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 .

St. John's Celebrates...
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
St. John's Time
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

St. John’s Celebrates…

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 12, 13 & 14, 2016

Chillfest 2016: St. John’s Winter Festival
We’ve planned 3 days of FREE action packed winter festival events from February 12-14, 2016.
 
Parade of Lights
Come help us kick off St. John’s ChillFest with a Parade of Lights through Bowring Park. Shake off those winter blues and join us for our inaugural night time parade. Be sure to bring along a bright light or glow item to help light up the night. The parade is all about fun so feel free to bring a musical instrument, kazoo, noise maker or even dress in a funny costume. The Parade Master and a host of colorful characters will lead participants on a bright, fun and boisterous parade around the paved loop through the park. Participants will receive a cool blinky light.
Date: Friday, Feb. 12
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Bowring Park. Meet at the Peter Pan statue.
 
Winter Photo Workshop
St. John’s is beautiful in the winter and provides ample opportunity to get outdoors to take breathtaking photos. Get valuable tips and advice from local professional photographer, Brian Ricks, on how to get the most out of your winter photos. Amateur photographers of all levels are welcome. Bring your cell phone, point & shoot camera or your DSLR and join us in scenic Quidi Vidi Village.
Date: Saturday, Feb. 13
Time: 11 a.m. to noon
Location: Meet at Quidi Vidi Village Plantation, 10 Maple View Road. Be prepared to take photos outdoors in the surrounding area.
 
All Ages Kitchen Party
Everyone is welcome for an old fashioned “Kitchen Party” at Quidi Vidi Village Plantation featuring Fergus O’Byrne & Fergus Brown-O’Byrne. Bring along an instrument and join in. A set of spoons, an ugly stick or your dancing shoes will also get you in on the action. We’ll supply light refreshments. While there check out the Valentine's Open House hosted by the Plantation artisans and special guests. 
Date: Saturday, Feb. 13
Time: 1 to 3 p.m.
Location: Quidi Vidi Village Plantation, 10 Maple View Road
 
Valentine's Open House at the Quidi Vidi Village Plantation
Come join the Quidi Vidi Village Plantation artists as they celebrate Valentine's at the Plantation! They are hosting an open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13. Guest artists will join them and in conjunction with St. John's ChillFest, Fergus O'Byrne and Fergus Brown-O'Byrne will be the center of an All Ages Kitchen Party taking place from 1 to 3 p.m. Bring your favorite people and an instrument to enjoy the day with us. Refreshments will be available. 
Date: Saturday, Feb. 13
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: Quidi Vidi Village Plantation (second floor), 10 Maple View Road 

  
Free Ski and Snowshoe Rentals
Have you tried cross country skiing or snowshoeing? Now is your chance. Come explore over 3 kilometres of beautiful trails that are groomed for both classic & skate skiing. Pippy Park Campground is ideal for cross country skiing and snowshoeing for all skill levels. The Winter Activity Centre is weather and snow dependent. Please call the information line at 737-3651 to learn if the centre is open.  
Date: Saturday, Feb. 13
Time: 2 to 4 p.m.
Location: C.A. Pippy Park Winter Activity Centre (North Bank Lodge)
 
Winterjam
Skate & Chill? Come chill out at The Loop and skate to the beats of live local DJ’s. Talented local DJ’s get the all ages party going at 7 p.m. This activity is weather dependent call the Loopline at 733-LOOP (5667) to find out if The Loop is open for skating.
Date: Saturday, Feb. 13
Time: 7 to 9 p.m. 
Location: The Loop in Bannerman Park
 
Snow Play
Build a snowman, a snow fort, make angels or paint pictures in the snow. We’ll have all the tools to help with your frozen creations. This event is weather and snow dependent.
Date: Sunday, Feb. 14
Time: 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Location: Bannerman Park playground
 
Mega Play
Come in out of the cold, chill out and join us for an afternoon of mega fun and mega play. We’ll have interactive games, bouncers, balloon twisters, reptiles and lots of free fun for the entire family. Please note outdoor footwear is not permitted in the gymnasium.
Date: Sunday, Feb. 14
Time: 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Location: MacDonald Drive Junior High, 100 MacDonald Drive (enter off Toronto Street)
 
Sweetheart Skate
Grab your sweetheart and join us for Valentine’s themed music, a photo booth and giveaways. Free hot chocolate provided compliments of Beavertails. This activity is weather dependent call the Loopline 733-LOOP (5667) to find out if The Loop is open for skating.
Date: Sunday, Feb. 14
Time: 7 to 9 p.m.
Location: The Loop in Bannerman Park
 

St. John's Days Celebrations
June 24, 25 & 26, 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 Ceremony
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. GoBus will also be providing free service for this event.

 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/
 
St. John’s Time
Late July to early August
 
11 days of fun with four major festivals and a whole raft of other activities, incorporating the George Street Festival, July 30 to August 4, 2015, Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival, August 7, 8 & 9, 2015, The Busker’s Festival August 7, 8, & 9, 2015, Royal St. John’s Regatta, August 5, 2015, plus much more.

 
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 5, 2015

Ring in the holiday season on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 5 p.m. 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.
This event includes a wheelchair accessible viewing area.
In the case of inclement weather, Festival of Music & Lights will be postponed until December 12. 

 
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, 2015

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.

New Years Eve Countdown & Fireworks
When the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31, the people of St. John’s are the first in North America to celebrate the New Year. Join the FREE outdoor party at Quidi Vidi Lake next to the boathouse with out live DJ and hosts from OZFM and NTV as they count us down to midnight.  We'll provide the party favours and the spectacular fireworks display, you just have to show up!  Be sure to bundle up incase of cold weather. Festivities begin at 11:15 p.m. and continue until 12:30 a.m.