The Biggest Annual Events in Ottawa

Events in Ottawa

Ontario is home to some of the coolest cities, and Ottawa is one of the biggest and best areas Ontario has to offer. From bustling city life to quaint natural oases, this capital city has a little something for everyone. If you’re considering coming to the area for vacation or looking at Ottawa homes for sale, you may be wondering what awesome experiences there are to enjoy here each year. Well, if you’re looking for some of the best festivals and events in Canada, you’ve come to the right place for Events in Ottawa.


No matter your taste, there’s no doubt that Ottawa has an incredible annual event that would pique your interest. From holiday parades to farmers markets, there’s practically an event every single week! Here are some of the best annual events to check out in Ottawa.


Everyone knows Ottawa winters can be rough, but the many inches of snow Ottawa receives each year are a lot easier to stomach when fun winter activities are involved. Winterlude is not only one of the top events in Ottawa, but in the entire country as well. The Department of Canadian Heritage started Winterlude in the 1970s and brings in hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. At Winterlude, you can take part in plenty of wintertime activities, the biggest being ice skating. When frozen over, the Rideau Canal transforms into the world’s largest ice skating rink.

The Ottawa Fringe Festival 

Ottawa’s Fringe Festival is the largest theater festival in the city. This is a truly unique experience, with various types of performance art showcased each summer at this eleven-day event. From improv to dance to theater, there’s something here for everyone to enjoy. The festival celebrates up and coming individuals in the performance space and encourages the audience to explore new forms of art that may awaken their creativity. If the performing arts are something you already enjoy, or if you’re looking to explore the world of theater for the first time, you’re sure to find something that touches your soul at the Fringe Festival.

Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival

The Hong Kong Canada Business Association began the Dragon Boat Festival in the mid-1990s, and ever since, it has been a community staple every summer. Held at Mooney’s Bay Park, this event features enormous dragon-shaped boats that race along the water to victory. Teams can register to participate in the event, competing in various divisions. Whether you’re participating or just there to watch, you’re sure to have a great time enjoying the race, as well as food and entertainment. 

CityFolk Festival

CityFolk is the city’s premier folk festival, featuring five days of musical performances and more. From local acts to world-famous musicians, you’ll find the lineup runs the gamut and features something for everyone. Plus, like most music festivals, there are great activities to enjoy in between sets. The craft beer fair is perfect for anyone who loves to enjoy an ice cold beverage while rocking out to their favorite band, and there are plenty of delicious eats to grab throughout the day. 

While a festival can be a great event with friends or your partner, it’s also a very family-friendly event for those inclined to bring the kids along and set up a blanket in the sun. There are also plenty of vendors selling handmade goods, so you can have something to take home and remember the experience.

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