Alberta is renowned for epic winter sports and summertime activities such as the Calgary Stampede and the Edmonton Fringe Festival. But the province has a lot to offer visitors in the fall, too. When summer begins to recede and the nights get crisp, Albertans don’t only put on autumn layers; they put on a whole slew of great shoulder-season events. Here are just a few of the great things you can do in Alberta in the fall.
Hop to Oktoberfest. Every October, beer lovers will want to head to either Calgary Oktoberfest or Edmonton Oktoberfest. Real beer lovers will want to make it to both. Whichever event you attend, you’ll be treated to a celebration of beer, food, and music. In addition to sporting authentic Bavarian-style booths pouring equally authentic Bavarian-style beers, Calgary Oktoberfest and Edmonton Oktoberfest celebrate great local beers from all over Alberta.
Get reel. For 10 days in late September and early October, Edmonton premieres independent films at the Edmonton International Film Festival. The popular event is a perfect way to discover emerging talent and celebrated filmmakers from around the world. Save room for popcorn, because you’ll likely want to catch several of the more than 170 dramatic and documentary features and short films.
Hear it in the mountains. Every September, the Jasper Heritage Folk and Blues Society puts on the Jasper Folk Music Festival. The three-day event showcases award-winning folk artists from all over the region. It’s an ideal chance to take in some first-rate music amidst Jasper’s awe-inspiring turquoise glacial lakes and rugged mountains.
Stomp it out. Put on your sneakers and join thousands of participants in the Edmonton Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life. Raise some awareness and Loonies (that’s a CAN$1 coin) for a good cause: HIV/AIDS prevention and community support.
Do more near Canmore. Head to Kananaskis Village throughout the fall for the Kananaskis Mountain Festival. The festival comprises 13 weekends of great concerts, incredible food, and wellness programs. Key events include Kananaskis Unplugged, Celebrity Chef Weekend, and the Wine and Spirits Weekend. Stay at the gorgeously appointed Delta Lodge, where many of the events are located, so that you can really embrace the experience. When we visited, we stayed in a recently renovated, spacious loft unit that faced the mountains.
Viewfinder Tip: Head to Travel Alberta’s website for loads of ideas for your autumn itinerary.
Go for the gold. If you want to visit Lake Louise when the weather is perfect, the crowds are gone, and rates are affordable, then Lake Louise Fall Festival is your dream come true. Whether you take in the splendor of changing colors on a guided hike or you take part in culinary events, you’ll be experiencing Banff National Park at its most beautiful.
Taste the Rockies. Alberta’s two largest cities (Calgary and Edmonton) celebrate the annual Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival in October. In both locales, you’ll find a wide array of world-class wine, premium spirits, imported and micro-brewed beer, and an assortment of local culinary creations.
About what fall events are you most excited?