Published December 2019
Cover Image: Discover Saint John
There’s always a reason to celebrate here in New Brunswick. That’s why we’ve rounded up 20 concerts, festivals and events we’re stoked to attend in 2020.
Dance like no one is watching at one of our world-class music festivals or indulge your sweet tooth at the Maple Capital of Atlantic Canada Festival. Marvel as hot air balloons floating in the sky. Immerse yourself in Acadian tradition while surrounded by an awe-inspiring joie de vivre. Take a cross-cultural adventure and connect with our Acadian, First Nations, Celtic, and English heritage. The options are endless, and we can’t wait to welcome you to the party.
1. Fredericton FROSTival (Jan. 16 - Feb. 2)
Skating, live music, workshops, arts, culture and yummy food? Yes please. FROSTival is Atlantic Canada’s largest winter celebration. Also in 2020 the Shivering Songs Festival (Jan. 29 – Feb. 2) celebrates its 10th anniversary with a fantastic lineup of New Brunswick artists.
2. Maple Capital of Atlantic Canada Festival, Saint-Quentin (April 2-5)
“Sugar Season” really is as delicious as it sounds. Taste your way through Saint-Quentin’s Maple Capital of Atlantic Canada Festival this spring to satisfy your sweet tooth and enjoy a ton of fun activities.
3. Frye Festival, Moncton (April 17-26)
Book clubs, round tables, creative writing workshops, public talks and readings, youth events… oh my! Moncton’s Frye Festival is Atlantic Canada’s largest literary happening and a bookworm’s paradise.
4. Greater Moncton Highland Games & Scottish Festival, Moncton (June 14-20)
Did someone say haggis? Put on your kilt and revel in Scottish culture, music, food, workshops, traditional heavy events, falconry, genealogy and so much more during the Greater Moncton Highland Games & Scottish Festival.
5. Cultural Expressions Festival, Fredericton (June 27-28)
The capital city’s Multicultural Association and many ethnocultural groups celebrate New Brunswick’s diverse cultures with dance, movies, international foods, ethnic displays, crafts, games and performances. Take a tour around the world at the Cultural Expressions Festival.
6. Inspire Festival, Moncton (July 20-25)
The streets of Moncton come alive during this street art festival that’s anything but ordinary. The Inspire Festival transforms the cityscape into a visual wonderland with murals, live art, interactive installations, performances and so much more. The best part? You can even transform into a human canvas during the festival’s Colour Party in the Park.
7. Festival Western de Saint-Quentin (July 8-12)
Calling all cowgirls and cowboys! If you like concerts, rodeos and saloons, you’ll wanna put the Festival Western de Saint-Quentin on your to-do list. Plaid isn’t mandatory, but encouraged.
8. Shediac Lobster Festival (July 8-12)
Can someone pass the butter, please? Shediac is the Lobster Capital of the World, so each year we carve out 5 full days to celebrate this mouth-watering dish. Make sure you bring your bib if you’re coming to the Shediac Lobster Festival.
9. Pabineau First Nation Annual Powwow, Pabineau First Nation (July 11-12)
Celebrate Mi’gmaw heritage and Aboriginal culture with arts, crafts, food, dancing, drumming and more sacred and social activities at the Oinpegitjoig L’Noeigati (Pabineau First Nation) Annual Powwow, near Bathurst.
10. New Brunswick Fisheries and Aquaculture Festival (July 11-19)
The vibrant fishing town of Shippagan celebrates its maritime heritage during the New Brunswick Fisheries and Aquaculture Festival. Sporting events, concerts, seafood tastings, craft fair, food markets and more.
11. Buskers on the Bay Festival, Saint John (July 15-19)
If you like street theatre at its best, you’ll want to head to Saint John this summer for the Buskers on the Bay Festival. Five days and nights of side-splitting comedy and miraculous feats are waiting for you.
12. Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival (July 23-25)
The Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival will strike a chord with classical music lovers. Enjoy an authentic acoustic experience in beautiful historic churches with performances on period instruments.
13. La Foire Brayonne, Edmundston (July 29 - August 2)
Celebrate the legendary Republic of Madawaska during La Foire Brayonne with spectacular shows, various activities and the famous “Parking Party”. Immerse yourself in the vibrant Brayon culture and history during one of the largest Canadian Francophone festivals east of Quebec.
14. Folksong Festival, Miramichi (August 2-7)
Fancy a fiddle? Are you feelin’ folky? You’ll want to make your way to Miramichi to experience the Folksong Festival, Canada’s longest standing folksong festival. Concerts, community dinners, musical cruises, workshops, children’s show and true Miramichi hospitality await.
15. Festival acadien de Caraquet (August 3-15)
Get ready to party loud and proud at the biggest Acadian celebration of the year. With a spectacular program of many artists and events, including the joyous Tintamarre parade on Acadian Day, you’ll experience joie de vivre at its best at the Festival acadien de Caraquet.
16. Atlantic International Balloon Fiesta, Sussex (September 11-13)
It’s a balloon bonanza. Hot air balloons of every shade take to the skies during the Atlantic International Balloon Fiesta. Take a balloon ride, visit the car show or the craft fair and huge indoor market, take the kids to the petting zoo or have fun on the amusement rides during Atlantic Canada’s most colourful festival.
17. Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival, Fredericton (September 15-20)
Get funky and dance the night away. This event features both internationally renowned musicians and up-and-coming artists on the same stage. There is something for every music lover at the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival.
18. La Grande Grouille, Edmundston (October 1-4)
Enter an intriguing world as you follow the winding paths of the New Brunswick Botanical Garden during this spectacular fall event. 3,000 pumpkins, unworldly creatures, mysterious decors and artistic circus performances bring a sense of wonder.
19. Indulge Food and Wine Festival, Saint Andrews (October 14-18)
Calling all foodies. Please your palate and experience a taste of Saint Andrews during Indulge Food and Wine Festival. You’ll get to enjoy delicious, interactive food and wine experiences in a beautiful seaside setting.
20. Uptown Sparkles, Saint John (December 3-5)
Uptown Saint John kicks off the holiday season brightly with live entertainment, food vendors, hot beverages and special fire and ice displays featured at Uptown Sparkles. Follow Crosby’s Gingerbread Trail, visit the shops, go on a pub crawl, celebrate and be merry!
Albert County 175 celebration
In 2020, Albert County celebrates its 175th anniversary with events in every parish over the course of the year. Highlights will include the 150th Birthday of New Brunswick born Prime Minister RB Bennett on July 1, a Festival of Live Music on August 8, and other events featuring local artisans and home-grown musical talent.