One of Calgary’s favorite retail and entertainment districts, 17th Avenue, will be a hive of activity this summer with a free, three-month calendar of events happening in Tomkins Park that’s available to locals and visitors alike.
From free fitness classes, movie nights in the park, and an array of live music to riding a mechanical bull and catching a drag show, there’s plenty on offer.
But to help you draft up your summer bucket list, we’ve curated a list of six must-visit activities.
Canada Day kick-off
Get a taste of what’s to come this summer at Tomkins Park by celebrating Canada Day with live music from 11 am to 4 pm, plus dance performances from the Arthur Murray Dance Studio, Jet Dance, and Hoop Dancing from Lakota Tootoosis. You can also enjoy performances from Little Red Ball theatrical company.
Stampede country music
There’s no denying that Calgary is synonymous with the annual Stampede celebration. For nine days, (July 8 to 16) Tomkins Park will be all things country with live music performances from 1 to 4 pm on Sunday to Friday and from 11 am to 3pm on Saturdays with appearances from Brandon Lorenzo Duo, Pistol Noon Band, and Lulahh n’ the Classic Crew.
And if you want to be in with a chance of impressing Kevin Costner (aka John Dutton), you can practice riding on the mechanical bull or learn how to line dance on both Saturday, July 9 and Saturday, July 16.
Sunday morning fitness
Once Stampede is over, it’s time for a much-needed detox. Get yourself to Tomkins Park from 9:30 to 10:30 am each Sunday morning (from July 17 to August 28) for a free fitness class — you can opt for Zumba, yoga, body combat, or HIIT classes from 17th Ave gyms GoodLife and MOVE to get your day started right.
Classical Sunday afternoons
Pack your picnic (Tomkins Park has more than 30 outdoor dining tables — including both picnic and round metal tables — and alcohol can legally be consumed) and while away your Sunday afternoon listening to classical music.
From July 17 to September 4, you can catch a free classical concert featuring musicians from the Calgary Concert Opera, Divas Opera, Palladio Music, violinist Steven Klevsky, mezzo-soprano Barb King, pianist Grace King, and more,
Live blues and jazz
Celebrate hump day every week from July 20 to August 31 with live blues and jazz in Tomkins Park from 6 to 8 pm, featuring local artists such as Aaron Young, Shari Chaskin and Jon Day, and Emily Vay.
Friday DJ and drag show
What better way to spend arguably the best day of the week than a park hang with friends?
From July 22 until September 2, you can catch either a live DJ or DJ and drag show. Oh, and for a finale, there will be a crowning of the Queen of 17th ceremony.
The full Summer on 17th lineup also includes cinema Saturdays in September and Monday meetups (including singles events, local community organizations, and dog walks). It sounds to us like a pretty great way to get to know new people in the city after being in our bubbles for so long — and did we mention it’s free?
For more information and to plan your Summer on 17th, check out their website.