12 Festivals to Hit in Kingston this June

By Jordan Whitehouse

A three-day festival all about live digital art makes its debut, while mainstays like Skeleton Park Arts Festival and YGK Craft Beer Fest return.

The Lumberjack at MacLachlan Woodworking Museum
Photo via FreeStock
The Lumberjack

June 2, 2018
MacLachlan Woodworking Museum
Brush up on your outdoor skills at this annual camping experience for adults. Workshops range in topic from survival skills to building a chair, while challenges include fire-starting and campfire cooking.
$130 (includes all meals, camping, programming)

Beat Beethoven Run downtown Kingston
Photo via Peter Stokes
Beat Beethoven

June 3
Confederation Park
It’s a race against classical music! The Beat Beethoven race is entering its 22nd year challenging participants to finish an 8 km race (or 4 km fun run/walk, or 1 km kids race) through downtown Kingston before the Kingston Symphony can finish playing 50 minutes of Beethoven.
8 km (timed): $45
4 km (not timed): $35
1 km (kids race, not timed): $10
Entry includes a Beat Beethoven 2018 t-shirt.

Quilts Kingston Festival

Quilts Kingston 2018

June 8 – 10, 2018
Royal Kingston Curling Club
Hosted by the Kingston Heirloom Quilters and the Limestone Quilters’ Guild, this fest is all about the needle arts. The big draw is the display of hundreds of traditional and contemporary quilts and wall hangings. But there will also be demonstrations, a boutique, a tearoom, and vendors selling fabric, sewing machines, and accessories.

Cannonball Crush 2018 at Fort Henry
Photo via Cannonball Crush Facebook
Cannonball Crush

June 9, 2018
Fort Henry
“Are you ready to crush the 5 km course atop Fort Henry hill?” Fort Henry has issued the challenge, grab 4 or more of your most determined friends — or run it yourself — and find out if you’ve got what it takes. One huge slip and slide and 15 obstacles make up the 5-kilometre course perfect for novice to advanced competitors. The best part? The YGK Craft Beer Fest after party.
$70 Team (minimum 4)
$75 Individual

YGK Craft Beer Fest at Fort Henry, 2018
Photo via St Lawrence Parks Commission
YGK Craft Beer Fest

June 9, 2018, 12 pm – 8 pm
Fort Henry
Organizers of Kingston’s annual craft beer party are promising more beers and live music than ever, bigger beer samples than ever, and even wine and cider options. Local chefs and food trucks will be there too, as will that gorgeous backdrop of Lake Ontario and downtown Kingston. Consider building up a thirst ahead of time at Fort Henry’s annual epic obstacle course, Cannonball Crush.
$15 – $17.70 (beer tickets and food are extra)

Downtown Kingston Shop Fest, Princess Street 2018

DK Shop Fest

June 16, 2018
Spread a little local love while filling out your summer wardrobe at this huge sidewalk sale. Usually, over 50 downtown merchants take to the pavement every year, most of them offering some very sweet deals. As always, you’ll also have more than a few chances to win downtown shopping prizes.

Bellevue House Kingston
Photo via FlickrCC
Doors Open Kingston

June 16, 2018, 10 am – 4 pm
Twenty-three historic and cultural sites will welcome you in for free at Doors Open this year. Expect tours and special programs at places like Canada’s Penitentiary Museum, Kingston Police Headquarters and the Royal Tavern, one of Sir John A. Macdonald’s favourite watering holes.

FoldA Festival of Live Digital Art
Photo via FlickrCC
Festival of Live Digital Art

June 19 – 22, 2018
The Isabel
The lone rookie Kingston festival on this list will actually be a nationwide show. Artists performing live on The Isabel’s stage will be broadcast to cities across the country. Likewise, artists performing in those cities will be broadcast to Kingston. The performances themselves will be a mixed bag of music, drama, comedy, and other, but each will integrate digital technology in some way. Local parody rapper B.Rich, for instance, will open in Kingston (the guy whose hilarious “Out for a Rip” video was approaching 14 million YouTube views at last count).
Prices vary per performance

Skeleton Park Festival

Skeleton Park Arts Festival

June 20 – 24, 2018
McBurney Park
Let your creative flag fly at this five-day summer solstice arts party. It will feature concerts, drum circles, square dances, artisan fairs, a video installation, poetry readings, parades, and more. The concert headliners on Saturday and Sunday include The Rheostatics, Sharon and Bram, Lido Pimienta, and Donovan Woods. Most events happen in and around McBurney Park, aka Skeleton Park.

Chill on the Hill Music Festival, Kingston 2018
Photographer Tim Forbes
Chill on the Hill Music Festival

June 22, 2018, 5 pm – 11 pm
Fort Henry
Last year it was Rascal Flatts, this year it’s Canadian legends Emerson Drive headlining Fort Henry’s annual outdoor country music show. They’ll be preceded by B.C. folk rock outfit Lion Bear Fox and Brighton, Ontario’s Brandon Scott, the former lead singer of Cold Creek Country. The backing band for all of them will be those sweeping views of the city and the lake.
$40 – $45

ArtFest Kingston 2018
Photo via ArtFest Facebook
ArtFest 2018

June 30 – July 2, 2018
City Park
Wag your flag on over to City Park on Canada Day weekend where there will be around 150 artists and artisans showcasing their stuff. Think pottery, glass, wood, and jewellery vendors alongside musicians, outdoor theatre shows, art workshops, and gourmet food. There will be a craft beer and wine tent too, as well as a new First Nations Artist Pavilion.

Chef Cooking Demos 2018

Chef Cooking Demos 2018

June 30 – September 1
Springer Market Square
Kingston’s best chefs and local producers have reunited to share their secrets and passion for creating delicious local food with the public. Learn what’s in season, how to choose the best products, and discover simple local recipes that will be a breeze to make at home. Watch the demo and grab all the ingredients you need from the Kingston Public Market.

Head to our events page for tons of other events this month.