Top Montreal Festivals – September has just begun and construction sites are still going strong all over the city. Added to this miserable reality is the shock to our systems to realize that each morning is feeling a bit cooler, and pretty soon going out to play is going to involve many layers of clothing. The best remedy to misery is to go out and play, and thankfully, Montreal still has many outdoor events happening here, there and everywhere. A good question would be what is not going on in Montreal? I dare you not to find at least one event in the following list that you would not like to attend. Where should we start? With food, of course, because this city surpasses itself in that department, and we will need to fill up on calories to take on all the other events.
Top Montreal Festivals to see and do
Every first Friday of the month, the food trucks of Montreal gather at the Olympic stadium esplanade. There must be a magical crowd-free time to go, when there are not so many lineups, but it is often worth the wait for some of the gourmet offerings. You’ll find me waiting in line at the Gaspésie and the Mignon Churros and Nougat trucks. The last food truck Friday will be October 4th.
There is a couscous beach party happening at Pied-du-Courant park on September 7th. There will be many types of music, from Brazilian, Spaghetti-Western, to brass band and Tech-House. The park is situated on the St-Laurence shore, near the Jacques-Cartier bridge.
The 6th edition of the YULEAT festival, which will take place at the Quartier des Spectacles from September 9th to 15th, promises culinary themed nights, workshops and demonstrations, conferences, wines, beers and cocktails and a pop-up restaurant. It is always inspiring to watch the experts manipulate food, they make it look so easy!
Still hungry? No worries, the Ferment Fest on September 14th will give you the opportunity to ask everything you have always wanted to know about fermentation, but were afraid to ask. I, for one, would like to understand Kombucha once and for all. There will also be Sauerkraut and the very popular kimchi available for tasting, to name a few delicacies.
The Vegan Festival will take place on the weekend of the 21st and 22nd of September. It has workshops, conferences, presentations, and food tasting scheduled.
And then, just when you thought you could not eat another bite, Oktoberfest doesn’t even wait for October to start the feast. The Schuhplattler dancers and Bavarian bands will get started on September 20th. A portion of the proceeds of the event will go to the Montreal Children’s Hospital, so go ahead and order another schnitzel and beer. Prost!
Here are some family events worth going to. My personal favourite is the Water Lantern Festival, which is just as magical year after year. Children love to stay out late to come visit the gardens. The romantic in you could convince your significant other that a kiss under a red lantern brings luck and fortune…. I actually tried to make my guy believe that a kiss under any lantern was lucky. That was fun, but exhausting, and he stopped believing after the 35th lantern.
Perhaps better suited for older children, or for the eternal child in you, or just because comic books are fun, The FantasticonMTL event, now in its 8th year, brings together both French and English comic books, as well as all the toys that go with them. This is scheduled for September 8th.
It is not always easy to find a place to let the little ones run free, but it is possible at Quinn’s Farm, where they hold a traditional Fall Festival. Once you’ve paid for admission, you will have access to the orchard, go for tractor rides, enjoy live music and doubtless eat a lot of apples. I remember there being a pumpkin catapult in past years.
Children might also like to explore the Montreal In-water Boat Show, which takes place in the Old Port. This event is free of charge and allows visitors to take a close look at the different vessels moored in the port. Head over there from September 6th – 8th at the Jacques Cartier Bassin.
The Montreal International Black Film Festival will take place from the 24th to the 29th of September, and it promises almost 100 viewing possibilities in its 15th year of existence.
Most music festivals have come and gone, but the POP Montreal International Music Festival -with so many artists I cannot begin to list them- runs until October 19th, and even has a kids’ POP event.
Piknic Electronik is also going strong until September 29th, and the venue is just a bike or subway ride away.