August’s Free Festivals

Let’s be real folks, in today’s day and age, there is no shame in being frugal. Well, lucky for you, it’s still possible to attend many of the fabulous festivals dotted around Ottawa without hurting your wallet too much! All of the festivals listed here have free admission, though we still recommend you bring some cash to spend on food or activities. Just think of all the mouth-watering food you can justifiably buy since you don’t have to pay the price of admission! Read on for all of Ottawa’s free August festivals, valued festies. Also, for any more information on any of these festivals, make sure to click the title of the festival, which will take you to the festival’s own website. 

The Great India Festival – August 9-11 

Held at Ottawa City Hall, The Great India Festival is a three-day extravaganza of Indian food, dance, and music. The cultural celebration also seeks to engage attendees through a variety of workshops that focus on nourishing the body and mind, including yoga, dance, cooking, and meditation. For the reflective festies, discussions and debates on Indian culture and philosophy will also be had throughout the weekend! So, make sure to come on out and experience everything Ottawa’s Indian community has to offer! 

Twitter: @tgifOttawa

Instagram: @tgifottawa

Facebook: @tgifottawa 

South Asian Fest Ottawa – August 9-18 

This year’s South Asian Fest Ottawa marks the festival’s 10th anniversary, and boy are they bringing out all the stops to celebrate! The 10-day bonanza of South Asian culture is set to feature a litany of talented artists, including Miss Pooja, Sherry Mann, and Raghav as well as a number of local Ottawa artists! Those looking to take in some cricket, the most popular bat-and-ball game outside of North America, can also score some free tickets to a match taking place on August 11 here

Twitter: @SouthAsianFest

Instagram: @southasianfest

Facebook: @SouthAsianFest 

Ottawa Greek Fest – August 15-25

Another cultural festival offering free admission, this year’s Ottawa Greek Festival promises to be wildly entertaining and delicious. A host of Greek musicians are booked to entrance all attendees – including some that will be playing the bouzouki, an instrument which plays a prominent role in traditional Greek music and festivities. Festivalgoers with a sweet tooth will also find themselves right at home at the Ottawa Greek Fest, as delicious Greek desserts are a staple of the festival – including the sweet, honey-covered baklava. GreekFest’s famous Zorba Show is also on tap this year, a performance featuring plenty of plate-breaking, high kicks, and fire that will have you captivated from beginning to end! 

Facebook: @ottawagreekfest

Instagram: @ottawagreekfest

Twitter: @ottawagreekfest


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Loukoumades (pronounced lou-kou-ma-thehs): Greek style dough balls topped with honey and cinnamon. Fried in olive oil, they’re light, airy, and delicious – try them in honey or drizzled with warm chocolate sauce at #OttawaGreekFest ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Bet you can’t eat just 20… ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ —— ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Les Loukoumades (prononcé «lou-kou-ma-thehs»): des petits beignets de style grec, sapoudrés avec un sirop de miel et cannelle. Frits dans l’huile d’olive, ils sont délicieux, légers et onctueux. Dégustez-les avec du le miel ou avec la sauce au chocolat chaude au #FestiGrecOttawa. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Certainement, vous ne pourrez pas en manger que 20…

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FUSE Street Festival – August 17-18

Westboro Village is already an exciting and eclectic part of Ottawa, but for two days in the middle of August it becomes even better with the FUSE Street Festival! This FREE street party will feature a boat-load of live music, entertainment, food options, and fashion all on Richmond Road – which will be closed from Roosevelt to McRae. Local Ottawa bands such as Good Advice and The Rock Steadies, as well as Vancouver’s Odds, are set to rock Richmond Road to its foundations, so don’t miss out on one of Ottawa’s premier, and FREE, street festivals of the summer! 

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Instagram: @westborovillage

Twitter: @westboroBIA

Northern Lights – Until September 8

A truly iconic event that you can only experience in Canada’s capital city, the Northern Lights sound and light show on Parliament Hill is a fun and FREE way to entertain your friends and family while learning a good amount about Canada’s history! Parliament Hill’s Centre Block and Peace Tower serve as the illustrious backdrops for this amazing show, which uses a complex system of lights to bring key events and figures from our Canadian past to life. Don’t miss out on this truly special show! The shows throughout August begin at 9:30 p.m., while the shows that run in September kick off at 9:00 p.m. Don’t be late! 

Twitter: @capital_exp

Instagram: @canada_cap

Facebook: @capitalexperience