Last summer was my first real summer living in Edmonton. In anticipation, I wrote a post about a number of Edmonton summer activities that looked like they’d be fun to do.
The summer, which always seems so long in coming, disappears in the blink of an eye. I always get depressed by the fact that just as the summer is really getting started – as in, this week – the days have already begun their descent into December darkness. But, I digress.
So, here’s my 2011 list of things I must do in Edmonton this summer:
1. Canoe the North Saskatchewan River – Still a top priority, but it takes the better part of a day to do it. Plus, I can’t help but feel that the water seems browner this year than last year and it’s not quite as inviting. Is it because we’ve had so much rain?
2. Cycle the river valley and beyond – I completed this summer must-do activity last year and want more. This summer, I’d like to venture outside the central river valley – to places like St. Albert, the north-east quadrant of the city, perhaps to rural locales on the edges of the city. Any route suggestions are welcome.
3. Attend Edmonton Folk Music Festival (Aug 4-7, 2011) - Got my all-day passes this year on the website 5 minutes after the opening of sales. Planning to take the family, but I’m not so big on the tarp run in the morning. Anybody want to tag team with us? The Edmonton Jazz Festival just passed and I missed most of it – despite being a jazz lover. Late June is just too busy already. The Works Art and Design Festival was nice – took in a few venues. I think we’ll miss most of the Fringe again, unfortunately.
4. Visit Devonian Botanic Gardens – This is still high atop the list. With any luck, some family visitors from Ontario will give us the excuse we need to get out to Devon.
5. Downtown Farmer’s Market – We were already out a few times including the launch of the market in May. Still a favourite Saturday activity.
6. The Art Gallery of Alberta – We’ve joined as members and this spot has become a mainstay of our downtown life not only in the summer, but spring, fall and winter too.
And here are some new additions to the list for 2011:
7. Heritage Festival (July 31 – Aug 2, 2011) – We’ll be getting our share of inter-cultural sharing this year as our kids participate in the annual Heritage Day festival at Hawrelak Park.
8. FreeWill Shakespeare in Hawrelak Park – Until July 24th, the FreeWill Shakespeare Festival performs Othello and Twelfth Night on alternate nights (except Monday). That’s definitely on the list.
9. Visit BC – I know. It sounds strange, but one of the nicest things about being in Edmonton is being able to visit British Columbia in the summer. The drive is spectacular and Kelowna is a lovely place to visit.
10. Visit Calgary – We’ve been here almost two years and I haven’t done a recreational trip to Calgary – and by “recreational” I mean dining out, walking around, finding good cappuccino cafes and generally enjoying the place.
11. Symphony under the Sky – Another great outdoor festival, this one comes at the very end of the summer. There really is nothing finer than a warm sunny day and classical music on the grass.
12. Visit Drumheller – Not sure it’s in the cards this summer. It was going to be – until Kelowna made an offer we couldn’t refuse. Maybe next year.
13. Elk Island – I was going to head out to Elk Island for that winter festival with the star gazing program – but it was canceled due to inclement weather, as I recall. Another time.
14. Visit Pigeon Lake – I keep meeting people in Edmonton who have a place by the lake, but I can’t seem to get an invitation. One of these days – nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more – one of them might invite me and the family to visit. Until then…
Enjoy your summer while it lasts. And if all else fails, just get on your bike and ride.