OpEd_SamanthaLucy_06_18_2015_WEB

Don’t waste your Calgary summer

By Melanie Woods, June 18 2015 —

In the summer, it’s easy to fall into the trap of endless sleep and Netflix binges. And while catching up on all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls is enjoyable, there are a lot of exciting things going on in Calgary — some of which you may have never heard about.

With outdoor spaces like Prince’s Island Park and downtown hubs like 17th avenue, Calgary’s music festival circuit is a great opportunity for everyone from music newbies to seasoned audiophiles.

Festivals like Sled Island offer up dozens of individual shows where you can get piss-drunk with your friends, meet a smorgasbord of eclectic folks and discover new jams. And if Sled Island is a bit too grungy for your tastes, the Calgary Folk Music Festival and the Calgary International Blues Festival provide a slightly more wholesome festival experience. 

Smaller community events like the Secret Cinema series and Shakespeare by the Bow give you a chance to spread out a picnic blanket under the sun or stars and connect with the local arts scene. These events are usually free, making them accessible for those on the tightest student budgets.

On a larger scale, Calgary’s 25th annual Pride Week at the end of
August brings together the
LGBTQ community in a week of parades, drag, music and love. The entire
city gets involved and there are dozens of unique events and performances around the city throughout the week.

Calgary is also lucky enough to be close to a geological marvel people travel around the world to see — the Rocky Mountains. Day trips offer the perfect opportunity for a few hours of hiking with friends, some sweet
Instagram pics and a celebratory pint afterwards at the Grizzly Paw brewery in Canmore. Alternatively, stay closer to home and explore Fish Creek or Nosehill park. Walking along the Bow River on a sunny afternoon counts too.

This will be my first summer in Calgary after many years in Red Deer, so I’m still enamoured with simple things like the Calgary Zoo and the Stampede. To the seasoned
Calgary veteran, a lot of the classic local haunts may have lost their lustre, and a day inside with a
TV series might seem preferable.

But sometimes it takes a summer away from the city to realize that
Calgary really is filled with fantastic opportunities. If you take the time to look, they’re waiting to be
discovered. 

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