Kingston festival roundup (Part 2)

By Lexy Correa

Welcome to Kingston, Ontario, a city known for its rich history, charming architecture, and vibrant arts and culture scene. Throughout the year, Kingston plays host to a variety of festivals and events that showcase the city’s unique character and spirit. From music and theatre to food and drink, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

In this festival guide, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most exciting and noteworthy festivals that will take place in the city in August and September.


Kick and Push Festival

Various locations | August 1 – 19

One of the defining features of the Kick and Push Festival is its commitment to innovative and experimental performances. The festival is known for pushing the boundaries of traditional theatre and performance and for bringing together artists from a range of disciplines to create unique and unforgettable experiences. The Kick & Push Festival tells old stories in new ways and new stories in old places, giving audiences a glimpse into cultural and historical spaces.

Princess Street Promenade

Downtown Kingston | August 5, September 23

During the Princess Street Promenade, a section of Princess Street is closed to traffic for the ultimate outdoor shopping festival. Local businesses set up stalls and displays outside their stores, showcasing products and services for pedestrians. Enjoy live music, free samples, giveaways, kids’ activities, and great deals throughout the day. The festival provides an opportunity for people to explore downtown Kingston, discover new businesses and experiences, and connect with each other in a festive and welcoming atmosphere.

Kingston Sheep Dog Trials

Grass Creek Park | August 11 – 13

The Kingston Sheep Dog Trials is one of the most significant sheep dog competition events in North America. This family-friendly event offers dog agility shows, horse-carriage racing, sheep to shawl demonstrations, and more. Market and food vendors will also be on site.

Women’s Art Festival

City Park | August 12 – 13

The Women’s Art Festival is an annual celebration of women’s creativity in the arts. Each year the festival offers live music, art installations, and a vibrant artisan marketplace featuring the best artists in the Kingston area. This year, the festival celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Back to the Farm Beer and Music Festival

MacKinnon Brothers Brewing Company | August 20

What’s better than craft beer, music, and good eats? This year, Back to the Farm Beer and Music Festival will feature The Blue Stones, Joel Plaskett Emergency, Paul Langlois Nand, Boston Levi, and more amazing acts. The festival takes place from 11 am – 10:30 pm with shuttle buses available at the Memorial Centre and Red House West in Kingston.

Limestone City Blues Festival

Downtown Kingston | August 24 – 27

Now in its 26th year, the Limestone City Blues Festival proudly continues to honour the blues, its origins, and evolution as it influences contemporary musicians. Guests will be treated to four days of live performances, including two main stage events in Springer Market Square, shows in Confederation Park, and club gigs all over downtown Kingston. New this year, you can enjoy amazing local food vendors and a licensed drinking area. We recommend purchasing a festival pass to gain access to all events!

Doors Open Kingston

Various locations | August 26, September 23

Discover, explore, and encounter the spaces and stories that shape the communities of Kingston. This year, there are dates in August and September to visit different types of historic sites for free. A few Kingston locations include PumpHouse, Military Communications & Electronics Museum, Murney Tower, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Bellevue House National Historic Site, and more. We recommend checking out their website for the full list.


Open Farm Days

Kingston and Frontenac County | September 1 – 30

Open Farm Days is an annual event showcasing farms from Kingston and Frontenac County. Each participating farm offers a unique experience: you can learn about cheesemaking, flour milling, and permaculture practices. After learning at the farms, experience unique culinary activations in Kingston, where you can enjoy farm-to-table food produced by talented local chefs. Be sure to bookmark their website as more dates and events are confirmed.


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Kingston Ribfest and Craft Beer Show

Memorial Centre | September 8 – 10

Celebrate some of the best that summer has to offer with the Kingston Ribfest and Craft Beer Show, now in its tenth year. Dig into mouth-watering barbequed ribs and chicken and an incredible selection of Ontario craft beer. There will be live entertainment and a kids’ fun zone.

Kingston Fall Fair

Memorial Centre | September 14 – 17

The Kingston Fall Fair is truly a crowd favourite. After enjoying the fair rides, dig into carnival snacks, explore the produce, art, and homecraft competitions, and take in the horse and motocross shows. For adults, a single day pass is $10 ($30 for a four-day pass) while student day passes are $5 ($15 for a four-day pass). This year, the Fall Fair celebrate its 191st year in Kingston.

Intercultural Arts Festival

Confederation Basin | September 17

Celebrate Kingston’s rich diversity through food, music, art, and culture. This year’s Intercultural Arts Festival is a free, family-friendly event at Confederation Basin. Expect unique performances from community groups throughout the day and delicious food vendors throughout the basin. We recommend bookmarking their website as performances and vendors are confirmed!


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Kingston Poutine Feast

Memorial Centre| September 21 – 14

Leave room for seconds (and maybe thirds) at the Kingston Poutine Feast! Join us for the ultimate poutine experience and indulge in many options, from classic cheese curd and gravy to loaded bacon and sour cream. The festival is free to enter, with the option of purchasing a VIP ticket to skip the lines and be seated at your own reserved table with table service ($40 tickets).

Kingston Writersfest

Various locations | September 27 – October 1

Emma Donoghue, Alicia Elliott, Patrick deWitt, Britta Badour, and Vincent Lam are among the exciting author lineup for the 15th annual Kingston Writersfest. In addition to the great fiction, nonfiction, culinary, and poetry events the festival is known for, this year’s events feature experimental fiction and form, hybrid works, spoken word, stage readings, and songwriting. There’s also a Kingston Writersfest Art After Dark exhibit with book jacket designer Oliver McPartlin. Get your passes early on their website.

Fall Art After Dark

Downtown Kingston | September 29, 7 – 10 pm

Local galleries and art-loving businesses in downtown Kingston will showcase some of the best art in the city (with some special surprises along the way!). Take in beautiful art, browse unique artisan wares at markets, listen to live music, and meet fellow art lovers as you visit all the galleries downtown.