The best of Calgary this August

By Joel Dryden

With the hay bales stacked up and cowboy hats hung in the closet, the Calgary Stampede has hit the dusty trail after another successful year. Though the 10-day party serves as a major highlight each summer in Calgary, the fun continues in August with events like the Calgary Fringe Festival and GlobalFest on the horizon. Here’s the best of our city this month. [Photo credit: Calgary Reggaefest]

The best of Calgary this August

Favourite new spots to eat and drink

Deep-fried Jell-O and funnel cake poutine delighted (and horrified) fair-goers at the 2017 Stampede, and plenty of other weird food options were on the menu. So if you’re like me, you might take August as a chance to make a small pivot from fried food to lighter fare.

We covered the launch of Po-ke when it opened in April, and since then the traditional Hawaiian dish of poke has become a must-have fixture on the city’s culinary scene, with Kona Poke also joining the party. You can learn more about the brains behind Po-ke in Sarah Sussman’s Business Story.

In the works for more than 15 months, Annex Ale Project is the latest craft brewery to open its doors in Calgary. Located in the Manchester neighbourhood, the project is headed up by Andrew Bullied and Erica O’Gorman (formerly of Village Brewery and Village Ice Cream, respectively). Annex Ale’s taproom, which is open Thursday to Sunday, gives beer-lovers the chance to sample the duo’s signature brews, which include the Primate City and the Ginger Lime Sour.

The distinctive mint green exterior of Calcutta Cricket Club has caught the eye of many interested 17th Avenue-goers as it underwent renovations in the former Bar C space. The interior of this Indian restaurant is just as charming – with local artist Maya Gohill behind the decorating, Calcutta Cricket Club boasts a tropical aesthetic, complete with an antique leopard figure affixed above the bar.

Dates to mark on the calendar

An annual festival favourite in Calgary, the Calgary Fringe Festival runs August 4 to 12 at a variety of venues, with more than 30 shows scheduled this year. Catch an interactive hour-long journey around Fair’s Fair Books during Booked In, Booked Off, Booked Out (hosted by Calgary’s own immersive theatre group chiMOchiMO) or get a taste of Broadway during the Youth Singers of Calgary production of Legally Blonde: The Musical. For a full list of Fringe shows, visit the official website.

If you missed the 2017 iteration of the Calgary Folk Music Festival, you can still catch some great outdoor summer music at a number of festivals scheduled this month. Country mainstay Reba McEntire headlines Christian music fest No Greater Love at Stoney Nakoda Nation August 12 and 13, while Shaw Millennium Park will play host to ReggaeFest August 18 and 19, with Mexican roots-reggae group Antidoping and Jamaican singer Etana among acts scheduled.

Other festivals this month include Calgary Pride and GlobalFest – for a full roundup of the rest of the events scheduled in August, check out Shane Flug’s Smart Tip.

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More fun things to do this August in Calgary:

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The best of the rest

If you haven’t yet taken advantage of the Canada 150 Parks Canada Discovery Pass, don’t fret! You can apply for your pass even though Canada Day is now in the rearview mirror. A perfect destination as summer winds down is Waterton Lakes National Park, located in the southwestern corner of Alberta. Let Jillian Clark be your guide to the best hikes, restaurants and shops in the village.

Of course, there’s always fun to be had in the other popular national parks situated near Calgary. Whether you want to take a day trip to Banff or Canmore or want to discover some of the best hikes in the area, the free Parks Canada pass is the perfect excuse to go on an adventure as summer draws to a close.

That’s just a taste of what’s on the calendar this month in Calgary. It’s been another exciting summer in our city – and with Fringe and some new great restaurants to check out, August promises to close out the season in style.

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