Summer is just around the corner, and that means it’s time for outside farmers’ markets, street festivals, food festivals, music festivals, and more.
And the best thing … you don’t have to leave town to experience any of it! Just head to downtown Peterborough. Here are the highlights of what you and your family can experience this summer in the downtown core:
Wednesday and Saturday Downtown Farmers’ Markets (May to October)
There’s no need to wait for summer to enjoy the two outdoors farmers’ markets in downtown Peterborough.
The Peterborough Downtown Farmers’ Market opens for the season on Wednesday, May 8th on Charlotte Street between Louis and George Streets, which is closed to vehicles to create a pedestrian-friendly farmers’ market. The market runs every Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. until October 30th.
At this producers-only market, shoppers can buy directly from farmers, growers, bakers, and more. Seasonal produce, meats, cheese, fresh flowers, baked goods, art, plants to grow, coffee, and lunches-to-go will be available. Along with monthly special events, guest chefs will provide samples, on-site cooking demonstrations, and innovative ideas on using market products throughout market season.
To learn more about the Peterborough Downtown Farmers’ Market, visit www.ptbodowntownmarket.com.
The Peterborough Regional Farmers’ Market runs every Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the AON Citi Centre Courtyard at 235 Charlotte Street, which can be accessed from Charlotte Street, Aylmer Street, Bethune Street, and King Street.
Launching last year, this is Peterborough’s newest farmers’ market and it opened for the outdoor season on Saturday, May 4th. Sixty per cent of the vendors at the market are primary producers who have gone through a third party inspection process to verify they grow 100 per cent of what they sell. The remaining 40 per cent include bakers, prepared food vendors, artists, and community groups.
The market runs until the fall, when it moves back inside the lower level of Peterborough Square for the winter season. For more information on the Peterborough Regional Farmers’ Market, visit www.ptboregionalfarmersmarket.org.
Taste of Downtown – Saturday, June 1st
A unique family-friendly event featuring local food and entertainment, Taste of Downtown returns to Charlotte Street in downtown Peterborough from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 1st.
Enjoy delicious cuisine from 24 local restaurants, enjoy a beverage in the beer and wine garden, and take in some amazing live entertainment.
You can also get some great deals as businesses along Charlotte Street put on a giant sidewalk sale during the annual event.
Mercedes-Benz Peterborough’s Father’s Day Car Show – Sunday, June 16th
Once again this summer, Mercedes-Benz Peterborough is bringing a wide range of classic and exotic cars to downtown Peterborough from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Father’s Day (Sunday, June 16th). The show takes place on the west side of Hunter Street in the Cafe District.
Featuring cars rarely seen on Peterborough streets as well as exclusive cars owned by locals, the car show will feature luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Lotus, McLaren, Alfa Romeo, Rolls Royce, Porsche, and more.
It’s also a family-friendly event, so there will be entertainment for the kids.
The car show is also for a good cause: it’s in support of the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) Foundation and great care at your local hospital.
Canada Day Parade – Monday, July 1st
Celebrate summer and the founding of our nation with the annual Canada Day Parade on Monday, July 1st in downtown Peterborough.
The theme of this year’s parade, which begins at 12 p.m. and travels down George Street to Morrow Park, is “I ♥ Canada!”.
There will be with pre-parade ceremonies at Peterborough City Hall at 10 a.m. featuring speeches, cake, music, and the annual bike decorating contest for the kids with prizes.
For more information (including a registration form for the bike decorating contest and a volunteer application form), visit the City of Peterborough’s website at peterborough.ca.
Kawartha Rotary Ribfest – Friday, July 12th to Sunday, July 14th
The 17th annual Kawartha Rotary Ribfest returns to Millennium Park in downtown Peterborough from Friday, July 12th to Sunday, July 14th.
The popular summer food festival features live music every day from local performers, beer, and ribs and more from local restaurants as well as out-of-town vendors along the so-called “Ribbers Row”.
More details on the performers and local and out-of-town food vendors will be announced closer to the event.
Ribfest runs from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Friday, July 12th and Saturday, July 13th, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 14th.
Kawartha Rotary Ribfest is a fundraising festival supported by the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area, and proceeds will be invested back in the local community.
Peterborough Pulse – Saturday, July 27th
The award-winning Peterborough Pulse returns for its fifth straight year to downtown Peterborough from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 27th.
For one summer day, downtown streets are closed to vehicles and are instead filled with pedestrians, cyclists and roller-skaters, families pushing strollers, activity and sports demonstrations, art and music, and more.
The annual “open streets” event is part of a global movement to promote physical activity, healthy lifestyles, and livable cities.
More details about the 2019 Peterborough Pulse will be announced in June.
Hootenanny on Hunter Street – Saturday, August 10
The Hootenanny On Hunter Street, downtown Peterborough’s biggest live music street party, returns for its ninth year on Saturday, August 10th.
The annual one-day festival runs from 12 noon to 11 p.m. on Hunter Street West between George and Aylmer streets. Admission is free.
This is the second year that the festival is being organized again this year by the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area. You can expect an extra-special event in honour of Hootenanny founder Jonathan “Jonny Trash” Hall, who unexpectedly passed away earlier this year.
The line-up of performers at this year’s Hootenanny will be announced in June.
Peterborough VegFest – Sunday, September 15th
Vegetarianism and veganism continue to grow in popularity, and Peterborough VegFest is the local expression of this global movement that celebrates the health, environmental, and ethical benefits of a delicious plant-based lifestyle.
The volunteer-run festival returns to Millennium Park in downtown Peterborough for its third year from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 15th.
The family-friendly festival offers 100 per cent vegan fare and goodies, notable vegan speakers, live music, a kids’ activity zone, live cooking demos, and more.
More details about this year’s Peterborough VegFest will be announced closer to the event date. For more information (including volunteering or becoming a vendor or exhibitor), visit ptbovegfest.ca.
Peterborough Pride Parade – Saturday, September 21st
The 17th annual Peterborough Pride Parade takes place this year in downtown Peterborough at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 21st.
It’s the culmination of Peterborough Pride Week, the annual celebration welcoming all people regardless of their sexuality or gender identity, which runs from September 13th to 22nd.
After pre-parade activities at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall, the parade begins at 2 p.m. and travels from City Hall south on George Street to Sherbrooke Street, east to Water Street, and then north to end at Millennium Park
That’s where “Pride in the Park’ festivities will run until 6 p.m., including a family picnic, live music, food, and a beer tent, as well as information booths related to the LGBTQ+ community and more.
Many hundreds of participants are expected to participate in this year’s parade, whose theme will be announced soon.
For updates and more information on Peterborough Pride, visit peterboroughpride.ca.
Purple Onion Festival – Sunday, September 22nd
Summer in downtown Peterborough wraps up on Sunday, September 22nd with the Purple Onion Festival, a family-friendly celebration of local food, culture, wellness and sustainability.
Organized by Transition Town Peterborough, the 9th annual festival welcomes the fall harvest from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Millennium Park, where you can enjoy food samples from local vendors (celebrating local food month), craft beer, live music, and much more. And every year at 3 p.m., there is a family dance for the climate in the centre of the park.
Attendees of the festival are always encouraged to wear purple to demonstrate pride in Peterborough’s local farmers, local businesses, and local culture.
More details about this year’s festival will be announced closer to the event date. For more information and updates, visit the Transition Town Peterborough website at www.new.transitiontownpeterborough.ca/ttp/.
This story was created in partnership with the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area.