This Barrie 360 content is brought to you by Kempenfest
Summer is the time for celebration, adventure and enjoying time outside with family and friends. And what better place to do all of it than at a local festival? The good news is, Barrie and the surrounding area have no shortage of exciting events to explore.
5 Events You Can’t Miss In And Around Barrie
Here are the top 5 festivals to check out this summer in and around Barrie …
1. Borden Canadian Armed Forces Day Air Show & Brewfest
Date: June 18 to 19
Location: CF Base Borden
Air Show Cost: $15 for adults; children 12 and under free (there are also family and VIP Packages available)
Brewfest Cost: $10
CFB Borden started hosting biennial air shows in 1988. Normally the show happens every 2 years, but like many, they had to cancel in 2020. Needless to say, they’re returning this year with an event that will be even bigger and better.
This year’s show will feature exhilarating performances. This includes aerobatics and air demonstrations by the Snowbirds, Manfred Radius and more. There will also be a demonstration by the Skyhawks parachute team.
On the ground, families can enjoy free exhibits and historical displays. There will also be food vendors, as well as an obstacle course and inflatables for the kids. If you want a more exclusive experience, you can pay for helicopter rides and access to a VIP Tent.
The 2022 air show will also have a new feature – the Brewfest Craft Beer Festival. The festival will feature local beer created specifically for the event from 5 local breweries:
- Flying Monkey Craft Brewery
- Katalyst Brewing Company
- Sawdust City Brewing Co
- Muskoka Brewer
- Redline Brewhouse
Entry to the Brewfest is free if you want to buy a drink. Or you can pay a small fee to sample all the beers and vote for your favourite. The winner’s beer will be featured at Borden Messes.
Parking at the event is free … but organizers will be accepting non-perishable food items.
2. Troubadour Festival
Date: June 24 to 25
Place: Meridian Place Amphitheater
Cost: $27.50 per night or $44.50 for two-day pass
The Troubadour Festival is a celebration of Canadian singers and songwriters. Starting in 2018, the festival has evolved over the past few years.
The 2022 Troubadour Festival will include a live outdoor music festival. The open-air concert will feature 7 multi-genre artists over two days.
The 2022 Lineup For The Troubadour Festival
- Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy – reigning couple of Celtic fiddle
- Dwayne Gretzky – party band
- Dylan Sinclair – R&B Swooner
- The Sh*tty Beatles – Beatles tribute band
- Lydia Persaud – Soul songstress
- PONY – Toronto based power pop group
- Josh Bogert – breakthrough pop artist
3. Mariposa Folk Festival
Date:July 8 to 10
Place: Tudhope Park
Cost: Day passes starting at $120; Weekend passes for $185
Mariposa is a decades-old folk festival that celebrates song, story, dance and craft. A local resident with a love of folk music organized the first event in 1961.
For the first 3 years, the festival took place in Orillia but after 1963 the festival was banned. After this the Mariposa Folk Festival moved around for a few decades before ending up back in Orillia in 2000.
Today, the 3-day festival features 11 stages with 100+ acts from established and emerging artists. This year’s lineup includes Blue Rodeo, The Strumbellas, Mavis Staples, JP Saxe and Serena Ryder.
The Mariposa Folk Festival also has:
- An Artisan Village
- Pub Tent
- Food Trail with multiple vendors
- Live painting at Studio Point
- A Folkplay Area
- Interactive stages
- And more
Camping is available on site at the Pete Seeger Memorial Campground from July 7 to 11.
Date: July 29 to August 1
Location: Barrie Waterfront
Cost: Free to enter
Kempenfest is one of Ontario’s biggest and best waterfront festivals with nearly 500 exhibits.
While the event started in 1971, it didn’t move downtown until 1975. Today, it takes over 2 kms of the Kempenfelt shoreline for 3 days every summer.
One of the major draws for Kempenfest is the art & crafts vendors with over 350 artisans and craftspeople. The market includes handmade wares, products from the kitchen, and innovative new products not yet sold at retail.
The festival also has over 15 food vendors and 40 antique exhibitors from across Ontario. The annual antique show is almost as big a draw as the arts & crafts. But at this show the vendors can’t sell reproductions. Only antique, vintage and collectible items are allowed.
Kempenfest also features live music from local bands and top Canadian talent. Saturday and Sunday during the day you can take in free shows at one of two stages. At night and on Monday afternoon, the main stage hosts ticketed shows. This year, Sheepdogs, Death From Above and more will be playing at the OLG Main Stage.
Another popular draw for Kempenfest is the Turkey Farmers’ Kids Village. This is one of the festival’s newest attractions. The village offers:
- Live performances at the Kool FM Stage
- Interactive games and activities
- Face painting (for a fee)
- Art stations for kids
- And more
Families can also enjoy fun games and rides on the midway.
5. Barrie Dragon Boat Festival
Date: August 20
Location: Heritage Park
Cost: Free to watch the races
The annual Barrie Dragon Boat Festival is a major recreational and cultural event. It promotes community spirit, vitality and unity. Hosted by The Barrie Public Library, the event also offers family literacy activities
Each year, teams of paddlers enter into the race for a fun-filled, adrenaline pumping competition on Kempenfelt Bay. 20 paddlers in a canoe like boat with a drummer upfront and a steerer in the stern, try to win a 300 meter race.
4 teams race at a time through several heats and each race takes about 2.5 minutes. At the end of the final race, several awards are handed out.
Practice season begins June 1 so you may even see teams out on the Bay before the festival.
Events In Barrie
There are tons of great events going on in Barrie and the surrounding area every summer.
If you’re looking for an exciting place to be, make sure you visit these festivals! You won’t want to miss out on the excitement, entertainment and celebration that all these festivals offer. Not to mention, delicious food and one-of-a-kind vendors.