Are you pumped and ready to grab August long weekend by the horns? The viking horns that is? This week there are festivals galore for the cultural explorers and plenty of outdoor experiences for the adventurous. Throw in a few family activities and you have the makings of the Best. Weekend. Ever! Here’s what’s hot in Manitoba…
Party Viking-style at Íslendingadagurinn
Jul 31 to Aug 3
To get a taste of Icelandic culture as it once was, attend the 126th annual Islendingadagurinn, or Icelandic Festival of Manitoba. Catch a fashion show of traditional Icelandic garments, enjoy Icelandic horse demonstrations, watch reenactments of Viking weapon and warfare tactics, and last but not least, get “dinged”. There will be Viking roars.
Make friends with the canaries of the sea
A visit to Churchill offers an unparalleled ability to get close to docile beluga whales during the summer months of July and August. A natural phenomenon to witness, each year thousands of whales make their way to the chilly waters of the Hudson Bay’s Churchill River, to birth their calves. Get ready to sputter out a blitz of oohs and ahhs!
This week, we are celebrating all things beluga! Check out our #BelugaWeek posts to see how truly awesome they are.
Ballet in the Park
July 29 to 31
Be exposed to the grace, beauty and artistry of classical ballet and modern dance at Ballet in the Park. This year’s FREE event will feature a special excerpt performance of Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation. You will also be treated to a pas de trois performance of The Fairy Doll by RWB School Professional Division students and Waltz of the Hours will be performed by RWB School Recreational Division students.
Experience our delicious Ukrainian culture
Jul 31 to Aug 2
Bitaemo! Venture out the beautiful Selo Ukraina site, situated at the edge of Riding Mountain National Park, to experience the 50th Anniversary of Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival! In the fresh air and sunshine, enjoy the incredible view and watch the world-class grandstand shows, taste authentic Ukrainian food and be fully immersed in Canada’s rich Ukrainian history.
Dig your toes into the sand at the beach
Hot sand, cool water and bare feet are an unbeatable combination. Every Manitoban has a favourite go-to beach, but with a province that boasts over 100,000 lakes, there are so many new ones for you to discover and enjoy. And you’re in luck because Buzzfeed just posted a list of 14 Manitoba beaches you must explore this summer.
Walk in the shoes of a pioneer
Jul 31 to Aug 3
Mennonite Heritage Village, Steinbach
Hitch your horses and go back in time to relive our Mennonite heritage and history at Pioneer Days. Explore the historic grounds at this four-day event and engage in pioneer activities such as milling and threshing. The delicious and traditional Mennonite fare will leave a lasting impression – but don’t worry, they serve it during their entire open season if you ever want to return to the good ol’ (and very tasty) days.
Celebrate our northern history
Jul 31 to Aug 9
Treaty and York Boat Days is an annual event that honors those Cree, Metis and European settlers who carved out the community during a time when survival depended on an iron will and steady determination. The World Championship York Boat Races pays homage to the strength through determination of contestants from all over Manitoba and neighboring provinces/states, who take it upon themselves to heave and thrust fifty pound oars in an effort to claim supremacy in the races.
Root for our boys in Blue
July 30 | 7:30 p.m.
Investors Group Field
Are you ready for some football?!! The summer months are once again all about Winnipeg Blue Bombers football as the team tries to earn *fingers still crossed* a spot in this year’s Grey Cup. This Thursday, the boys in Blue will be taking on those roaring Lions from B.C. C’MON BLUE!!!
Rock out at Rockin’ the Fields
Jul 31 to Aug 2
Rock fans come from far and wide to the beautiful Lake Minnedosa to enjoy great music, good friends at Rockin’ the Fields! In addition to three nights of Rock ‘n’ Roll, you can golf, enjoy the beach, fish, water ski, attend the Heartland Rodeo, visit the farmers’ market and historic park, or kick back and enjoy the days in the fields with all your best Rock Fest Cuzins.
Explore the Fort
Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site of Canada
Step back in time to the 19th century fur trade at the oldest stone fur trading post still intact in North America at Lower Fort Garry. Costumed interpreters will take you back to the mid-1800s as they re-enact events of the early days of this Hudson’s Bay Company post. Stone walls encircle the Fort’s enclosure, the largest group of original 19th century fur trade buildings in Canada.
Catch some good hits (and eats) at the ballpark
Jul 29 to 31 – Amarillo Sox
Aug 1 to 3 – Kansas City T-Bones
Shaw Park, Winnipeg
Root for the home team at Shaw Park during Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball games! This week, the Fish host the Amarillo Sox and the Kansas City T-Bones. Stroll around the ballpark, laugh with the crowd, and enjoy the overall atmosphere. Good times.
And if you’re hungry, the ballpark is the best place to get your nosh on having everything from pretzels to poutine at the concessions. The Clay Oven restaurant overlooking the field serves up some of the city’s best East Indian cuisine. After the final run, head to a nearby pub in the Exchange District or hit up a patio at The Forks for post-game relaxation.
Visit a farmers’ market
Various locations around the province
Feast on freshly produced goodies at your local farmers’ market! This is the perfect time for you to shop for locally-produced foods and discover the real great tastes of Manitoba. Yum! Here’s a list of markets province-wide and Winnipeg-specific.
Go wild at the Zoo
Assiniboine Park Zoo, Winnipeg
Polar bears and monkeys and leopards, oh my! Say hello to all the beautiful wild animals at Assiniboine Park Zoo. The Zoo has over 80 park-like acres for you to explore and interact with wildlife species from around the world.
Make memories at Riding Mountain
Enjoy a glorious worry-free visit at Riding Mountain National Park by spending your time hiking, biking, horseback riding, boating, swimming, or exploring the shops and restaurants in the Wasagaming Townsite. Learn about the natural forces that shaped this beautiful park on a guided interpretive adventure and watch for elk, deer, and moose as you wander through beautiful valleys, or ramble over rolling hills.
Set your sights on the Souris Bridge
Take a daytrip to Souris and brave Canada’s longest historic suspension bridge. The town’s most famous landmark spans 184 metres and is a Manitoba Star Attraction. After you’ve crossed the river (once, twice, or many times), set out to explore the rest of this quaint town to see museums, historic sites and beautiful parks.
Hike the Spirit Sands
Spruce Woods Provincial Park
Explore sand dunes up to 30 metres high in the unique Spirit Sands. The desert is said to be close to the Kiche Manitou — the great spirit — in Aboriginal lore. Follow a self-guided trail to the oasis known as the Devil’s Punch Bowl.
Got a tip for a future Hot this week? Send us your suggestion and it might just make the list! Comment below or tweet us @travelmanitoba.
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Beluga insider: Alex de Vries