Fun-filled festivals for your August long weekend in and around Manitoba

The August long weekend is finally here and you've got no shortage of choices for how to spend it.

From Canada Summer Games to Kenora's Harbour Fest, Folklorama to Icelandic Festival

The India Pavilion will open along with a number of other Folklorama pavilions this weekend. (Dr. Tse Li Luk)

The August long weekend is finally here and you've got no shortage of choices for how to spend it.

CBC rounded up just a few ideas for what to do with this year's August long in and around Manitoba.

Canada Summer Games Festival

If you're looking for free entertainment this weekend, the Canada Summer Games festival has you covered.

The festival officially started on July 29 and won't wrap up until Aug. 12, with free concerts, fireworks and programming nearly every night in between at The Forks.

Each night of performances is dedicated to one province, B.C. on Saturday and Saskatchewan on Sunday. 

Manitoba's night is Monday, Aug. 7. Before the headliners — the Crash Test Dummies featuring the Winnipeg Sympony Orchestra — check out Fred Penner, Faouzia, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, William Prince featuring Sierra Noble, The New Meanies and Royal Canoe. 

Every night ends with fireworks at 10:30 p.m. 

Founding Nations Powwow

If you're heading to the The Forks for the Games festival anyway, you can hit two free, musical birds with one stone by also checking out the annual Founding Nations powwow in Oodena Circle.

The annual event showcases styles of dance from Indigenous communities around Manitoba.

It kicks off Monday at 6 p.m. and wraps up at 9 p.m. — just in time to head over to the main stage and catch the Crash Test Dummies performance with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra at 9:25.

People gathered at the Forks to take in the 2015 Founding Nations Pow Wow. This year's event will take place on Monday. (Erin Brohman/CBC)


Starting Sunday, you can supplement your Canada Summer Games festival-going with another Winnipeg festival in the form of Folklorama.

Billed as "the largest and longest-running multicultural festival of its kind in the world," the festival starts Sunday night and goes until Aug. 19 at locations across the city.

It's been running since 1970, and the 2017 iteration features 41 different cultural pavilions from Africa to Ukraine.

Single admission is available at each pavilion door for $6, and kids under 12 get in free with adults (there's a limit of five free kids for each adult, so keep that in mind if you're escorting a gaggle of youngsters).

A number of pavilions open this weekend, including the Korean, Cuban, Ethiopian, First Nations and German options.

Bright colours, dancing and music at the Brazilian Folklorama pavilion in 2016. This year's festival begins Aug. 6., but a downtown party Saturday will act as a kickoff for the event. (Thomas Asselin/CBC)


The festival's president Robbie Rousseau calls it the crown jewel of Manitoba festivals: Gimli's annual Icelandic Festival of Manitoba.

You can find music, beach activities, a Viking village, a parade and more at the 128th annual and 85th anniversary event. 

On Saturday at noon, you can also catch the opening of Viking Park around Gimli's iconic Viking statue, the culmination of three years of work by the festival's organizing committee.

Food-wise, you can feast on traditional vinarterta, a many-layered cake made with prunes, ponnukokur, an Icelandic pancake, and rullupylsa, lamb deli meat served on Icelandic brown bread. 

"We have a large delegation of people coming from Iceland, so you will see and feel Iceland in Manitoba," Rousseau told CBC News.

Kenora Harbour Fest

There aren't any Canada Summer Games events on in Kenora, Ont., this weekend — it's a satellite host for the Games and is home to the rowing events — but you can get a piece of the community's annual Harbour Fest starting Friday.

The three-day, volunteer-run festival starts Friday with performances from Hedley and Winnipeg band Primetime.

Thousands are expected to attend, getting in on food, music, petting zoos, bouncy castles and fireworks on the Sunday night.

If you still want to watch watersports, you can also catch the beginning of the 52nd Lake of the Woods International Sailing Association race if you've got some time to kill. It starts at 11 a.m. in the Kenora Harbour.