Five fun things to do in Waterloo Region this weekend: July 19-21

Whether you want to eat your fill of ribs, see King Street lit by hundreds of candles, take in some soothing jazz, or even dance like a fool, there's something for everyone this weekend in Waterloo Region.
The Allison Au Quartet is one of more than a dozen artists playing the free Sun Life Financial UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival this weekend. (Contributed: UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival)

  1. Go for a night hike or GPS treasure hunt: Saturday, July 20th, is Canada's Parks Day, so parks everywhere have special events to mark the weekend. Go on a trees/toads/trails hike in Pinehurst Lake Conservation area from 10:30-12 noon on Saturday and spot squirrels and sassafras. There's a night hike at the Rockwood Conservation Area starting at 8:00 p.m. and on Sunday follow GPS clues through the Laurel Creek Conservation Area, solve the puzzle and win a prize! They'll even supply the GPS units (but you'll have to hand over your photo ID). For more info check:
  2. Kitchener Ribfest and Craft Beer Show: Sauce it up at the 10th annual Ribfest in downtown Kitchener. Have your fill of ribs, chicken and pulled pork. "Ribbers" from across Ontario will be in Victoria Park to tempt your tasebuds on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free, food prices range from $7 for a pulled pork sandwich to $22 for a full rack of ribs! Craft beers will be on tap, taste them for a dollar (with the purchase of a special event wristband). See for full details. 
  3. 38th Annual Cambridge Highland Games: Cinch up your kilt, bring your bagpipes, and channel your inner Scotsman (or woman) at the 38th Annual Cambridge Highland Games. Though Fergus is probably best-known for its Scottish festival, Cambridge held the region's first highland games in 1975. There's an evening ceilidh Friday night, with the actual games starting Sunday morning at 8 a.m. Don't miss the caber toss and hammer throw, highland dance and even tug of war competitions! Here's the full event schedule 
  4. Sun Life Financial UpTown Waterloo Jazz Festival: All genres of jazz hit the stage in UpTown Waterloo this weekend, for a free 3-day festival. Lose yourself in the The Allison Au Quartet on Friday afternoon (her album The Sky Was Pale Blue, Then Grey was nominated for a Jono this year) or dance like you never knew you could on Sunday with Five Alarm Funk (their headbanging horn section, occasional choreography and four percussionists are unlike any group I've ever seen). See the full lineup here And if you're in UpTown Saturday why not check out Open Streets Waterloo, which has partnered up with the Jazz Festival for a special Open Streets at Night. From 6 to 10 p.m. King Street from William to Bridgeport will become one big al fresco restaurant! They'll be offering takeout options so you can enjoy your dinner while taking in your a jazz concert. And then, when the sun goes down, the lights go up. King Street will be lit with hundreds of candles. Truly a unique sight!
  5. Escape the heat "eat ham, and jam and Spam a lot" Bring your coconut hooves, it's opening weekend for Drayton Entertainment's production of Spamalot at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse. The Tony-winning Monty Python-inspired musical follows King Arthur and a rag-tag team of knights on a quest for -- you guessed it -- the Holy Grail. Tickets are a hot item, Friday's show is already sold out, but the show runs through to August 2 so if you don't catch it this weekend, there's still time. 

Have something happening in your community? Add your event listing in the comments section below.