Pride (Until Monday, Sept. 2)
The parade is always the highlight, but there’s a weekend full of amusingly named events as Calgary’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-identified and two-spirited communities and allies celebrate. There’s a youth dance (The Homo Hop, Friday), a hike (Apollo’s LGBTQ Pride Hike, Saturday), a barbecue (Possibilities’ BiBQ, Saturday) and many club nights.
The parade, runs down Stephen Avenue on Sunday and ends with a street festival at Shaw Millennium Park. Swerve has a fun scavenger hunt for you to fill out as you go through the weekend.
Chumps! at Shelf Life Books (Friday, Aug. 30)
CHUMPS (Calgary Homeless Unintelligible Mumbling Poets Society) got its start as a creative-writing program within a homeless shelter. An anthology of work created by program participants will be on sale at this event at Shelf Life Books. If you can’t make it, you can still support the anthology by hitting up the IndieGoGo campaign, which will help offset print costs. Hear the gospel from the streets as the homeless and semi-homeless writers share their poems and stories.
Okotoks Chili Fest (Saturday, Aug. 31)
As Homer Simpson demonstrated, it’s not a good idea to use wax as a means of shielding your tongue from spicy chili. Instead, take in the chili samples on offer at Okotoks Chili Fest, tongue au naturel (at $5 per tasting). Non-chili imbibers can still enjoy live music, a bouncy castle and a market square featuring over 100 vendors.
X-Fest at Fort Calgary (Saturday, Aug. 31 and Sunday, Sept. 1)
There are a lot of bands to take in at Fort Calgary this weekend, especially for those with a hankering for some ’90s tunes. Weezer and Blink-182 headline, but don’t miss bands of a more recent vintage, like synth-pop stars Passion Pit, who play at 6:20 p.m. on Friday. Swerve has a gallery of five acts you’ll see this weekend.
BBQ on the Bow at Eau Claire Market (Sunday, Sept. 1)
It’s a food-filled weekend around Calgary (and area). The 21st annual Kansas City-style barbecue competition goes at Eau Claire. You can see some hardworking people sweatin’ over meats. That doesn’t sound attractive, but I can guarantee it will smell great. There’s also smoking entertainment, including Bill Dowey and the Blues Devils and the Donald Ray Johnson band.
Bonus Garage Sale of the Long Weekend: Corb Lund’s Garage Sale
This is for the more dedicated garage sale enthusiasts. Corb Lund is offloading years and years of stockpiled merch up in Edmonton, and he’ll be there to autograph your newly acquired shirts. If you pay with a big bill, check to see if there are any songs written on the bills Lund gives you as change. —Jon Roe