Calgary’s festival season kicks off in earnest in June, with events like the Lilac Festival and the Sled Island Music and Arts Festival among heavy-hitters primed to give you plenty of reasons to get out and enjoy the sunshine. Here’s the best of our city this month.
Favourite new spots to eat and drink
If you’ve made your way down 17th Avenue since the warm weather came to town, you’ve no doubt noticed the long lineups stretching out the door and down the block at Made by Marcus. With flavours like Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk and Whiskey Hazelnut Praline, it’s no surprise Calgarians are beating the heat at this micro-creamery.
But if the lines stretch too long at Made by Marcus or at Village Ice Cream, check out Scrollio Rolled Ice Cream, which opened its doors on 17th Ave in late April. For the uninitiated, rolling ice cream is a Thai technique that involves pouring flavoured liquid onto a cold steel circle, adding toppings, then spreading them out and rolling them into Instagram-worthy creations. Perhaps equally appealing are the adventurous flavours on Scrollio’s menu, including a wasabi-flavoured option.
Proving that the quest for the perfect dumpling is truly a science, the folks behind the Dumpling Lab have set a noble ambition for themselves – become the local champions of the doughy dish. Open in Chinatown since late April, the Dumpling Lab serves up items from both a regular menu and an “experi-menu” – so you too can be willing subjects in the pursuit of dumpling excellence.
Dates to mark on the calendar
The 4th Street Lilac Festival serves as the unofficial kickoff to summer festival season – and once the confetti is swept up and vendors have packed up their tables along 4th Street, there’s no time to recover before YYC Beer Week, which runs June 5 to 9. The inaugural event serves as a celebration of local beer, and breweries such as Village Brewery and the brand new Cold Garden Beverage Company will host tours and other special events.
Fresh off winning Best Neighbourhood in the Best of Calgary survey, Bridgeland is set to host its own celebration June 10. Enjoy food from merchants like Bridges on First or the Blue Star Diner, or check out neighbourhood mainstays like Lukes Drug Mart or the Coveted Boutique.
With multi-genre experimental producer Flying Lotus curating the 2017 iteration of the Sled Island Music and Arts Festival, you’d rightly expect the lineup to feature a diverse and eclectic roster. Flying Lotus didn’t disappoint, with selections like hip-hop pioneer DJ Quik and funk master Seven Davis Jr.
More than 250 other bands, comedians and filmmakers will descend on Calgary for the annual festival – scheduled to run from June 21 to 25 – at venues like Commonwealth, the Hifi Club and the Palomino.
For a full run-down of the packed June events calendar in Calgary, check out Shane Flug’s Smart Tip.
As always, there are plenty of ways to chow down on delicious varieties of food in Calgary this summer, but a good festival to kick it all off is the Kensington Foodie Festival, scheduled June 7 to 11. The first annual festival will be hosted at a variety of Kensington culinary favourites, including Container Bar and Vero Bistro.
Know you’d love to sample a variety of cuisines from around the world, but don’t have time to travel? Guillermo Barraza’s got you covered, with a Smart Tip to take you around the world in just eight restaurants.
If you didn’t catch the YYCFoodTrucks Spring Frenzy in Bridgeland May 27 and 28, don’t fret – stay tuned to the organization’s event page for the next gathering. Food trucks are a local favourite, and you can always keep posted on the location of beloved trucks like Calgary Mini Donuts or Subs N Bubbles by installing the Street Food App. For more on Calgary’s food truck scene, check out Jonathan Lawrence’s complete guide in this Smart Tip.
The warm weather we’ve been pining for is finally here, just in time for a packed June event calendar. From Lilac Fest to Sled Island, there’s plenty of food to be devoured and music to be enjoyed in our great city this month.