Edmonton Tourism

Edmonton Tourism

July 20, 2009 08:09 ET

Summer in Edmonton's Old Strathcona Like Life on the Left Bank of Paris

Edmonton festivals in the historic Old Strathcona area offer European charm with unique Edmonton entertainment

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - July 20, 2009) - Recently, the province declared Edmonton's Old Strathcona a "Provincial Historic Area," in recognition of its role in Alberta history. Venturing into Old Strathcona is like stepping into Edmonton's distant past, but today more than ever, this vibrant area is bustling with some of the city's best and most unique retail shopping, festivals, parades and entertainment events.

A fitting accompaniment to this historic recognition is the upcoming 13th Annual Edmonton & Northern Alberta Historic Festival, which takes place July 24 - August 2. Events are happening all across the province, of course, but in Old Strathcona alone, there are plenty of fascinating things to do.

"Our Edmonton festival launch takes place on Friday July 24 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the C & E Railway Museum (10447 - 86 Avenue)," says Wanda Bornn, Festival Coordinator. "We'll have a fabulous walking tour, hosted by the Old Strathcona Foundation. People will be able to see how Old Strathcona started as its own community and then how Old Strathcona merged with the city in 1912."

Those into something a little spookier can join a ghost tour. Says Bornn, "They leave from the Strathcona farmer's market, the Monday thru Thursday of the festival, from 9 to 10 p.m. For five bucks, you can get spooked as we go to numerous Old Strathcona sites that are claimed to be haunted." There is an old cemetery tour as well. July 30th, 7 p.m., those curious of the past can meet at Mount Pleasant Cemetery and see what influential people from the area were buried there.

For kids, Queen Alexandra School presents a hands-on history of the settlement of the west on July 29. "Kids can make a tipi and learn about the fur trade," says Bornn. For the whole family, the High Level Street Car ride happens every day during the festival.

In addition to annual events like the White Avenue ArtWalk, which features over 300 artists, Old Strathcona is also home to the annual Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, August 13 - 23. Modeled on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe but with shows completely dependent on the luck of the draw, this favourite in Edmonton entertainment has become the largest Fringe Theatre Festival in North America. During this, the 28th annual year of the festival, the theme is Stage a Revolution. Between its 157 plays happening in a number of permanent theatres and other venues converted into temporary theatres for these Edmonton events, visitors are sure to see some particularly revolutionary stuff happening onstage.

For more information about summertime events, Edmonton accommodations or seasonal packages and promotions, visit www.edmonton.com/liveallyear.

Contact Information

  • Edmonton Economic Development Corporation/Edmonton Tourism
    Jenifer Christenson
    Managing Director, Marketing Services