This civic holiday weekend brings the best of summer fun. Find out what’s on in the Weekend Planner
It’s the long weekend and you might say it’s the best summer has to offer. The civic holiday weekend is packed full of summer fun, from our own Festival of Friends at Gage Park, a family obstacle course race at Valens, to churning ice cream at Westfield.
Festival of Friends
This summer tradition has gone back to its roots. Enjoy Hamilton’s Festival of Friends this weekend in Gage Park. The festival is an outdoor music, art and crafts festival happening annually since 1976. The weekend features a children’s stage, arts and crafts, foods of the world and three stages of music and so much more. The festival gets underway at 2 p.m. Friday, and noon on Saturday and Sunday, ending at 11 p.m. all nights. Admission to the festival is free, on-site parking is $10 per day but space is very limited. festivaloffriends.ca See The Spectator’s rundown of the weekend
Hell in the Harbour
It’s a challenging 6.5-km obstacle course happening at Bayfront Park on Saturday in support of Special Olympics Ontario. If you’re not a participant, the event is open to spectators and supporters from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Registrations start at 9:30 and race begins at 11 a.m. Together with the race, Hell in the Harbour also features live entertainment, beer garden, food vendors, merchandise vendors and more. Participants have preregistered. Admission is free to come cheer your favourite participant.
Stewart Memorial Church will hold an Emancipation Day Celebration Sunday, from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The event will include music, dance, spoken word and special guest speaker Justice Dr. Irving Andre. The church is located at 114 John St. N.
The Around the Reservoir Family Race is a family friendly challenge filled with puzzles and clues that participants must complete to win. You can run, hike, bike or boat your way through the challenge. It’s happening Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Valens Lake Conservation Area. Families who don’t take the challenge can still participate in the sand sculpture competition ongoing throughout the day. Call 905-525-2183 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Bring your blanket, sleeping bag or folding chair and watch a show on Sunday. Films in Forest features “Trolls” at the Fifty Point Conservation Area, 1497 Baseline Rd., Grimsby. Arrive by 7:30 p.m., the film begins at dusk. Admission is $15 per car. conservationhamilton.ca Movie Nights in Memorial Park features “The Lego Batman Movie.” Dress as your favourite super hero, play in the “building” area, and enjoy pre-movie entertainment, refreshments and Batman-themed kids’ activities. This free event runs 7 to 10 p.m., 266 Main St. N., Waterdown.
A free concert takes place on George Hamilton Day (Monday), honouring Hamilton’s Lincoln Alexander at The Hamilton Spectator auditorium from 7 to 9 p.m. The day’s name has been attached to the Civic Holiday in Hamilton since 2010. Music: Jude Johnson Quartet, Cottonwood Brass, Stewart Memorial Church choir and more. Free tickets at the Spec, 44 Frid St., Mon. to Fri., 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Scream for ice cream
Cream Carnival takes place Sunday and Monday. Experience the nostalgia of ice-cream making as you crank out hand-churned deliciousness. Test your skill with Edwardian carnival games. Admission is $11, $10 for seniors and $6.50 for children 6 to 12. Children five and under get in free. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Westfield is located at 1049 Kirkwall Road, Rockton. westfieldheritage.ca
Also at Westfield this weekend is an all new Edwardian carnival for adults. Enjoy an evening featuring traditional foods, music, dancing and carnival games on Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m. Advance tickets only, call 519-621-8851.
Celebrating Joseph Brant
Burlington’s Joseph Brant Day Festival celebrates the legacy of the city’s original settler, Joseph Brant, whose Mohawk name was Thayendanegea. The festival is celebrating all things Canadian this year and features a food truck rally, artists, vendors and a variety of interactive experiences. The festival runs Monday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at LaSalle Park, 50 North Shore Blvd. Admission is free and shuttle buses are available from the parking lot of the Aldershot GO Station and Aldershot school. museumsofburlington.ca
It’s a four-day celebration of history and heritage along the canal. This holiday weekend, explore the decks, try your hand at the wheel, or feel the spray as you cruise the Empire Sandy Tall Ship on Lake Erie or the E.M. Cotter Fire Boat along the Canal wall. Canal Days Marine Heritage Festival runs through to Monday. See portcolborne.ca/page/canal_days
Calling all gnomes, fairies, pixies, and sprites! Make your way to Royal Botanical Gardens where a touch of magic awaits you. Meet mystical creatures, participate in delightful activities, and learn the secrets of our Enchanted Garden. This event runs Saturday through to Monday at the Rock Garden. Tickets for non-members are $19.16 for adults, $6.50 for youth/student/senior, and $12.76 for children ages four to 12. Visit rbg.ca to purchase tickets online.
Open and closed Monday
Monday’s Civic Holiday is not a statutory holiday, but it’s still a summer long weekend. You will find some retail stores open and operating on holiday hours Monday.
Hamilton and Burlington do not have green bin, blue box or garbage pickup Monday. Pickups will be one day later than usual. Niagara picks up on Monday and runs collection as usual.
Community recycling centres and transfer stations are closed Monday.
All City of Hamilton recreation centres, senior centres, arenas, camps and Supie play lot programs will be closed.
Hamilton outdoor pools offer special programming on Monday. Be sure to check your local outdoor pool for hours. Wading pools are closed with the exception of Dundas Driving Park wading pool, which is open 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Gage Park wading pool, which is open noon to 4 p.m.
The Art Gallery of Hamilton is open from noon to 5 p.m.
Hamilton civic museums are closed on Monday.
The Warplane Heritage Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Hamilton and Burlington public libraries are closed Monday.
The HSR, Burlington Transit and GO Transit are operating on a Sunday schedule. DARTS will operate on a holiday schedule.
LCBO and beer stores across Ontario are open on Monday, as are most grocery stores and malls. Keep in mind that the Hamilton Farmers’ Market is closed.
JOSH ROSS AT THE FESTIVAL OF FRIENDS
Left: Tanya McCoy and Sadie Savage set up Fishy Fishy, one of the games in Magical Midways for this weekend’s Festival of Friends.
Above: Singer Josh Ross opened country music night at the Festival of Friends in Gage Park on Friday.