5 things to do in Edmonton this weekend

Pride parade, NextFest and fancy cats on display, oh my – this might be a busy weekend for you! But if you're looking for something a little more low-key – perhaps a day in the country or a peaceful folk concert in the the park – we've got you covered.

The summer city comes to life this weekend with events for every appetite

Over 75 floats participated in the 2013 parade, which lasted more than an hour, before arriving in Churchill Square. ((Caitlin Hanson/CBC))

Woah, Edmonton! Pride Parade, NextFest and fancy cats on display, oh my – this might be a busy weekend for you. But if you're looking for something a little more low-key – perhaps a day in the country or a peaceful folk concert in the the park – we've got you covered.

What's Next...Fest?

More than 500 artists will be involved in NextFest 2014, which will bring Edmontonians 11 days of theatre, dance, music and art. (NextFest/Facebook)
 What: In the organizers own words: “11 days. Over 500 artists. Daring theatre, bold dance, audacious music, empowering visual art, venturous film, and keen collaboration. The artistic voice of the next generation.” That’s right, ladies and gentlemen,
NextFest is back. A full list of this year’s artists is available here. Tickets are available here. 

When? Shows daily from June 5 to 15

Pride on display

What: Join Oilers captain Andrew Ference and roughly 30,000 other people this weekend for the annual Edmonton Pride Festival. While there’s more than 50 Pride events planned over the next 10 days, the biggest deal will likely be the Pride Parade, scheduled to start winding its way through downtown at noon on Saturday. Check out this gallery from last year to get you in the mood.

When? Events daily from June 5 to 15

Local music in Little Italy

What: Competing with NextFest for your arts-love is the Heart of the City Festival, back for its 11th year offering free, family-friendly local music and arts in Giovanni Caboto Park. Several performers who got their start at Heart of the City have gone on to play the Edmonton Folk Fest, making this the perfect opportunity for you to scope out new talents.

When? From 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. June 7 and 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. June 8

Camp fun for a cause

For just $20/car, your family can eat and play all day on Saturday for a good cause at Birch Bay Ranch. (Supplied/Birch Bay Ranch)
​ What: If you’re less into live music and more into
ziplines, hit the road to Birch Bay Ranch, just outside of Sherwood Park for its annual Family Fun Day. Activities on the menu include ziplines, rock climbing, rappelling and ascending, pony rides, hay rides and a delicious BBQ all yours for just $20 per car (or $10/person). Then, sleep easy knowing your cold, hard cash will help kids who otherwise couldn’t afford to go to summer camp this year.

When? June 7 from 2 to 6 p.m.

'We are not kitten you right meow'

What: Me-owww! Cat fanciers, unite! Saturday’s Edmonton International Cat Fest will be a celebration of all things feline all in support of the Edmonton Humane Society. Inspired by the Internet Cat Video Festival held in Minnesota in 2012, the Edmonton kitty-day will include a local cat video competition, cat beauty pageant, educational presentations, “vendors, products and cats in a controlled setting” and food trucks (one of these things is not like the other). Oh. And Lil Bub will be there. Tickets cost $15.

When? June 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Odds and Ends

There are so many things planned for around the city this weekend I couldn’t even write about them all. Here are some other happenings about town for you:

  • The Cosmopolitan Music Society is celebrating its 50th anniversary with music clinics, concerts and parties, running from June 6 to 8. 
  • Start your Saturday off right with pancakes and sausages at the Super Summer Pancake Party, where $2 will get you a meal and support the Downtown Edmonton Community League at the same time. Win win. 
  • If you’re in the mood for a truly gourmet experience, pick up your food passport and head to Whyte Avenue for the Red Shoe Crawl on Sunday in support of the Ronald McDonald House Northern Alberta.