In honour of this column’s first birthday, here is your special, Fringe-free (for now), extended list of things to do in Edmonton this weekend.

Down to the river

What: There are two separate events taking place on the waters of the North Saskatchewan this weekend.

Dragon Boat

On Wednesday night, the Chin Yin Buddhist Society blessed some of the boats that will be competing in the Dragonboat Festival this weekend. (CBC)

  • On Saturday morning, paddling enthusiasts will take to their surfboards for the 7th annual Easy Rider Stand Up Paddleboard race and tour. While competitors will finish a 16 km paddle, the tour is a more manageable 8 km. If that’s still too much, a barbecue and film festival have been planned for after the race. A surf contest will be held on Sunday.
  • It’s mid-August and that means we’re thick into dragonboat season. The festival kicked off Wednesday night with a special blessing ceremony by the Chin Yin Buddhist Society and has races and special events planned through to Sunday.

The meaning of the blues

What: Another weekend, another music festival in Hawrelak Park. This year’s Edmonton Blues Festival boasts a stellar lineup of Grammy, Blues Music, Juno, Maple Blues and IBC award winners – including five acts making their Edmonton debut. The full lineup and schedule are available here. Tickets are still available for multi- and single-day passes, ranging from $45 to $105.

When? August 15 to 17

The other FIFA

What: As you’ve probably heard, there’s some stellar young athletic talent in town right now as Edmonton hosts the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. On Saturday, the Canadian team will take on Germany in the quarter finals at Commonwealth Stadium. Tickets are available here.

Robert Cray

Robert Cray will perform Friday night at Edmonton Blues Fest. (Edmonton Blues Fest/Robert Cray)

When? August 16 at 6 p.m.

Champing at the bit

What: Get out your tiny hat because it’s Canadian Derby time at Northlands Park. Billing itself as the “biggest event in Western Canadian racing,” the horse races, corsages and yes, bets, are on for the event’s 85th season. Outdoor Grandstand tickets will be sold at the event for about $10.

When? August 16; races run from noon to 6:30 p.m.

Summer scramble

What: I’m not going to say that summer’s almost over, but I will warn you that there’s only so many more warm weekends to come, and so many outdoor activities to try. Here are some ideas for ways to get outdoors and soak up the sunshine this month:

Thanks to everyone who’s been tuning in each week and keep those suggestions coming if you hear about an event that should be included!