent to up and comers in the country music scene, right up to the big name headliners. Takes place at Western Fairgrounds.
Next up is Sunfest, July 5-8. Organized by the London Committee for Cross Cultural Arts, this festival showcases over 35 world music and jazz ensembles from every corner of the world. With 5 stages, more than 225 exhibitors providing delicious international cuisine and local craft beer as well as handmade arts and crafts items. Held at Victoria Park, hours are 11 am to 11 pm, admission is free.
July 11-14 is Rock the Park. With a lineup of world class headliners, it has moved beyond its classic rock beginnings to add in such genres as country music, hip hop, and more. Festival foods, licensed beverage areas, and big screens so you’re sure to catch all the action make this a very popular event in London each year.
This year’s lineup includes Cyndi Lauper, Bret Michaels, Kim Mitchell, Flock of Seagulls, Platinum Blonde, Boyz II Men, Sisqo, Coolie, Three Days Grace, Rise Against, and many others. Proceeds go to Make a Wish, Western Football, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Brandon Prust Foundation. Held at Harris Park.
Pride London is a 10 day festival running from July 19-29 celebrating with cultural, artistic, and education events to support and affirm gender identity and the lives of the LGBTQ community. Takes place in various locations.
Ahhh, this one is my personal favourite! I’ve been attending since I was a young teen and it has never failed to be one of the highlights of my summer. It is, in fact, the longest running festival in the city, celebrating its 43rd anniversary this year. Home County started out as a folk festival but has expanded to 6 stages, offering something for everyone. Over 30 vendors with a variety of cuisines. Victoria Park, free admission. July 20-22.
This is a fun one for the foodies taking place August 2-6 at Victoria Park. Ten “ribbers” will be battling it out for awards such as Best Ribber and People’s Choice while serving up their signature BBQ sauces, ribs, pulled pork, and chicken. In addition to the ribs, there are other international food vendors offering everything from poutine to beaver tails and more. Beer garden (now featuring London craft beer!), amusement rides, live music, and the STIHL Timbersports Canadian axe and saw competitions. Free admission.
Held along with Ribfest is the Expressions in Chalk Festival on the ice pad at Victoria Park. It’s a free performance where art is created using pastels to create temporary works. We saw this a couple of years ago and it was amazing!
Speaking of beer fans, head on down to Covent Garden Market on August 10-11 for London’s annual celebration of craft beer. Food trucks and stands round out the culinary event.
We’re back at Harris Park with London Bluesfest, August 23-26. Two licensed areas, food vendors, and of course, amazing internationally known blues and classic rock performers. This year’s lineup includes: Sheep Dogs, Colin James, Blue Oyster Cult, Cheryl Lescom, and many more.
Have I missed any of our amazing summer festivals in London Ontario? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll get them added!