Culture & Entertainment

Summer must-do: Winnipeg Folk Fest

By: Andrea Karr
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

Summer must-do: Winnipeg Folk Fest

By: Andrea Karr
There are a lot of musical festivals in the world, but none can compare to Winnipeg Folk Fest. Granted, I haven't been to every music festival that the world has to offer, but I have been to my fair share. But I guess nothing will ever top my first. Winnipeg_Folk_Fest_3 Why it's the best The people. Nowhere else will you find such kind, happy, laidback men, women and kids that genuinely like each other and want to have a good time. They all come out to Bird's Hill Park, Manitoba, each year to sit on their tarps and in their low foldable chairs, eat perogies and frozen bananas dipped in sprinkles, and listen to the best that folk music has to offer. There are children dancing barefoot and rolling in the mud (if it's been a rainy summer), people blowing bubbles as the sun sets, and glowing toys and jewellery for dancing in the dark. Winnipeg_Folk_Fest_4

My mom and lil bro enjoying beers at the beer tent. That evening, we met a couple that were very excited I worked at Canadian Living.

What you can expect The festival lasts for five days—July 9 to 13, this year—with performances Wednesday night, Thursday night, and all day and evening Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In the evening, two stages are open, whereas there are seven to choose from during the day. There's a beer garden, a handmade village full of jewellery, crafts and other souvenirs, as well as several food vendors that are open all day and evening. This year, 10-time Grammy winner Bonnie Raitt opens the festival on July 9. Other performers include Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Corb Lund and Ani Difranco. Winnipeg_Folk_Fest_5

A yummy whale tail. I also love the flavoured lemonade and perogies. All plates are reusable. You pay a $2 fee that's given back to you when you return the plate.

Camping Since moving to Toronto, I haven't had the chance to camp, though I still drive out to the fest for a day or two each summer when I have the chance. I seriously miss the good ole days in Festival camping, where people party all night long, dancing around fires to the beat of drums until the sun rises. There's a sense of comradery—people will help if your tent blows over, you run out of ice or you've lost your friends and need a place to hang out for a couple hours. There's also a Quiet campground for families. Both Festival and Quiet camping allow RVs. Winnipeg_Folk_Fest_2

Hanging with my little brother on the quilt that we brought to the fest. Make sure you bring a tarp to place under blankets, as the grass gets damp after sunset.

Winnipeg_Folk_Fest_1 This year, I don't fly into Winnipeg until the evening of July 12—but I bet you can guess where I'll be spending my Sunday. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit winnipegfolkfestival.ca/folk-fest. Until June 30, a 5-day pass is $245 for adults and $145 for youth and seniors. Single-day passes range from $48 to $83. Children 12 and under are free.
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Culture & Entertainment

Summer must-do: Winnipeg Folk Fest

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