9 Festivals to Hit This September 2019 in Kingston

By Jordan Whitehouse

The summer festival season may be ending, but it’s going out on a high note with gems that include Ribfest, the Multicultural Arts Festival, and WritersFest.

Photo via Impact Events Group, Facebook

Kingston Ribfest and Craft Beer Show

Friday, September 6 – Sunday, September 8, 2019

Memorial Centre Park

Back for the seventh year, Ribfest will have seven award-winning ribbers on hand this September and 14 craft breweries, including five locals. The format is simple: for beer, buy a $6 wristband and then purchase five-ounce samples at a time for $2 each. For food, just wonder and graze on barbecued pork, chicken, ribs, corn on the cob, pretzels, ice cream, and more. Prices will range from $7 for a pulled pork sandwich to $22 for a full rack of ribs. Three cideries will be there too, as will a Kids Fun Zone and live music all weekend long.

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

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons – Nathan Rupert

Garrison Kingston Family Fun Fest

Saturday, September 7 – Sunday, September 8, 2019

Kingston Military Community Sports Centre

This annual fest celebrates the Kingston military community and their families, but it’s open to everyone. The good times kick off on Saturday night at 6 pm with a concert headlined by Destroyer, Canada’s premier KISS tribute band ($15 + HST). On Sunday, there will be free family activities inside and out from 10 am to 5 pm, including a midway, military displays, guided trolley tours of RMC, BMX demonstrations, laser tag, axe throwing, and stunt dog shows.

Concert: $15, Sunday: Free admission

Photo via Kingston Immigration Partnership, Facebook

Kingston Multicultural Arts Festival

Sunday, September 8, 2019, 11:30 am – 5:30 pm

Confederation Park

The Multicultural Arts Festival celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, and it’s sticking to what’s always worked: lots of live music and dance from all over the world, arts activities for kids, and delicious food from all four corners. The cultural pavilions are also returning, where adults and kids can do crafts, take language lessons, and more. The workshops are back, too, which have in the past included learning Arabic calligraphy and making Mayan worry dolls.

Free admission

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons – James

Kingston Poutine Feast

Thursday, September 26 – Sunday, September 29, 2019

City Park

This travelling poutine festival was so popular last year that a Thursday was added to this year’s event. The cornerstone for all four days will be the seven poutine vendors serving up their own creative combinations of potato, cheese, and gravy. But there will be a hot dog vendor as well, plus three dessert vendors, a DJ, and games for the whole family. On Sunday, stick around for the poutine contest to see whose gooey godsend gets voted best. By the way, if you’re gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan, you’ll have options, too.

Free admission

Photo via Mark Podolsky

CORK Fall Regatta

Saturday, September 21 – Sunday, September 22, 2019

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. CORK, which stands for Canadian Olympic Training Regatta Kingston, is an established event on the international regatta circuit that’s been happening here since 1969. To date, it’s hosted 43 world championships and more than double that number of North American and Canadian championships.

Photo via Punch Photographic

Kingston WritersFest

Wednesday, September 25 – Sunday, September 29, 2019


Organizers say this will be the most diverse Kingston WritersFest yet, as the lineup includes 50 events and 60 writers — over half of them women. Some of the big names include David Bezmozgis, Emma Donoghue (pictured), Marina Endicott, M.G. Vassanji, and Kingston’s own Diane Schoemperlen. All of them will host readings, discussions, masterclasses, performances, or other special events like the lunch at Silver Wok hosted by Globe and Mail food reporter Ann Hui, whose book, “Chop Suey Nation”, chronicles the history of Chinese-Canadian food.

Varying prices

Photo via The Great Waterway

Fall Art After Dark

Friday, September 27, 2019, 7 pm – 10 pm


There are dozens of art galleries across Kingston, and this bi-annual event is a great chance to check out some of them downtown. Typically, about 20 galleries and art-loving businesses participate — some with special programming and light refreshments. As you browse, don’t forget to enter the contest to win $500 towards the purchase of original art at all participating businesses.

Free admission

Photo via Claire Bouvier

Culture Days

Friday, September 27 – Sunday, September 29, 2019

Multiple venues

Culture Days is a national celebration where every year at the end of September communities across the country host participatory arts and culture events. In Kingston, the Tett Centre will be ground zero this year, as it will have dance classes, arts workshops, a drum circle, yoga, and more. The Pump House Steam Museum is also getting in on the action, letting you build a miniature Ontario Street out of Lego. Over at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, take a non-visual tour of a Rembrandt exhibit.

Free admission

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons – Robin Dawes

Princess Street Promenade

Saturday, September 28, 2019, 10 am – 5 pm

Princess Street

For the second time in two months, Princess Street will be closed to vehicle traffic downtown so that pedestrians can enjoy activities hosted by local businesses and community groups. In the past, that’s meant everything from bouncy castles to climbing walls, live music to pop-up food stalls, caricature artists to robot demonstrations. The main goal is to promote active living downtown.

Free admission