Hot Summer Guide

Last year at this time, we were gearing up for a summer of Canada 150 fun. This year, we’re back to a more normal summer festival calendar. But there’s still plenty of fun to be had in Saskatoon, Regina and the rest of Saskatchewan (a.k.a. The Hinterland).

You can learn more about all the events mentioned here, plus many more, by visiting the Tourism Saskatchewan, Tourism Saskatoon and Tourism Regina webbies. /Gregory Beatty

SASKATOON

SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival

June 22–July 1

This festival includes ticketed and free shows at indoor and outdoor venues. Feature performers are Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, City and Colour, The Flaming Lips, Kamasi Washington, Bonobo, John Butler Trio, Matt Andersen and the Bona Fide, Tom Cochrane with Red Rider, Dee Dee Bridgewater & the Memphis Soulphony, Kellylee Evans, Jerry Douglas Band and Spanish Harlem Orchestra. saskjazz.com

Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan

July 4–Aug. 19

Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan is presenting three plays: the classic tragedy Hamlet, the romantic comedy Merry Wives of Windsor and Titus A. which takes place in Roman times and is reputed to be Shakespeare’s most violent play. It’s being performed by puppets, but it comes with an advisory for mature audiences only. As in other years, the festival includes an Elizabethan Village and Sir Toby’s Tavern. shakespearesask.com

La Fête Fransaskoise

July 6–8

Pike Lake Provincial Park

Most of the activities at this bilingual family-friendly festival are outdoors. They include art and music workshops, ultimate Frisbee, board games, along with daytime and evening concerts featuring Zachary Richard, La Groupe Swing, Etienne Fletcher, Shawn Jobin, Kelly Bado, Chandail de Loupe, Hart Rouge and more. fetefransaskoise.ca

Reggae World Music Festival

July 7

Details on this day-long festival were still being ironed out at press time, but it typically features reggae bands along with artists from Indigenous and other cultural backgrounds. The festival will be held at Cosmopolitan Centre. saskatoonreggaefestival.com

Brits By the Bess

July 15

Bentley, Jaguar, MG, Rolls-Royce, Mini and Land Rover are some of the vehicle brands that will be represented at this annual showcase hosted by Saskatchewan British Car Club. It goes from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. at the Delta Bessborough. Blimey! It should be a jolly good show! sbcc.ca

Canadian Rugby Championships

July 15–22

This national tournament features teams from across Canada competing in Senior women’s, U20 women and U19 men’s categories. The tournament is being hosted by Rugby Canada and North Saskatchewan Rugby Union. canadianrugbychampionship.com

A Taste of Saskatchewan

July 17–22

Gourmet grub from 30+ Saskatoon restaurants and local producers is featured, along with chef competitions and Saskatchewan bands spanning the spectrum from country and pop to folk, rock and reggae. So there will be plenty to sink your teeth (and ears) into at Kiwanis Memorial Park. tasteofsaskatchewan.ca

Saskatoon Dragon Boat Festival

July 20–21

Over 1100 rowers take to the South Saskatchewan River in teams of 22 to raise funds for charity by paddling their buns off, while the laziest/least fit crew member beats out time on a drum. The event includes cultural and social activities, with proceeds to Children’s Wish Foundation of Saskatchewan and Ronald McDonald House Charities Saskatchewan. facilitymarketing.com

Ganbatte 2018

July 20–22

This anime convention opens with a screening of the Studio Ghibli film Kiki’s Delivery Service at Roxy Theatre July 20 at 7 p.m., and then switches to TCU Place with vendor displays, games room, celebrity guests, panel discussions on cosplay and other aspects of anime culture. ganbatte.ca

Battle of the Bunnocks

July 21

Stealing a page from Macklin (see below), the Saskatoon & District Kinettes are hosting a one-day bunnock tournament. All the bone-tossing action will be at UMEA Sports Field, and registration deadline for mixed teams of four is June 30. saskatoonkinettes.com

FIBA 3×3 World Tour Masters

July 21–22

This tournament is sanctioned by the International Basketball Federation and will feature three-person teams from various locations in Canada and around the world. It also includes a dunk and shooting contest and other on and off-court entertainment. fiba.basketball/3x3worldtour/2018

Food Truck Wars

July 27–29

This family-friendly festival is being held in the Riversdale neighbourhood. It includes live entertainment, buskers, hot dog, pie and hamburger eating contests, a Saskatchewan’s Got Talent Search competition and tons of great food. foodtruckwarsyxe.com

Nutrien Fringe Festival

Aug. 2–11

The festival is creeping up on its 30th anniversary in 2019. So it’s certainly a pillar of Canada’s fringe community. It’s produced by 25th Street Theatre and features over 30 acts from Saskatchewan, Canada and around the world, along with buskers, arts and craft vendors and the YXE Street Eats festival. 25thstreettheatre.org

RibFest

Aug. 3–6

Anyone can season a rack of ribs, throw them on the grill, slather on some sauce, and serve up a respectable meal. But with this festival in Diefenbaker Park you’ll be able to sample some truly delectable fare. Throw in children’s activities such as a petting zoo and bouncy castle, along with music from Hollywood Persuasion, Brewster and the Roosters, Dukes of Fire and Hot Tamales, and it adds up to a smokin’ time. saskatoonribfest.com

Saskatoon Exhibition

Aug. 7–12                     

There’s a kick-off parade Aug. 7 at 10 a.m., and attractions include the spacey tech show Nova, stuntman Mighty Mike, the Silver Starlets female acrobatic troupe and Superdogs. Grandstand acts are Carly Rae Jepsen (Aug. 7), Marianas Trench (Aug. 8), Trace Atkins (Aug. 9), Tim Hicks (Aug. 10), April Wine (Aug. 11) and Crash ’n’ Bash Demo Derby (Aug. 12). saskatoonexhibition.ca

World Junior Lacrosse Championship

Aug. 8–12

Teams representing Canada, the United States and the Iroquois play a three-game round-robin at SaskTel Centre followed by a championship final. According to organizers, this is the first time the tournament has been held outside traditional Haudenosaunee territory. sasktelcentre.com

John Arcand Fiddle Fest

Aug. 9–12

Located 10 km southwest of Saskatoon at Windy Acres, this popular fiddle festival includes workshops, concerts, old tyme dances and Métis dance and cultural activities along with children’s programming. There’s free unserviced camping on site, and both weekend and day passes are available with kids 12 and under admitted gratis. johnarcandfiddlefest.com

Women’s Canadian Fast Pitch Championship

Aug. 15–19

This tournament features teams from across Canada. Off-field events are at Gordie Howe Sports Complex, while the games are at Bob Van Impe Stadium and Joe Gallagher Field. softball.ca

FolkFest 2018

Aug. 16–18

With an influx of newcomers from all over the world in the last decade, Saskatoon’s multi-cultural reality isn’t just limited to festivals — it’s on display year-round. Still, FolkFest offers Saskatonians a great opportunity to pull a Jules Verne and tour the world, sampling food, music, dance and bevies from different countries and cultures. saskatoonfolkfest.com

Rock the River

Aug. 17–19

Classic rock takes centre stage at this three-day festival highlighted by Toronto, Nick Gilder & Sweeney Todd and Nazareth (Friday); Lee Aaron, Men Without Hats, Sweet and Little River Band (Saturday); and Prism, Kim Mitchell, Gino Vannelli and Trooper (Sunday). rocktheriversaskatoon.ca

Show & Shine Weekend

Aug. 17–19

Billed as Canada’s largest classic car show, this festival celebrates the culture with races, poker rallies and classic rock (courtesy Rock the River). The festival is capped off by the downtown show and shine on Sunday with over 900 vehicles on display. ssw.rock102rocks.com

Having Hope At Home

Aug. 22–Sept. 2

This stage comedy tells the story of four generations of the Bingham family trying to survive on the family farm. Performances run Aug. 22–25 and Aug. 29–Sept. 1 at 7:30 p.m. and Aug. 26 and Sept. 2 at 2 p.m. at the Barn Playhouse (25 km. north of Saskatoon). barnplayhouse.com

Ukrainian Day In The Park

Aug. 25

Hosted by Ukrainian Canadian Congress, this popular outdoor festival is in Rotary Park. It includes stage performances by cultural groups, children’s activities, a beer garden and (quelle surprise!) food. ukrainiandayinthepark.ca

Nutrien Fireworks Festival

Aug. 31–Sept. 1

This festival features two evenings of fireworks choreographed to music at River Landing and Friendship Park. There’s also live entertainment by different cultural groups, an art and craft market and other activities for children and adults. nutrienfireworksfestival.ca


REGINA

Heritage Regina Walking Tours

June 30–Aug. 25

These happen every Saturday this summer at 6 p.m. Sometimes, it’s a particular neighbourhood that’s the focus — its architecture, history and whatnot. Other times, it’s a specific event — such as the 1912 Regina Tornado. All in all, sounds like a great summer activity. heritageregina.ca

Cinema Under the Stars

July 4–Aug. 22

This popular summer evening event takes place on City Square Plaza & Victoria Park, and features screenings of family-friendly Hollywood movies and other activities. Screenings are on July 4, 11, 18, 25 and Aug. 15, 22. reginadowntown.ca

Regina International Fringe Festival

July 11–15

RIFF took a leap forward in 2017 when it doubled in size, presenting 32 performers over seven days. They’ve scaled things back this year, with 22 acts over five days. But there’s the same great mix of local, national and international acts in genres such as comedy, drama, music, magic and dance. So get planning everyone, and see how much theatre you can cram into five days. reginafringe.com

Chicago

July 11–15

This is a Regina Summer Stage production of the well-known Broadway/Hollywood  musical set during the heyday of gangsters and molls in the Roaring Twenties. There are evening performances at the Performing Arts Centre on July 11–14 at 7:30 p.m., and a matinee July 15 at 2 p.m. reginasummerstage.com

Country Thunder Saskatchewan

July 12–15                  

Even if country music isn’t your cup of hooch (so to speak) there’s no shortage of other fun activities to keep you busy including Pokémon Go, calligraphy, bird-watching, nude yoga and — relax, I’m kidding! Headline acts are Big & Rich and Clay Walker (Thursday), Dierks Bentley and Chris Janson (Friday), Chris Young and Dean Brody (Saturday) and Luke Bryan and Midland (Sunday). countrythunder.com/sk

Secret Gardens Tour

July 13–15

This New Dance Horizons fundraiser involves self-guided daytime and evening tours of private gardens. Small-scale dance performances are part of the fun too. The gardens are open July 13 7:30–10:30 p.m., July 14 10 a.m.–4 p.m. & 7:30–10:30 p.m., and July 15 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Early bird pricing in effect until June 30. newdancehorizons.ca

The Trial of Louis Riel

July 19–21, 26–28, Aug. 2–4

History portrayed Métis leader Louis Riel as a traitor for his role in the Northwest Resistance in 1885. But today, many people see him as a champion of Indigenous rights in the colonial era. This play by John Coulter, which is celebrating its 51st season, is based on court transcripts from Riel’s treason trial. Venue is the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. rielcoproductions.com

CariSask

July 20–21

Details of this annual festival were still be finalized at press time. But it involves a celebration of food, music, dance and fashion from the Caribbean region. The festival is in Wascana Centre near the Legislature, so hopefully the weather will cooperate to create a sweet Caribbean vibe. carisaskregina.com

ReginaCadabra

July 25–28

This festival debuted in 2017, and will be running again this year. It features a range of complimentary and ticketed performances by local and touring magicians and mentalists geared to audiences from children to adults to seniors. reginacadabra.ca

Sask Soul Fest

July 28

This day-long festival includes classes on yoga and meditation, along with presentations on health and well-being, live entertainment and a vendor showcase. Sask Soul Fest will be in Wascana Centre. sasksoulfest.com

Queen City Ex

Aug. 1–5

The fair runs Aug. 1–5, but the fun starts on July 31 with an evening parade along Dewdney Ave. and Broad St. followed by fireworks at Wascana Centre. Grandstand headliners are Kip Moore (Aug. 1), Arkells (Aug. 2), Burton Cummings and Band (Aug. 3), Regina Symphony Orchestra performing “Prince and the King of Pop” (Aug. 4) and Craig Morgan (Aug. 5). evrazplace.com

Regina Folk Festival

Aug. 10–12

In addition to the ticketed main stage shows in Victoria Park, there are free daytime concerts and workshops on Saturday and Sunday. Feature acts include Walk Off the Earth, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Neko Case, Bruce Cockburn, Tanya Tagaq, Shakey Graves, DJ Shub and The Deep Dark Woods. reginafolkfestival.com

Regina International Film Festival

Aug. 14–18

This festival celebrates Canadian and International short and feature-length films in diverse genres (documentary, animation, etc) that depict different world cultures and help promote understanding between them. Includes screenings and an awards gala with a jury headed by Indian actor/director Nandita Das. riffa.ca

Regina Horticultural Society Garden Festival

Aug. 17–18

Not everyone has the skill-set or patch of land that you need to grow plants for beauty and food. Regina Horticultural Society members, though, know their way around a garden. So you can expect some impressive displays at this annual showcase at Victoria Square Shopping Centre. reginahortsociety.ca

CP Women’s Open

Aug. 20–26

The Canadian Open is a mid-tier event on the PGA tour. But for the LPGA, with $2.25 million USD in prize money, it’s a big deal, so you can expect most of the top women golfers in the world to tee up at Wascana Country Club. That includes Canadian stars such as Brooke Henderson and Alena Sharp, and American and International golfers like Sung Hyun Park, Lexi Thompson, Lydia Ko and Michele Wie. cpwomensopen.com

Symphony Under the Sky

Aug. 25

The Regina Symphony Orchestra kicks off its 110th season with this concert at Motherwell Homestead near Abernethy. Starting at 10 a.m., there will be family activities at the historic farm, with an opening set by a Saskatchewan artist t.b.a. at 2 p.m. That will be followed by the RSO under conductor Gordon Gerrard. Concert goes rain or shine. reginasymphony.com

Summer Bash

Aug. 25–26

This family-friendly event in Fairchild Park (Harbour Landing) starts with a movie on Aug. 25 at 5 p.m., followed by a broadcast of the Rider vs. Lions game from Vancouver at 7 p.m. On Aug. 26, there’s children’s activities and games, stage performances, an ice cream eating contest, free BBQ and a craft/trade show.  summerbash.ca

Great Saskatchewan Mustard Festival

Aug. 26

Saskatchewan produces three-quarters of all mustard grown for export, so we’re basically the mustard capital of the world. This event, with live entertainment and children’s activities, sees local culinary creators dream up ways of using mustard as more than just a condiment. mustardfest.org

Regina Dragon Boat Festival

Aug. 31–Sept. 1

A long-standing Labour Day tradition, this festival features over 50 teams of rowers representing local businesses and organizations who will compete for glory on the mighty Wascana. There’s also live music, food and other cultural entertainment. reginadragonboat.com

Shake The Lake

Aug. 31–Sept. 1

This classic rock festival is being held outdoors in Wascana Centre. The bill includes such legends as Cheap Trick, Trooper, Nick Gilder & Sweeney Todd, Chilliwack, Harlequin and Platinum Blonde.  shakethelakeregina.ca


THE HINTERLAND

Country at the Creek

Big River / June 21–23

This festival kicks off with an evening beer garden on June 21, then on Friday and Saturday there are full days of music. Friday headliners include Brock Andrews, Shantaia Poulin, Roland Corrigal and Marty Grambo. Saturday, there’s Trevor Panczak, Chris Henderson, Gun Hills Royal and Trick Ryder. countryatthecreek.ca

Long Day’s Night Music Festival

Swift Current / June 21–24

This festival shares billing with the Windscape Kite Festival (windscapekitefestival.ca) which sees over 40 professional kite flyers test their mettle against Saskatchewan’s notorious winds. Musical headliners include The Dead South (June 21), The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer and The Moon Runners (June 22), Five Alarm Funk and The Steadies (June 23) and Terra Lightfoot (June 24). longdaysnight.ca

Southern Prairie Railway

Ogema / June 21–Sept. 30

Billed as Saskatchewan’s first tourist railway, the SPR offers weekend excursions throughout the summer from a refurbished 1912 CPR station aboard a 1945 diesel locomotive with a 1922 Pullman passenger car, a 1925 baggage car and a caboose. southernprairierailway.com

Danceland

Manitou Beach / June 21–Oct. 20

With its famed horse hair-supported floor, Danceland is a Saskatchewan landmark. Throughout the summer, it hosts regular dances featuring live music in genres such polka, country, ballroom and rock ’n’ roll. danceland.ca

Summer Solstice D’Ete Festival

Gravelbourg / June 22–23

Yes, it’s true, we reached peak daylight on June 21. But we’ve still got several months before we have to start worrying about winter. The line-up for this multicultural festival includes Aces Wyld, Val Halla and Justin LaBrash — oh yeah, and reptiles, courtesy of the Saskatchewan Reptile Show. summersolsticefestivaldete.com

Prairie Sky Outfitters Jamboree

Rosetown / June 23

This jamboree starts at 7:30 p.m. and includes music by Codie Prevost, Bailey Imlach and Ebani Audrey DeBussac. Proceeds support youth sports initiatives. psoutfitters.ca

Barn Dance

Viscount / June 23

This evening event is being held at barefoot earth farm near Viscount. Musical guests are Kirby Criddle, Moonshine Misses and Mahogany Frog. BYOB, but food and beer will be available for purchase. The $15 gate admission includes a camping option.

Fort Walsh National Historic Site

Maple Creek / June 23–Aug. 25

Fort Walsh kicks of its 2018 season on June 23 with the Rotgut Run which features a foot race through the rolling terrain of Cypress Hills. Fort Walsh has a new visitor centre, and every Saturday there’s family-friendly activities that recall the life of a North West Mounted Police officer. pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/sk/walsh

Claybank Heritage Day

Claybank / June 24

Built in 1914, the Claybank Brick Plant is a national historic site. When you visit, you’ll learn all about making bricks from clay. Hell, they might even give you a shovel and put you to work in the pit for a couple of hours — okay, that’s not likely to happen, unless you’re being a brat! You will get a tour of the pit and factory, though, plus bake bread in an outdoor brick oven. claybankbrick.ca

Artists In Bloom

Parkside / June 24

This one-day festival is at a heritage nursery in the Shellbrook area, and sees artists and crafters create installations that incorporate references to lilies. Then on July 15 there’s another floral festival called “Lilies In Bloom at Honeywood”. honeywood-lilies.ca

Frontier Days

Swift Current / June 28–July 1

The fair features a midway, professional rodeo, Canada Day parade, fireworks, kids pedal tractor pull and both heavy and light horses. Grandstand entertainment includes Bobby Wills and James Barker Band (June 30) and Keith Sayers FMX Motocross Thrill Show (July 1). And don’t forget the Watermelon Festival at the Mennonite Heritage Village on July 22. swiftcurrentex.com

Hogfest

Englefeld / June 30–July 2

A ham supper and dance is an always a highlight of this annual festival, but there are also ball games, fireworks, a parade and children’s carnival. englefeld.ca

Doukhobor Dugout House

Blaine Lake / July 1–29

At this national historic site, costumed interpreters recount the settlement history of Russian Doukhobors and offer guided tours every Saturday in July at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. On July 7, there will be a special day of events on the theme Voyage: Come Sail with Us. doukhobordugouthouse.com

Fireside Chats, Stories & S’More

Grasslands National Park / July 1–Aug. 25

Friday evenings the Frenchman Valley and Rock Creek campgrounds host family activities such as geo-caching, kayaking and black-footed ferret-spotting. On July 28, there’s the Grasslander Classic which has kayaking on the Frenchman River and an evening concert with Guy & the Fellas and Buck$hot. Then Aug. 15–19, there’s Fossil Fever where you can go on a dig with paleontologists and attend the Badlands Blast on Aug. 18. parkscanada.gc.ca/grasslands

Motherwell Homestead

Abernethy / July 1–Aug. 25

Built in 1882, this national historic site includes a stone house and classic red wood barn, and offers visitors a chance to learn about farm life in pioneer times. On July 1, there’s a Canada Day celebration. On Aug. 11, people will have the chance to bind and stook wheat with staff and do other fun activities. pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/sk/motherwell

Roadside Attractions

Multiple Venues / July 1–Aug. 31

Organized by galleries in Regina, Saskatoon and other locales, Roadside Attractions involves the display of public art in different spots in Saskatchewan. Over 20 artists are featured, including Joi Arcand, Heather Benning & Tim Moore, Alison Norlen, Lionel Peyachew and Mary Longman. skroadsideattractions.com

Fort Battleford National Historic Site

Battleford / July 1–Sept. 3

Daily throughout the summer, this national historic site offers visitors the opportunity to step back in time to the 1880s by participating in various activities that recall the life of a North West Mounted Police officer (including firing a freaking cannon!). pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/sk/battleford

Heritage Festival

Maple Creek / July 6–7

The entertainment for this festival was still being finalized at press time, but organizers promise a weekend filled with art, history, music, shopping and food in Maple Creek’s historic downtown. maplecreek.ca

All Folk’d Up

Montmarte / July 6–8

Held in Kemoca Regional Park, this three-day family-friendly festival features Francophone and English acts. Performers include Nice Horse, Chris Buck Band, Johnny McCuaig Band and Whale And The Wolf. allfolkedup.net

Gospel Jamboree

Love / July 6–8

The line-up for the 30th annual gospel festival is definitely righteous. It includes Frazier Valley Quartet, Mighty Power Singers, The Victory Men Quartet, Eliana Singers, Sonia Noble, Mary Jane & Joe Eichler and Anita Pearce. 306-276-2579

Station Arts Centre

Rosthern / July 6–Aug. 5

This summer’s production is Marie Beth Badian’s comedy Prairie Nurse about two Filipino nurses who come to rural Saskatchewan in the 1960s to work. There are performances Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., and matinees Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Pre-show lunch and dinner are available on select dates, but you need to advance book. stationarts.com

Saskatoonberry Festival

Mortlach / July 7

The festival tagline used to be “over 3000 people with purple teeth can’t be wrong”. Now, it’s 5000. So it’s obviously growing in popularity. In addition to all sorts of saskatoon berry treats, there are family-friendly activities and music by Megan Nash, The Tilted Kilts, Random Honesty and Chris & Marianne Webber. mortlach.ca

Berry Jam Musical Festival

Kincaid / July 7

This one day festival includes children’s activities, a farmers’ market/trade show, u-pick orchard, pie contest and music by Red Moon Rood, Glenna Switzer and Larry Krause. bouvierberrybasket.com

Plein Air Painting

Regina Beach / July 7–8

This is the new on the calendar. Artists who paint/draw are invited to spend the day creating work in the great outdoors. The art-making happens July 7 between 9 a.m.–4 p.m., with a reception and sale at Elsie Scherle Gallery later that day and on July 8. lastmountainlakeculturalcentre.ca

Spirit of Manitou Studio Trail

Manitou Beach / July 7–8

Artisans from Manitou Beach, Meachem, Watrous and the Viscount area open their studios to display handmade furniture, jewelry, ceramics, fabric art and more. spiritofmanitou.ca

Moosomin & District Rodeo

Moosomin / July 7–9

Not to be confused with Moose Jaw, Moosomin is a town of around 2500 on Hwy #1 near the Manitoba border. This year, the rodeo is celebrating its 25th anniversary. There’s fun to be had for the whole family, including dances on Friday and Saturday night. moosomin.com    

World Junior Men’s Softball Championships

Prince Albert / July 7–15

This tournament will see 12 to 14 junior men’s teams from global hotbeds of softball compete for supremacy. Games will be held at Max Power Ball Park. wbsc.pointstreaksites.com

Old Home Week

Preeceville / July 8–14

Preeceville is at the headwaters of the Assiniboine River. I know that because that’s the town motto. Highlights of this week-long homecoming include a bread-baking demo at the local heritage museum, a ball tournament, rodeo, and open air dance. townofpreeceville.ca

Canora in Bloom

Canora / July 8–15

Get your blossom on and watch the pollinators in action at this celebration of floral beauty. Includes a golf tournament, teen movie nights, an old tyme picnic and a one-day music festival headlined by Kim Mitchell. canora.com

Colonial Days Fair

Lloydminster / July 11–14

This annual celebration of the old West includes a midway, chuckwagon races, a demolition derby, monster trucks, livestock events, petting zoo and grandstand. Performers include: Snake Oil (July 11), Hunter Brothers (July 12), Trooper (July 13) and George Canyon (July 14). lloydexh.com

Souris Valley Theatre

Estevan / July 11–Aug. 18

Two plays are on the bill. The first, which runs July 11–21, is Lee Minogue’s Homecoming about a city-living son who returns to the family farm when his parents consider retirement. Then Aug. 8–18, the theatre presents the world premiere of Maureen Ulrich’s musical comedy Pirate Heart which is inspired by swashbuckling tales of pirates. sourisvalleytheatre.ca

Summer Chautauqua Festival

Swift Current / July 12–14

This festival recreates the atmosphere of travelling shows from the 1920s that entertained prairie communities in the vaudeville tradition. Plays this year are The Wild Dog Waits on the Concrete Path (July 12 at 2 & 7 p.m.), Fire in the Meth Lab (July 13 at 7 p.m. and July 14 at 9 p.m.), Mother’s Apron (July 13 at 9 p.m. and July 14 at 7 p.m.) and Smilin’ Rylan (July 13–14 at 2 p.m.) lyrictheatre.ca

Motif Multicultural Festival

Moose Jaw / July 13–15

Similar to FolkFest, this festival is dedicated to celebrating cultural diversity in the Band City. Motif is hosted by the Moose Jaw Multicultural Council, and is held in Happy Valley Park. Music, food, dance and drink are all on the travel itinerary. motiffestival.com

Vintage Power Machines Threshing Festival

Prince Albert / July 14–15

This event includes a pancake breakfast, threshing, log-sawing, blacksmith and farrier demonstrations, along with vintage tractor pulls and heavy horses. 306-980-8340

Homesteader Hey Days

Shell Lake / July 17–19

This year’s fair is highlighted by an outdoor performance of When We Came West by Upsidedown Productions. There’s also a parade, BBQ, outdoor movie night, volleyball, arm wrestling and horse shoe tournaments and music by Saskie & Daryl. 306-427-2272

Old Tyme Dancing

Indian Head / July 18

Another great opportunity to step back in time with a dance in the loft of the historic Bell Barn with music by Ron and Sandra Rudoski, a cold buffet and other refreshments. And don’t forget the annual Bell Barn Horse Fair on Aug. 19 from 1–5 p.m. bellbarn.ca

Ness Creek Music Festival

Big River / July 19–22

Saskatchewan’s original eco-friendly festival offers a great chance to commune with nature in the boreal forest. Acts this year include The Sadies, The Dead South, Megan Nash, The Garrys, Wolf Willow, Big Dave McLean, Mob Bounce, Crooked Creek, This Way North, Jerry Leger & the Situation, Kobo Town and Hooded Fang. Both weekend and day passes are available. nesscreek.com

Saskatchewan Festival of Words

Moose Jaw / July 19–22

Dedicated to the written and spoken word, this festival includes poetry, fiction and non-fiction authors, along with film screenings, musical performances and workshops geared to children and adults. Presenters include Katherena Vermette, Tom Wayman, Karl Subban, Heather O’Neill, Tanya Talaga, Trevor Herriott and Louise Bernice Halfe and Dave Margoshes. festivalofwords.com

Boomtown Days & Stampede

Shaunavon / July 19–22

The theme of this annual community celebration is School Days. Events include a kiddies parade, rodeo cabaret, garden tour and street bingo. shaunavon.com

PolkaFest

Assiniboia / July 20–21

This polka blowout features an air-conditioned hall and floating hardwood floor, with music by Leon Ochs and Len Gadica. Aberdeen hosts a polkafest the next weekend (July 27–28) with music by Leon Ochs & The Gold Tones. Other polkafests include Rouleau (Aug. 4–5), St. Walburg (Aug. 11) and Prince Albert (Aug. 24–26).

Sandy Creek Gospel Jamboree

Mortlach / July 20–23

Get your gospel groove on at this jamboree at Besant Campground. Feature acts include The Pilkey Sisters, The Daae Family, Bobby Bowen Family Band, Prairie Joe, Blue Collar Harmony Boys and The Petersons. scgj.ca

Children’s Festival

Waskesiu / July 21

Organizers promise an action-packed day of child-friendly activities such as face-painting, balloon artists and crafts at Prince Albert National Park. So good luck to all the parents and caregivers who attend with their charges. waskesiulake.ca

RuBarb Productions

Moose Jaw / July 21–Aug. 18

Three productions are in the pipeline. One is the western Canada premiere of the musical comedy Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town based on Stephen Leacock’s 1912 satiric novel. The second is the Disney musical Mary Poppins (which is getting a reboot this December, btw, with Emily Blunt in the title role). Finally, there’s the musical The Yellow Brick Road based on The Wizard of Oz. rubarb.ca

Hilltop Sheepdog Trial

Mankota / July 26–29

A must-attend event for anyone who’s a fan of the old Chuck Jones cartoon featuring Ralph E. Wolf and Sam Sheepdog — although I don’t think wolves and sheepdogs are part of the competition. Instead, handlers work mostly with Border Collies to guide sheep through a course. hilltoptrial.com

International Street Performer Festival

North Battleford / July 27–28

This festival livens up the streets of North Battleford as a bizarre assortment of clowns, acrobats, musicians, face painters, balloon sculptors and magicians entertain children and adults alike — earning applause and cash in the process, in the true busker tradition. nbstreetfest.com

Farmfest

Willow Bunch / July 27–29

This festival celebrates its 11th year in 2018. Included are workshops, children’s activities, hayrides and performances by Prairie Comeau, Suzie Vinnick, Les Barricades, Adrina Turenne, La Raquette à claquettes, Annette Campagne, Hart Rouge, Connie Kaldor and Folle Avoine. farmfesterreferme.ca

Gateway Festival

Bengough / July 27–29

Gateway is located near the Big Muddy Badlands — which with all their gullies and ridges and outlaw lore, certainly live up to their name. Line-up highlights include The Kentucky Headhunters, Kathleen Edwards, Big Sugar, Yukon Blonde, John K. Samson, Elliott Brood, William Prince, Steven Page, Terra Lightfoot, Megan Nash, Belle Plaine, Poor Nameless Boy and Ellen Froese. gatewayfestival.com

Dino Days

Eastend / July 27–29

This annual celebration has a Wild West theme. That’s okay, I guess, but what really sets it apart is that it offers a chance to visit the T-Rex Discovery Centre. It’s home to Scotty the T. rex, which was recently added to Saskatchewan’s Official Emblems & Honours Act as the province’s official fossil. So yeah, she’s kind of a big deal. townofeastend.com

Tralapa Festival

Tramping Lake / July 27–29

This festival features a mix of live music and sports with free mini golf and slo-pitch and beach volleyball tournaments. Musical guests include The Lazys, The Wild!, Bombargo, The Pistolwhips, Highkicks and The Dirt Rich Band. tralapafestival.com

Riverhurst Bean Festival

Riverhurst / July 28

This is also new on the calendar. It’s inspired by the growing importance of pulse crops in Saskatchewan, and has an industry angle with buyers, producers and product vendors. There are also culinary experts who will offer tips on cooking pulses, and various social events including a 4H Children’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Round-Up. I’m sure a farting good time will be had by all. riverhurst.ca

Three Island Paddle & Music Festival

Prince Albert National Park / July 28

Organizers promise a memorable day of music and fun at Hanging Hearts Lakes. So polish up those paddles everyone and get ready to rock ’n’ row. Don’t forget the Beach Bums Ball on Aug. 4 in Waskesiu (19+ only). Then for art lovers, there’s the Waskesiu Art Fest on Aug. 17–19. waskesiumarina.com

Bow Valley Jamboree

Oxbow / July 28

Held in the picturesque Souris River valley, this one-day festival features some top-notch musical talent including The New Montagues, Downwind, Val Halla, The Oral Fuentes Band, Call Me Mildy, Coal Creek Station and Method 2 Madness. bowvalleyjamboree.org

Brickspo

Moose Jaw / July 28–29

Hosted by the Western Development Museum and SLUG (Saskatchewan LEGO Users Group), this sixth annual event showcases LEGO creations both large and small by many skilled builders. wdm.ca/mj.html

12-40 & Beyond: An Adventure in Rural Life

Blaine Lake / July 28–29

Self-guided tour of the Blaine Lake, Marcelin, Leask and Hafford area. There are 14 venues including orchards, artist studios, antique museums, grain elevators and a blacksmith shop. 12-40andbeyond.com

Summer Fair

Prince Albert / July 31–Aug. 4

Starts with a parade, ends with fireworks, with a bunch of midway rides, livestock shows, chuckwagon races, trade shows and live music sandwiched in between. paexhibition.com

Frenchman River Gospel Jam

Shaunavon / Aug. 2–5

Offers a blend of gospel and country music, with ticketed evening shows and free daytime stages. Feature acts include The Oak Ridge Boys, The Petersons, The Nelons, Catherine Lewans Band, Canada’s Double Portion and Trudel Family Band. frgj.ca

World Bunnock Championship

Macklin / Aug. 3–5

In the 120+ years the Summer Olympics have been held, 42 sports have been part of the quadrennial competition. Not all at the same time, obviously, as the Olympic Committee is always adding and deleting sports to keep au courant. Strange as it seems, bunnock has never been part of the Olympics — which seems like a huge missed opportunity to me. Oh well, at least fans still get to enjoy elite bunnock action at this annual $40,000 tournament. 306-753-2256

Summer Slam

Raymore / Aug. 3–5

Summer isn’t the only thing that will be slammed at this festival. To begin with, there are all the hits and homers that are going to be “slammed” at slow pitch games. Then there’s all the booze that will be slammed before and after games. Headliners on the music side include Brody Siebert, Brock Andrews, Chris Henderson, Chad Brownlee and Codie Prevost. raymoresummerslam.ca

Electric Sky Festival

Big River / Aug. 3–5

This is the debut of a new electronic music festival held on the Ness Creek site in the boreal forest. The line-up includes JFB, Matt the Alien, The Gaff, Kytami, Thor, Kloves, Freddy J and Woofax. Includes a mix of daytime nature and nighttime dance events. electricsky.ca

Mid Summer’s Art Festival

Fort Qu’Appelle / Aug. 4

This outdoor festival is held annually at “the Fort”. Visual and performing arts, along with children’s activities, buskers and a micro-brewery beer garden are all part of the fun. Guest musicians include Terri Anne Strongarm, Brian Baggett, MYLA, Walbaum Family, Kara Golemba and Ken Hamm. 306-332-1442

Threshermen’s Show & Seniors’ Festival

Yorkton / Aug. 4–5

Hosted by the Western Development Museum and other partners, this festival includes threshing, stooking and sawmill demos, along with an antique car show and gas tractor competition. wdm.ca/yk/threshermensshow.htm

Living Skies Come Alive

Moosomin / Aug. 4–5

Nature provides Saskatchewan with some spectacular vistas tied to sunrises, sunsets and storms. With this annual Saskatchewan Day fireworks festival at Moosomin Lake Regional Park, organizers give nature a run for its money. There’s also live daytime entertainment from Sask Express, Shifty Morgan and Stuck on Red. moosominregionalpark.com

Wow Manitou!

Manitou / Aug. 5

Day-long festival celebrating poetry, songwriting, storytelling and other forms of literary expression. Co-hosted by Little Manitou Art Gallery and Tonight It’s Poetry. littlemanitouartgallery.com

Summer Star Party

Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park / Aug. 8–13

This annual orgy of celestial viewing takes place in Cypress Hills Dark Sky Preserve. This year’s gathering coincides with the Perseid meteor shower which will peak on Aug. 12–13. In addition to nighttime observing sessions, there are daytime lectures and other family-friendly astronomical activities. sssp.saskatoon.rasc.ca

Saskatchewan Premier’s Walleye Cup

Nipawin / Aug. 10–11

Will newly minted premier Scott Moe attend, I wonder? This live release angling  competition is named after the office he holds, after all. If he does show, he’ll join 150 plus teams who will be vying for over $125,000 in cash and prizes. Money is also raised to support lake conservation and development of lake facilities. sites.google.com/site/premierswalleyecup

Old Wives Lake Festival

Moss Bank / Aug. 10–11

Twice in recent history, in 1937 and 1988, Old Wives Lake actually dried up after several years of drought. I’m not sure what the water level is these days, but the lake is home to an international shorebird sanctuary so hopefully it’s good. This festival includes a pancake breakfast, museum tours, historic bus tours, a chili cook off, golf tournament and cabaret. mossbank.ca

Heritage Village Days

Weyburn / Aug. 10–11

This two-day festival commemorating the history of Weyburn and area includes guided tours of a Heritage Village along with blacksmithing, ice cream/butter-making and sheep herding demonstrations. The Weyburn Wheat Festival is also on, so it promises to be a busy weekend in the Opportunity City. weyburn.ca

Cochin Days

Cochin / Aug. 10–12

Hosted by the resort community of Cochin, which is nestled between Murray and Jackfish Lakes near the Battlefords, this festival includes slo-pitch, beach volleyball and horse shoe tournaments, a sand castle competition and a spaghetti-eating contest. cochin.ca

Dog Patch Music Festival

Loon Lake / Aug. 10–12

Get your loon on at this art and music fest in the beautiful boreal forest. Musical guests include Crooked Creek, Valdy, 100th Meridian, Jordan Welbourne, A Rancher’s Son, Whale and the Wolf and Dirty & the Perks. dogpatchmusicfest.com

Those Were The Days

North Battleford / Aug. 11–12

Hosted by the Western Development Museum, this event celebrates pioneer life in the 1920s with vintage autos, light and heavy horse demonstrations, antique farm equipment and live entertainment. wdm.ca/nb.html

Cherry Sunday

Bruno / Aug. 12

Hopefully growing conditions will cooperate this summer, so if you attend you’ll be able to sample all sorts of cherry treats (dwarf sour cherry treats, to be precise) from sundaes and elephant ears to smokies and special sauces. You can even stop by the u-pick orchard. Yum! cherrysunday.ca

North West Territorial Days

The Battlefords / Aug. 15–17

Hosted by Battlefords Agricultural Society, this fair has been held since 1887. It opens with a parade on Aug. 14 at 7 p.m., and features a midway, chuckwagon races, livestock shows and demolition derby. Other attractions include Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo, Trapeze Le Voltigeur and Superdogs. agsociety.com

Canadian Horseshoe Championships

Whitewood / Aug. 15–18

“Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades” is a famous saying. Well, there won’t be any grenades at this national gathering of ’shoe flingers, but as far as distance goes, Whitewood is relatively close, so it’s the perfect opportunity for fans and newbies of the sport to check it out. horseshoecanada.ca

Northern Lights Bluegrass & Old Tyme Music Festival

Big River / Aug. 17–19

This festival is preceded by a music camp from Aug. 13–17. Then there’s three days of bluegrass and old tyme country with The Barrel Boys, Spencer Branch, South Carolina Broadcasters, Ben and Joe, The Osmond Davis Band, Shaela Miller Band, Rugged Little Thing and the Creeland Dancers. northernlightsbluegrass.com

Saskatchewan’s Outback KCRA Rodeo

Carrot River / Aug. 18–19

In addition to the rodeo action, there’s Flavours of the Outback, a cruise night and an outdoor concert by Brad Johner and Band.  Don’t forget, too, the Carrot River Valley Studio Trail happens Aug. 17–19, with the opportunity visit artist studios in the area. 306-862-8573

Waskesiu Lakeside Festival

Prince Albert / Aug. 24–26

This three-day festival is in the national park and offers a mix of music, family programming, aquatic activities and buskers. The main stage line-up was still being firmed up at press time, but it typically features some top Saskatchewan talent. Then Sept. 7–9 Waskesiu hosts the 15th annual Reel Rave Festival with screenings of six films at Twin Pines Cinema. waskesiulake.ca

Wild Blueberry Festival

St. Walburg / Aug. 25

Tame blueberries are boring, right? For the true berry experience you need to channel your inner Lou Reed and take a walk on the wild side. And that’s what this festival offers, with a chance to savour all sorts of blueberry treats along with fun activities such as a street fair and a car and bike show. stwalburg.com

Manitou Music Fest

Manitou Beach / Sept. 2

The line-up for this one-day festival was still in the works at press time, but with backing from the Saskatchewan Arts Board and SaskCulture, you can bet some top-notch talent will be hitting the stage. littlemanitouartgallery.com

Duck Derby

Lumsden / Sept. 3

This family-friendly celebration includes a parade, arts and craft sale, and music by Little Chicago Blues, Radio Silence, The Project with Morgan Mayer and The Breakdown. Oh yeah, there’s also a big net holding 25,000 rubber ducks. When the starter’s pistol sounds, the ducks drop into the Qu’Appelle River, where the current carries them downstream with prizes awarded to the top finishers. duckderby.ca