The MUST attend outdoor event of the Summer!
I’m a bit of sucker for outdoor events, especially since our Summers are so limited here in Alberta, Canada. I make an effort to attend as many outdoor events I can. There is one event in particular that I have not missed in the past four years, and that is ….. Global Fest!!!!
For those of you who haven’t heard of it….Global Fest is a firework festival, with the most spectacular choreographed “sky explosions” (as my partner Sean says) to musical hits from around the globe. Each year there are five eventful evenings featuring different countries in the world, who are competing to have the best musical pyro-musical display in the sky’s of Calgary, Alberta. Although, this year, there is a unique twist….
In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday and Global Fest’s 15th anniversary, Global Fest 2017 has focused on our host country, Canada in honour of its monumental birthday. The festival is SIX action packed nights, representing different regions of Canada including The West, The Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, The Atlantic and the last night is the Grand Finale.
Prior to the fireworks you can keep yourself occupied by visiting booths from various countries around the world such as Japan, Scotland, Mexico, Bangladesh etc. These booths are set up to provide insight into the cultural traditions and values of each country.
Every which way you look, there is something to draw you in. Be sure to grab a program at the entrance and check out the schedule for local entertainment at one of the three stages; Main Stage, Village Stage, and One World Stage. You can expect to see a multicultural display of dancers, singers and musicians from all walks of life.
Beyond the entertainment, a highlight for us is trying different cuisine from around the world and locally!! We LOVE our food! The food booths at Global Fest offer everything from perogies, shawarma, jerk chicken, greek wraps, Chinese cuisine, to, delectable sweets such as strawberry shortcake waffles, mini donuts and gelato.
Our favourite’s from this year are the Jane Bond BBQ food truck and Fiasco Gelato. The coconut corn bread and mac n’ cheese, at Jane Bond BBQ was beyond unreal!!! Once you have checked out the booths, taken in some entertainment, and grabbed a bite to eat, you’ll want to head on over to get your viewing spot.
The fireworks are like no other!They start at approximately 9:30pm each night and last about 15-20 minutes. And, let me tell you they are spectacular!!
Be sure to bring a jacket, blanket and/or lawn chair and chose where you would like to snuggle up to your loved ones for the show. There is viewing along the north and southwest sides of the pond. My preference is the southwest side as you are close to the Main Stage entertainment and updates from all the amazing volunteers, sponsors and suppliers of the event… including the 50/50 announcement!
Now remember, this is a “competition” and each night the judges are critiquing the pyro-musical displays based on: quality of display, the choice of staging and music, brilliance of colours used, how well they stick to the guidelines for music selection, timing between fireworks and the music, and the overall scope of work. So put on your judges cap, its fun to rate each display between you and your group, especially if you are attending multiple nights!! My vote so far is for Ontario, not only were the fireworks impeccably timed, the music was amazing!!
Now, after all that I’m sure you want to check out Global Fest!! Well get on it, you still have 3 more nights to take it all in. Here are the logistics and ‘insider’ tips:
- Global Fest is held at Elliston Park, SE Calgary. Gates open at 6:00pm-11:30pm.
- Tickets may be purchased prior to the event or at the gates. *Tip: Pre-purchase your tickets, for greater savings, through Global Fest or other vendors. Global Fest typically releases 50% off tickets months prior to the event. ** Admission is FREE for those 5 years and under, when with an adult.
- Fur babies are NOT allowed at Global Fest.
- There is NO parking at the park. Many establishments nearby offer $10-$15 parking. There is a shuttle service from Marlborough Mall and City Centre Parkade. One round trip ticket is $6.00 per person, per night. First shuttle is at 5:30pm. Check out further details on Global Fest’s website.
- Bring cash as most vendors do NOT accept cards. ATM’s are available but lines may be long and there is of course a service fee.
- Bring your own water and snacks into the grounds to save some $$.
That is a wrap! I hope to see you this week at Global Fest as we still have Quebec (August 22nd), The Atlantic (August 24th) and the Grande Finale (August 26th). If you miss it this year, it is an annual event, so be sure to get in on the greatest firework spectacular in Canada!!