As sure as the sun rises in the East, as soon as the temperature starts to warm up the residents of the 'gentle province' come out to enjoy a wide variety of annual summertime events. Boasting more festivals per capita than anywhere else in Canada, from April through October Prince Edward Island is in non-stop party mode. With ample annual events and PEI communities always creating a plethora of new ones, visitors will never have a shortage of cultural, culinary or musical events to experience.
Festival of Small Halls
Tourism PEI / Louise Vessey
Dates: June 14-27, 2015
The Festival of Small Halls is a critically-acclaimed traditional music and dance festival that ties communities through Prince Edward Island together. Throughout 14 days in June, those who find themselves in PEI can enjoy more than 50 different performances in 40 different rural community halls. The festival not only highlights the often beautiful small halls in these communities, but it showcases the traditional dance and music from Prince Edward Island's abundant Irish, Scottish and Acadian cultures. These traditional performances are also accompanied with a smattering of the island's popular modern genres including bluegrass and old-time country, with Prince Edward Island having a long history of producing the singer-songwriters that revitalize both genres.
Tourism PEI / Katelyn Fraser
Dates: September 11-October 4, 2015
The Fall Flavours Festival is a month-long celebration of all things yummy found on Prince Edward Island. During the month of September, chefs throughout island province come out to highlight the unique culinary experiences throughout the many communities of PEI during what is considered by many to be the most beautiful time of the year. Fall Flavours visitors can simply enjoy the flavours of the season or get their hands dirty with locals hosts to pick potatoes, catch lobster and harvest oysters. Local Fall Flavours restaurants throughout the island will feature special menus that highlight all the best ingredients of the season; however, aspiring chefs seeking to replicate some of these great flavours will want to attend the Food Network-inspired Culinary Boot Camp. No matter where visitors to Prince Edward Island find themselves during the Fall Flavours Festival, they are likely to find an eclectic and tasty event to partake in.
Cavendish Beach Music Festival
Tourism PEI / Stephen DesRoches
Dates: July 10-12, 2015
Unassuming and peaceful throughout the rest of the year, for one stunning weekend in July this once cow pasture in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island transforms into the largest multi-day outdoor music festival on Canada's Atlantic coast. Each year the Cavendish Beach Music Festival attracts more than 70,000 visitors that come to enjoy the warm ocean swimming, summer camping, and performances by the biggest names in country music. Past performers have included Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley and Tim McGraw. For 2015, the Cavendish Beach Music Festival welcomes performers like Keith Urban, Shakey Grave, Witchitaw and the Quebe Sisters split between their two stages that fit as many great musical performances as they can into three short days.
Canada Day Celebrations
Tourism PEI / Stephen DesRoches
Celebrating Canada Day by taking in a spectacular fireworks display in the birthplace of Confederation seems especially festive. But not to worry, there are plenty of celebrations to be enjoyed outside of historic Charlottetown. Family friendly daytime activities will be happening in Georgetown, Grand Tracadie, Kensington, Miltonvale Park, Cornwall, Rustico, North Rustico, Souris, Stratford and Summerville.
Summerside Lobster Festival
Tourism PEI / Stephen Harris
Dates: July 20-25, 2015
Prince Edward Island has had a long relationship with the lobster. Before it became the delicacy that it is today, they were so common on PEI, they were used as fertilizer in the fields. Infinitely more prized today, a meal of this succulent seafood paired with local fruits and vegetables and the island's own signature recipe of potato salad is a Prince Edward Island tradition. With two lobster fishing seasons and because it tastes so darn good, it is only natural that this shellfish would be celebrated with its very own festival. Summerside saw Lobster Festival reinvented in 2014, drawing more attention than ever to their beautiful town and the festival namesake. For 2015, the festival brings even more to the table, all with a side of melted butter. From July 19th through July 25th, Summerside will host events including the Mi'Kmaq Cultural Day, the 11th Annual Beach Volleyball Tournament, and Celebrity Culinary demonstrations that feature both lobster and other shellfish. Festival goers will also be able to enjoy musical performances on the Summerside outdoor stage that are sponsored by the Festival of Small Halls coordinators.
PEI Highland Games and Scottish Festival
Tourism PEI / Yvonne Duivenvoorden
Date: August 1-2, 2015
For all those laddies and lassies out there, the Highland Games and Scottish Festival in Prince Edward Island provides a taste of Scotland without having to hop a plane across the pond. The festival takes place on August 1st and 2nd at the Lord Selkirk Provincial Park in Eldon. This cultural event features a number of attractions that highlight the highland heritage on Prince Edward Island, from step dancing competitions, pipe bands, sheepdog demonstrations and a plethora of local food vendors serving up both Scottish classics and PEI delicacies. The highlight of the Highland Games and Scottish Festival is the age-old Kilted Pace and Golf competition. With 2015 marking the 151st anniversary of this Prince Edward Island festival, it is sure to be bigger and better than ever before.
TD Jazz & Blues Festival
Date: August 27-29, 2015
Will you be in Charlottetown in late August? We hope so! This late summer weekend will see the best of Canadian and international performers flocking to the capital city to play across multiple city venues. Catch jazz, blues, soul and funk on open air stages while perusing a number of free workshops or drop in on a late night jam.