The Lilac Festival is one of the top three annual festivals in Calgary, along with the Calgary Stampede and the Sun and Salsa Festival. With well over 100,000 people ambling up and down 4th Street SW, it’s an exciting experience combining people watching with browsing and snacking.
On a personal note my mother, bless her soul, was on the organizing committee when it started in 1998, and it only covered about four blocks. Today it stretches along 4th Street from 13th Ave SW all the way to Elbow Drive, about 14 blocks, and has grown from a wild idea promoted by the Cliff Bungalow – Mission Community Association to a behemoth taking up most of the organizing energy of the 4th Street BRZ.
This is one of the most entertaining events on the Calgary calendar, with street dancers, belly dancers, top-notch buskers, car displays, cosplay, clowns, and a half dozen stages with over 30 different bands throughout the day. That’s not even touching on all the artisan vendors, food carts, beer gardens, patios, and more. If you’re not crowd-averse, this is a don’t-miss event!