What’s your favourite event in Niagara Falls? If you’ve only gone to see the water, there’s a whole calendar waiting for you to enjoy. For added fun and little excitement along with those unforgettable views over Horseshoe Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, you might want to plan your first or next trip to coincide with one of these great events held at Niagara Falls each year.
Niagara Food & Wine Festival
Held on the Canadian side of the border, the Niagara Food & Wine Festival is as annual event that no foodie will want to miss. Whether you go crazy for rare cheeses or sipping wines is your favourite way to spend the day, this festival is the perfect fit. Although the dates of the Niagara Food & Wine Festival change from year to year, the three-day event is typically held during one of the first weekends in May. Be prepared for dozens of vendors offering food samples, local restaurants providing tastes of their signature dishes, a cheese stage showcasing the frommage highlights of the season, live entertainment to keep things festive, and a food truck alley, which is the perfect place to grab some heartier grub after a few hours of tasting delicious wines.
Folk Arts Festival
As Canada’s longest-running heritage festival, the Niagara Falls Folk Arts Festival is a fantastic event for music, art, and culture lovers. The event celebrates all the different ethnicities and groups that make Canada so great, and you will be able to spot different types of dress, taste native dishes and listen to live bands from the region. Typically held for three weeks between May and June, plan for a weekend visit for the greatest concentration of events and festivities.
Niagara Falls International Marathon
What was the last marathon you participated in? Did it span two countries? Even if you are a seasoned runner, it’s highly unlikely you have ever had the chance to run across an international border during any other race. The Niagara Falls International Marathon, however, crosses the border between the United States and Canada, making it an event you can brag about. Even if you aren’t ready to tackle the entire 26.2 miles in one go, there are plenty of shorter races that still soak in the excitement and spirit of the event. You can try the 2k, the 5k, the 10k or the half marathon, but don’t be surprised if the adrenaline and endorphins convince you to sign up for the full marathon next year!
Niagara Falls Comic Con
Do you love Star Trek? Do you refer to yourself as a comic book nerd? Then there is no better place to be than Niagara Falls’ very own Comic Con. Be prepared for crowds of serious fans dressed up in the costumes of their favourite superheroes, plenty of panels discussing recent films, books and comics and even a chance to meet some of your childhood heroes. This comic-book lover’s dream usually plays host to a number of celebrities that have starred in blockbuster hits, comic book adaptations or just cult television shows from the past. Check the appearance roster to make sure you don’t miss your favourite stars in the flesh and don your own costume to join in the fun!
Celebrating the strong relationship between the United States and Canada, the annual Friendship Festival takes place just minutes from the international border and the Peace Bridge Plaza. Events are centred around the Mather Arch, which was dedicated to the architect of the Peace Bridge joining the two nations. Visitors who attend the Friendship Festival can expect a laid-back vibe, plenty of relaxation in the summer sun, days and nights of live music, a beverage garden where adults can imbibe in their tipple of choice, historical displays, and even a space for kids to play.
Winter Festival of Lights
Due to chilly winter weather, most of the events at Niagara Falls are held during the late spring and summer. If you are planning to visit in the winter, however, you won’t want to miss the annual Winter Festival of Lights, which brilliantly illuminates the falls and showcases their natural splendour. More than 1.5 million visitors make their way to Niagara Falls to see the lights, so you won’t be alone to spot the gorgeous displays. Millions of tiny lights are installed around the falls and in a five mile radius, and the week of Christmas includes nightly fireworks show that is amazing to behold.
Floral Showhouse Annual Shows
Niagara Falls is a place of beauty, and for an extra bloom of colour, head over to the incredible Floral Showhouse. The Showhouse is an extraordinary collection of indoor and outdoor gardens that has been a major attraction for travellers for more than 60 years. While it is a great place to visit any time, you will definitely want to time your trip with one of their many shows that take place throughout the year. The weeks surrounding Easter sees the attraction turn one of the indoor greenhouses into a spring celebration, and you can spot live chicks and bunnies nestling among blooming lilies, tulips, and daffodils. The summer show takes place outdoors, and when the weather is pleasant it is definitely worth spending a few hours touring the gardens on foot. Get in the Christmas spirit by attending the Holiday Show, which boasts stunning white and red flowers in a winter wonderland display.
If you want to see a display of unparalleled athleticism, don’t miss out on the Henley Regatta rowing competition. Believe it or not, this incredible rowing event has been held for more than 130 years. Today, more than 35,000 people show up annually to catch a glimpse of the talented athletes competing as the top amateur athletes in all of North America. Held for a week each August, the regatta showcases Henley Island, and it is a chance to relax and unwind in between heated races. Food vendors provide fantastic local cuisine and drinks for spectators, and the entire island becomes a family-friendly oasis just minutes from the border. Stay until the end to catch the spectacular fireworks that end the awards ceremony and the event as a whole.
Make the most of your next trip to Niagara Falls by timing it with one of these exciting events. Whether you are wild about comics or crazy about gardening, there is a little something for everyone at this spectacular destination.
What’s your favourite time to travel to Niagara Falls?