Annual Events

Annual Events

The City hosts a wide variety of events and festivals ideal to plan your visit around. For specific dates check our Calendar of Events .

Celebrate with St. John's
St. John's ChillFest
St. John's Days Celebrations
Nickel Independent Film Festival
Canada's Big Birthday Bash
Canada Day Celebrations
Music at Harbourside Lunchtime Concert Series
Signal Hill Tattoo
Sound Symposium
Wreckhouse Jazz and Blues Festival
Victoria Park Lantern Festival
George Street Festival
Royal St. John's Regatta
Busker's Festival
Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival
Tuckamore Festival
Doors Open Days
Targa Newfoundland
St. John's International Women's Film Festival
St. John's Halloween Mardi Gras
Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador Christmas Craft Fair
The Downtown Christmas Parade
Festival of Music and Lights
Mummer's Festival
North America's First New Year

Celebrate with St. John's

Join the City of St John's as we celebrate with a variety of free annual events including St. John's Days, Canada Day, Festival of Music & Lights, New Year's Eve and much, much more.

St. John’s ChillFest
February 17, 18 & 19 2017

Chillfest 2016: St. John’s Winter Festival
We’ve planned 3 days of FREE action packed winter events. Check our website and social media feeds in mid-January as more details become available, but some of what’s on offer includes...
Sweet Heart Skate, the Loop
Snow Play & Sliding Party, Bowring Park
All Ages Kitchen Party, Johnson Geo Centre
Disco DJ Skating Party, The Loop
Chilly Fun Walk/Run, Bowring Park
Kids MegaPlay, Paul Reynolds Centre
Free Ski & Snowshoe Rentals, Pippy Park
Torchlite/ Lantern Parade, Bowring Park

St. John's Days Celebrations
June 24 - 27, 2016
 
Celebrate the incorporation of North America’s oldest city through outdoor concerts, historical characters and other events throughout downtown. Free birthday cupcakes each day at the St. John’s Visitor Information Centre, 348 Water Street.

Nickel Independent Film Festival
June
 
The Nickel Independent Film Festival began in 2001 in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. Inspired by a need for local filmmakers to show their films, the Nickel occurs each year in the third week of June at the historic LSPU Hall. With diverse selections from every genre, it continues to expand its programming and screens local, Canadian and foreign films. Along with screenings of independent films, the festival also offers a variety of workshops and special events.
 
Canada’s Big Birthday Bash
June 30 – July 1
 
Join the festivities and be the first in Canada to celebrate our national birthday. In addition to its traditionally strong entertainment line-up, plans include activities such as outdoor barbecues, busker performances, children’s programming and fireworks.
Contact: http://www.georgestreetlive.ca/

Canada Day Celebrations
July 1
 
Each July 1, when the sun rises over Signal Hill, the people of St. John's become the first in Canada to celebrate this country's birthday.

Sunrise Event
Join the City of St. John’s and the Canada Day Committee partners for free family events from Sunrise to Sunset on July 1 as we celebrate being Canadian!
The day begins with the Sunrise Ceremony at 6 a.m. at Signal Hill National Historic Site. Metrobus will be providing a free shuttle service from the Signal Hill National Historic Site Interpretation Centre. 

 Canada Day on Confederation Hill: Kids Carnival, Cultural Showcase & Concert
An Afternooon of family entertainment on Confederation Hill with bouncy castles, the kids carnival, face painting, a cultural showcase and a concert on the Memorial Stage. See our giant Canada Day cake made from over 3500 Sobeys cupcakes, while quantities last. Donations will be accepted for the Bridges to Hope Food Bank.

Fireworks and Concert
An evening concert at Quidi Vidi Lake will be followed by fireworks at 10 p.m. Should weather conditions not be ideal, the fireworks will be rescheduled for July 2 at 10 p.m.

Residents are encouraged to check the Public Advisory section of our website for more information regarding parking & traffic disruptions as well as changes in access to the Quidi Vidi walking trails and Dog Park related to this event. Pet owners are also kindly reminded to keep their pets inside during the fireworks display.

If we have to canceI any portion of the event due to fog, wind or other inclement weather, updates will be available at Access St. John’s, by calling 311 or 709-754-CITY (2489).

This project has been made possible (in part) by the Government of Canada.

 
Music at Harbourside Lunchtime Concert Series

Fridays at 12:30 p.m.

It’s an exciting mix of sights and sounds in the heart of the St. John’s downtown district.

Where else can you get the best in Newfoundland entertainment, together with a breathtaking view of the St. John’s Harbour, all while enjoying your brown-bag lunch?

Music at Harbourside has become a staple of the St. John’s summer. Every Friday, some of the province’s best performers are joined by rising young stars to present a concert in the sun.

Each concert opens with a youth performer coordinated through a partnership with the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Arts Society. These opening acts and our headliners showcase the incredible and diverse musical talent the City has to offer.

Many different musical styles will also be featured throughout the summer including jazz, blues, folk, pop and more.

Kick back with family, friends or co-workers and enjoy this weekly treat. It’s like running through a sprinkler on a hot day – refreshing, fun and sure to make you smile!

 
Signal Hill Tattoo
July – early August
 
During the Signal Hill Tattoo the sound of musket and cannon fire booms across St. John’s like ghostly echoes from bygone days. This exciting battle re-enactment, performed by the Royal Newfoundland Companies from July to early August, commemorates the final battle of the Seven Years’ War which was fought on Signal Hill, Sept. 16, 1762, between British and French forces. 
Contact:  http://www.signalhilltattoo.org/
  
Sound Symposium
July
 
Held every two years, the Sound Symposium turns St. John’s into a city wide celebration of sound. Experience seven full days and nights of music, concerts, workshops, gallery exhibitions, outdoor installations and event, dance, theatre, film and sound experiments.
Contact: www.soundsymposium.com
 
Wreckhouse Jazz and Blues Festival
July
 
A great coming together of over 150 local, national and international jazz, blues and world music artists at various venues throughout the city. A six-day festival of sound, artistry, exploration and collaboration set in the oldest city in North America. An explosion of creativity on the edge of the continent - an unforgettable experience.
Contact: http://www.wreckhousejazzandblues.com/
 
Victoria Park Lantern Festival
July
 
The Victoria Park Lantern Festival is an all-ages celebration of community in St. John’s historic west end. A participatory and volunteer-driven event, the annual festival takes place on the Saturday of the last full weekend in July following a couple of months of public lantern-building workshops.
Contact: http://www.lanternfest.ca/

 
George Street Festival
Late July to early August
 
George Street, in downtown St. John’s, is the focal point of the City’s nightlife. The pubs and taverns lining this historic cobblestone street offer everything from traditional Newfoundland music to the latest rock music. The festival features five nights of live outdoor entertainment featuring some of Newfoundland and Labrador’s top acts.
Contact: http://www.georgestreetlive.ca/
 
Royal St. John’s Regatta
First Wednesday in August (weather permitting)
 
The annual Royal St. John’s Regatta is North America’s oldest organized sporting event. The Regatta began officially in 1825 and has run the first Wednesday in August ever since. Regatta Day is probably the only Municipal Holiday in Canada that is dependent on weather. If it is raining or too windy, the holiday is simply put off until the next suitable day.
Contact: http://www.stjohnsregatta.org/

Busker’s Festival
Early August
 
Every year clowns, magicians and musical talent come out into the streets to perform. The festival hosts a number of great acts throughout the downtown area.
Contact: http://www.downtownstjohns.com/
 
Newfoundland And Labrador Folk Festival
Early August

The good times in St. John’s keep rolling in August with the annual Provincial Folk Festival held in Bannerman Park featuring musicians, dancers and storytellers from around the province. It is a perfect opportunity to get a taste of the traditional Newfoundland and Labrador lifestyle with music, dancing, storytelling and traditional good times.
Contact: www.nlfolk.com
 
Tuckamore Festival
August

Since 2001, the Tuckamore Festival has offered an inspiring and intensive chamber music program for emerging musicians in historic St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. For two weeks, talented pianists and string players perform and attend numerous concerts as well as participate in workshops, open rehearsals, private lessons, coachings and master classes.
Contact: http://www.tuckamorefestival.ca/

Doors Open Days
September 
 
Doors Open in St. John’s began in 2003 as a way for citizens and visitors to celebrate local architecture and heritage buildings. Buildings that are normally closed to the public or charge admission fees welcome visitors for free to experience some of our hidden historical and architectural gems.
Contact: http://www.doorsopendays.com/
 
Targa Newfoundland
September
 
Targa Newfoundland is the first and only event of its kind to be held in North America. It is an annual event and forms a 2,200 kilometre long, high quality automotive adventure. It is held over a seven day period in September of each year on the paved roads of the eastern and central parts of the province.
Contact: http://www.targanewfoundland.com/
 
St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival
October
 
Held at various venues throughout St. John’s, this week-long screening series of 50 to 70 works by women directors, producers and writers also features a workshop/seminar series (for filmmakers, the general public and youth), galas, receptions and other networking events. This dynamic event attracts over 4,000 film industry players and enthusiasts from around the province, Canada and the world.
Contact: http://www.womensfilmfestival.com/
 
St. John’s Halloween Mardi Gras
October
 
If you thought you had to go to New Orleans to experience a real Mardi Gras, then you have not been to the annual St. John’s Halloween Mardi Gras. This is an event of all-out-fun with spectacular costumes, good music, good fun and good times on George Street.
Contact: http://www.georgestreetlive.ca/
 
Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador Christmas Craft Fair
November
 
Craftspeople from all over Newfoundland and Labrador and the Maritimes converge at the Arts & Culture Centre to bring the best they have to offer in crafts, gifts and souvenirs. These juried craft fairs select only the best craftspeople in the industry to be under one roof.
Contact: http://www.craftcouncil.nl.ca/
 
The Downtown Christmas Parade
November

With over 100 entries and a crowd estimated at 40,000 people, the parade is the largest in the province. It features zany clowns, marching bands, colourful cheerleaders and fantastic floats. A food drive is included in the festivities benefiting the Community Food Sharing Association.
Contact: http://www.downtownstjohns.com/
 
Festival of Music and Lights
December 3, 2017
Ring in the holiday season with our annual celebration of festive music, bright lights and free hot chocolate. Choirs perform while we officially switch on the light display surrounding the duck pond. Don't forget to bundle up and bring a non perihable food item to donate to the food bank.
Sponsored in part by NTV & OZFM, Canadian AV and Take Charge NL. Free Hot Chocolate provided by St. John's Lion's Club 
This event includes a wheelchair accessible viewing area.
 
Mummers Festival
December
 
The Mummers Festival is a participant-driven, not–for–profit, community–based folklife festival that encourages the celebration and free expression of tradition. The Festival hosts a number of workshops prior to The Mummers Parade which is the Festival’s crowning event.
Contact: http://www.mummersfestival.ca/

North America’s First New Year
December 31 & January 1

Skating Party at The Loop
Join us for a FREE family friendly New Year's Eve Skating Party from 4 to 6 p.m.  We'll provide the party favours and festive music - you bring the skates. Enjoy a free hot chocolate compliments of Beavertails.

Canada 150 New Year's Eve Celebrations 
On Dec. 31 come and join our party ‘It All Starts Here’, and be among the first in North America to ring in the New Year and the launch of Canada 150 celebrations!
Bring the whole family to the steps of City Hall for a live outdoor concert starting at 9 p.m. Revel to the music of Shanneyganock, The Ennis Sisters, Eastern Owl and Stompbox, while enjoying performances by Wonderbolt Circus, an amazing pyrotechnics show, and a countdown to the New Year never seen before.

New Year's Day Fireworks Display
The New Year's Celebrations continue at 8pm on January 1, 2017 at Quidi Vidi Lake with our annual Fireworks Display. Join us for a free hot chocolate, we'll be set-up next to the boathouse.