5 Things to do in Hamilton this weekend

Check out Hamilton Fringe, attend a Mad Hatter’s tea party or relive 200-year-old treason.

Check out Hamilton Fringe, attend a Mad Hatter’s tea party or relive 200-year-old treason

Bob Rennie portrays his great-great-great-great-grandfather Henry Bostwick, who arrested many of the 19 people tried in the Bloody Assize of Ancaster, some 200 years ago. The trial's bicentennial will be celebrated this weekend.

It's a busy weekend filled with a diverse mix of fun stuff to do in Hamilton — from Hamilton Fringe, now in full swing, to a 19-piece swing band. You can revisit a 200-year-old re-enactments or take part in the modern ConBravo! conference, billed as "the geeks taking over Hamilton." 

Here are just a few ideas for things to do this weekend.

Relive the Bloody Assize of Ancaster

It is a particularly dark part of Canadian history, in which 19 American sympathizers were tried for high treason in Ancaster and eight were hanged in 1813.

This weekend, the bicentennial celebration will bring together descendants of the accused, as well as the presiding judge and arresting officer.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Fieldcote Museum will explain the trials, which lasted nearly two months, as well as acknowledgement ceremony, movie screening and a performance of 1812 Overture by the Boris Brott Orchestra.

No, there will not be any bad blood, but there may be an argument. And there most certainly be some explaining to do — on both sides.

The events are free and open to all ages.

See a play — an affordable one

This weekend Hamilton Fringe Festival gets into full swing with a weekend chock full of performances around the city

The 11-day unjuried performance festival runs from July 17 to 27. Tickets run $8-$10 for everyone, and highlights include a Fringe Bus Tour and "Bring Your Own Venue" shows at some interesting, offsite locations. Here's what you need to know.

Partake in some 'neurodiversity'

Mad Pride Hamilton is throwing a Mad Hatter's Tea Party on Saturday to celebrate survivors of the mental health system, people labelled with mental illness and friends.

It is an annual "madness arts, culture and heritage celebration." 

The event takes place from 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m at The Perkins Centre at 1429 Main Street East (Main and Kenilworth).

There are also Fringe shows like The Yellow Wallpaper that go hand-in-hand with Mad Pride by focusing on mental health, that you can catch over the weekend.

Geek out with fellow gamers

ConBravo! describes itself as a celebration of indie media, gaming, and cosplay — and everything in between. It is Canada’s largest gathering of gaming and indie video producers, developers and fans. The three-day event features concerts, games, panels, live game shows, vendors and artists.

ConBravo! will be held at the Hamilton Convention Centre on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and day passes will run you either $25 or $35. 

Hear a 19-piece swing band

The second annual Seven Sundays in Gage Park Festival is on again this summer. The public is invited to attend the free annual music concert series taking place every Sunday in July and August at the George R. Robinson Bandshell in Gage Park.

"Bringing together a mixture of music genres, a variety of cultures, cool movies and some of Hamilton’s best food trucks, Seven Sundays aims to bring the Gage Park community together for an evening of family-friendly fun and entertainment," its website says. 

This Sunday features The Silver Swing Big Band performing at 7 p.m. It is a 19-piece swing band ensemble that has been performing since 1993 and was a crowd favourite last year.