11 Festivals to Hit in Kingston This September

By Jordan Whitehouse

Take your pick this month from fests featuring craft beer and ribs, midways and bouncy castles, best-selling authors and art walks, and everything in between.  

 

Limestone City Car Classic

Saturday, September 1, 2018, 8 am – 4 pm

Lake Ontario Park

What started in an A&W parking lot with a few dozen cars has grown into this annual showcase and fundraiser with about 400 vehicles. Trophies are awarded to the top three cars in 24 different classes. Stick around for the food, raffles and music, and if you get too hot, cool off in the lake or splash pad. All proceeds benefit the Melanoma Cancer Clinic at Kingston General Hospital.

Free admission (car registration is $10/car)

Limestone City Car Classic

Kingston Ribfest and Craft Beer Show

Friday, September 7, 2018 – Sunday, September 9, 2018

Memorial Centre Park

Keep the summer alive by downing some of the best barbecue ribs in the country and washing them down with cold craft beer from about a dozen breweries. For beer, buy a $6 wristband and then purchase 5-ounce samples at a time for $2 each. For food, just wander and graze. Prices range from $7 for a pulled pork sandwich to $22 for a full rack of ribs.   

Free admission (donations to the Partners in Mission Food Bank accepted)

Kingston Ribfest and Craft Beer show

Garrison Kingston Family Fun Fest

Concert Saturday, September 8, Fun Fest Sunday, September 9, 2018

Base Gym, CFB Kingston

Back for its fifth year, this fest celebrates the Kingston military community and their families. It kicks off with a concert headlined by Shaggy on Saturday night and is followed by a full day of family-friendly good times on Sunday. Those good times happen inside and out and will include a midway, military displays, bouncy castles, axe throwing, a reptile zoo, BMX demos, boat rides and way more. Over $50,000 in prizes are also available to be won (though only available to CFOne cardholders).   

Free admission

CFB Kingston Garrison Family Fun Fest

Kingston Multicultural Arts Festival

Sunday, September 9, 2018, 11:30 am – 5:30 pm

Confederation Park

Family friendly and free, this annual fest is all about promoting and celebrating cultural diversity in the city. This year, close to twenty pavilions will be set up in Confederation Park, each featuring food, music or other cultural activities from countries all over the world. The main stage will showcase non-stop entertainment all day long, including three groups from out of town.

Free admission

Kingston Multicultural Festival
Photo via Kingston Immigration Partnership

Kingston Fall Fair

Thursday, September 13, 2018 – Sunday, September 16, 2018

Kingston Memorial Centre

It’s been happening every year since 1830, so you can be sure Kingston’s Fall Fair brings all the goods: midway, demolition derbies, agricultural shows, singing showdowns, home crafts, and, of course, all of the cotton candy and taffy your teeth can take. Agriculture Education Day goes from 10 am to 2 pm on the Friday, and includes sessions on growing vegetables, shearing sheep, making flour, raising cattle and more.

Adults: $10/day. Students (6 – 18): $5. Kids (5 and under): Free

Kingston Fall Fair
Photo via Kingston Fall Fair

Poutine Feast

Friday, September 21, 2018 – Sunday, September 23, 2018

City Park

Donair poutine. Pulled pork poutine. Corn dog poutine. Lobster poutine. Choose from these and dozens of other creative combinations of potato, cheese and gravy at Kingston’s newest food fest. Travelling to nine Ontario locations this summer, Poutine Feast features multiple poutine vendors and a donut stand. And if you’re gluten-free or vegetarian, don’t worry because you’ll have a few choices too.

Free admission

Poutine Feast
Photo via FlickrCC

CORK Fall Regatta

Saturday, September 22, 2018 – Sunday, September 23, 2018

Portsmouth Olympic Harbour

A summer of world-class sailing in Kingston ends with the CORK Fall Regatta — two days of racing that will include World Sailing ranking events for the Laser Standard, Radial and 49er FX, and the Fogh Gold Cup for Laser Standard and Radial (Open). It’ll be your last chance this year to see the top sailors in the country go for gold in the best fresh-water sailing conditions in the world.

Free admission

CORK Fall Regatta
Photo via Queen's University FlickrCC

Kingston WritersFest

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 – Sunday, September 30, 2018

Downtown

About 70 authors are expected at the 10th anniversary of Kingston’s annual literary festival. Two-time Booker Prize-winner Peter Carey may be the biggest draw when he sits down for breakfast and a chat (September 28), but other treasures like Esi Edugyan, Rawi Hage, Thomas King, Rachel Giese and Helen Humphreys will be there too for readings, discussions, masterclasses, special dinners and more.

Varying prices

Kingston Writersfest

Fall Art After Dark

Friday, September 28, 2018, 7 pm – 10 pm

Downtown

With dozens of art galleries spread throughout downtown, this is a great chance to visit a few you know well or a few you don’t. Usually around 20 galleries and art-loving businesses take part in this bi-annual fest, some with special programming and light refreshments. All of them will allow you to enter a contest to win a $500 art shopping spree from the Downtown Kingston Business Improvement Area.

Free admission

Art After Dark Fall 2018

Fall Princess Street Promenade

Saturday, September 29, 2018, 10 am – 5 pm

Princess Street

Like the similar event that happens in August, Princess Street (usually between Ontario and Division streets) will be a pedestrian-only zone for a day. Replacing all of those wheels will be local businesses and community groups hosting special activities that have included climbing walls, concerts, bouncy castles, pop-up food stalls, caricature artists and robot demonstrations.  

Free admission

Princess Street Promenade
Photo via Downtown Kingston

Fall For Kingston

Saturday, September 29, 2018, 12 pm – 10 pm

City Park

Say farewell to summer at this Hospice Kingston fundraiser featuring live music, craft beer, food from local restaurants, children’s entertainment, and local artisans. Busty and the Bass will headline the all-day music show, while Improbable Escapes will be there with a special portable escape room, and a tattoo booth will be set up for anyone wanting a palm-sized piece for $75.

$20 in advance and $25 at the Gate

Fall For Kingston
Photo via Busty and the Bass

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