Friends of mine who live in other cities often ask “Don’t you get bored in Prince George?” or comment that I look surprisingly busy based on my Facebook posts and Tweets. This question never ceases to surprise me and I always respond with “Are you kidding?! There’s almost too much to do!”
I love spending time in the great outdoors, and while I could list the many amazing lakes, campsites, trails, and other outdoor activities that are a short drive from my home, I’d like to highlight some of the many summer events that happen in the heart of Prince George.
One of the things I love most about Prince George is how connected the community is and how people pull together to put on amazing events year-round. This year, the City of Prince George and Tourism Prince George hosted the Celebrate Prince George Summer Festival for the first time, providing residents with a month’s worth of fun events to attend. Community organizations and businesses teamed up to put on a stellar line-up during July that didn’t disappoint the thousands of people who attended.
I’ve pulled together a top five list of these events to remind you of how much fun you had or give you a taste of what to expect next year if you missed them. And if you’re worried about cost, all of these events are free to attend!
This event is definitely at the top of my list of summer must-dos in Prince George. Hosted by the Downtown Business Improvement Association, it provides a full day of activities, exhibitors, live entertainment, and most importantly in my mind, the opportunity to taste food from scores of local restaurants.
This year I munched on a lobster roll from the White Goose Bistro, washed it down with a mango lassie from the Shogun, then topped off an already yummy meal with a frozen chocolate dipped cheesecake from The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
But if you’re not hungry, you can always sit and watch some live music before heading over to the petting zoo, catching a ride on the mini train courtesy of the Railway and Forestry Museum, or doing a little shopping from the vendors set up on the lawn outside of City Hall.
No matter what you choose to enjoy at Summerfest, this event is one not to miss.
BMO KidzArt Dayz
This event is a great one for families as it gives kids the chance to explore their creative side and parents a short break from dreaming up new activities for them. I don’t have kids, so I joined a couple of my friends who do to check it out. I have to confess that I would have gone with or without my friend’s kids in tow because one of my favourite family entertainers from my childhood joined the celebrations this year: Fred Penner!
Hosted by the Prince George Regional Art Gallery Association, this event offered two days of fun, free and open creativity. Families took part in over 26 free art activities while enjoying live music. Did I mention Fred Penner was the headliner this year? A number of local performers and musicians also entertained kids of all ages and their families. This event is hosted every year, so make sure to check it out next year if you’re in the city.
Sound of Summer Concert
Who doesn’t love live music outside on a sunny summer evening? I know I do.
The Sound of Summer Concert is a great event to check out, because not only does it feature amazing local talent, it’s organized, managed, and put on by volunteer youth who work with the Prince George Community Foundation.
Hosted in the evening at the bandshell in Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park, the Sound of Summer featured several well-known local bands as well as food vendors and zombies, yes, zombies.
Speaking of zombies, why should dressing up as a zombie be an activity reserved solely for Halloween? Those who enjoy the “darker” side of pop culture were given the chance to wake from the dead, weave through the streets of downtown Prince George with other zombie enthusiasts, and moan and groan at more lively onlookers. This family friendly event included a zombie photo booth, prize giveaways and a “Zombification Station” for those less experienced in makeup artistry.
Northern Hardware Prince George Canoe Race
For those who enjoy being active before kicking back and relaxing, the Two Rivers Canoe Club hosted the Northern Hardware Prince George Canoe Race. The race started bright and early at Isle Pierre for competitive racers and Wilkins Park for recreational canoers and wound down the river to finish at Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park. The reward was music at the Exploration Place.
To experience these events, watch the Celebrate PG video below and make sure to check out the festival website for more information about the summer festival and to get excited about the Celebrate Prince George Winter Festival happening in February 2017.