A Complete Guide to Thunder Bay Summer Festivals 2024

Celebrating music, culture, food and everything in between, this city has something awesome going on all season long.

After a long winter, Thunder Bay, Ontario just wants to celebrate. Thanks to the city’s long summer days (the sun goes down around 11 pm at the peak of the season), there’s lots of time to dance, eat, listen to music, shop and gain a deeper understanding of local arts and culture, all through the city’s many festivals. So check out this guide to Thunder Bay festivals for summer 2024 —pretty impressive for one small city in a few short months! There’s sure to be an event or three that you’ll love.

June, various

Pride Month

There are several Pride celebrations going on in the month of June. On the afternoon of June 8, there is a 2 Spirit Pow Wow at Current River Park. Hosted by the Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre, the event starts with a Grand Entry at noon, followed by dancing, music and more. A week later, on June 15, comes Pride Fest 2024, hosted by Thunder Pride, Pride Thunder Bay and Rainbow Collective of Thunder Bay. There will be a variety of events at Waverley Park and Magnus Theatre, starting at noon. Check their social media for updated info about a parade too.

Learn more: Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre and Pride Fest 2024

A child getting her face painted with a butterfly design at the Kite Festival. An indigenous man in traditional celebratory dress stands on a stage facing a crowd below with open arms. Green trees and a sunset are in the background. Two young women wearing red and white and one wearing a hat shaped like a maple leaf, smiling with their arms around each other's shoulder.
Family-friendly celebrations like the Kite Festival, National Indigenous Peoples Day and Canada Day on the waterfront kick off the summer in the best kind of way. // Photo credits Tourism Thunder Bay

June 21-22

National Indigenous Peoples Day and Maamawe Summer Festival

National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21 recognizes and celebrates the culture and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples. Visit Fort William First Nation for its pow wow, which includes a sunrise ceremony, opening ceremony, grand entry, dancing, singing, vendors and a feast—see the National Indigenous Peoples Day Thunder Bay Facebook page for up-to-date details. Next comes the Maamawe Summer Festival on June 22. A community festival and showcase, (Maamawe means “all together” in Ojibwe), this free event is held at Fort William Gardens Arena and hosted by the City of Thunder Bay’s Indigenous Relations office. A variety of musical guests will be on hand to celebrate. Check out their Facebook page for more details.

Learn more: National Indigenous Peoples Day Thunder Bay on Facebook and the City of Thunder Bay

June 29-30

Anemki Wajiw Pow Wow

The Anemki Wajiw Pow Wow on Anemki Wajiw (Mount McKay) is one of the area's largest pow wow celebrations. Grand Entry is June 30th at 1 pm. Visitors are welcome and are reminded to be respectful. 

July 1

Canada Day on the Waterfront and Canada Day at FWHP

While not festivals per se, there’s lots to celebrate on Canada Day in Thunder Bay.  Check out Fort William Historical Park and the Canada Day waterfront celebrations on July 1, 2024.

July 4-5

BrewHa! Festival

Sip and sample your way a variety of craft beers from Thunder Bay, northwestern Ontario and beyond at this two-day festival at Prince Arthur’s Landing on the waterfront. In addition to the tasting sessions, there are workshops about pairing beer with different cheeses, live music, yard games and more. Show your ticket/QR code for a free ride on Thunder Bay Transit to and from the event.

Learn more: BrewHa! Festival

July 9

Teddy Bears Picnic

Grab your best bear and go to beautiful Vickers Park for a teddy-themed afternoon for families. Listen to live music, play games and enjoy other kid-friendly events.

Learn more: City of Thunder Bay

July 12-14

Great Rendezvous Celebration

Every year, Fort William Historical Park welcomes hundreds of re-enactors and visitors to re-create the annual summer gathering of the North West Company during the Great Rendezvous. At this large re-creation of a 200-year-old fur trading fort, visitors to Fort William Historical Park can visit all the buildings from the birchbark canoe-making shed and armory to the farm, bakery and Great Hall, as well as an Indigenous encampment, and chat with the costumed interpreters or take in some of the historic re-enactments. Camping is available on-site. 

Learn more: Fort William Historical Park

July 17-August 29, Wednesdays

Live on the Waterfront

Every Wednesday from 6 pm - 9 pm at Arthur's Landing, attendees can enjoy free live music and entertainment at the waterfront. From jazz and pop to folk, rock, and beyond, these popular concerts offer something for everyone's musical taste. Bring your own blanket or lane chair. Local food vendors and artisans will be on site. 

Learn more: City of Thunder Bay

July 21-22

Festival of India and Festival of Colours

These free festivals showcase the vibrant culture, food, dance and music of India. Held at Marina Park on the lakefront, you can visit the Festival of India on July 21. There’s a parade, there’s dancing, there are cultural exhibits and vendors, there’s East Indian food prepared by a professional chef. At the same site on July 22, cast your troubles to the wind by throwing brightly coloured powders into the air (creating a memorable photo op too, of course) with the Festival of Colours, an interpretation of the Indian festival of Holi, complete with more music, dancing, yoga and food.

Learn more:  Festival of India and Festival of Colours

A woman wearing beautiful traditional Indian dress dances onstage at the Festival of India
Celebrate the beauty of Indian culture at the Festival of India. // Photo credit Tourism Thunder Bay

July 19-21

Country on the Bay

Thunder Bay goes country at this huge event with 16+ country acts on the grounds of Fort William Historical Park. This year, Country on the Bay’s headliners are Blake Shelton, Dallas Smith and Trace Adkins, with plenty of great music also coming from acts like High Valley, Sawyer Brown, Sacha and The Washboard Union. Break out your boots!

Learn more: Country on the Bay

July 27-28

Bay and Algoma Busker Festival

The popular Bay & Algoma neighbourhood becomes busker central for this free festival. The Bay and Algoma Busker Festival takes place over two days and welcomes fun, cool and quirky street performers. Previous years have featured fire eaters, musicians, clowns, living statues, stilt walkers and more, plus vendors for food and shopping too. Be sure to bring your change and small bills to support the artists!

Learn more: Bay and Algoma Buskers Festival

August 4-5

Festa Italiana 2024

This popular Italian festival is held every year on the Sunday and Monday of the August long weekend. Italian cooking, music, and dancing of course! Check out the food vendors and enjoy Italian classics like bruschetta, lasagna, gnocchi, ravioli and much more. 

Learn more: Search online for details closer to the date. Or check back here for updates. 

August 17

Westfort Street Fair

The Westfort Street Fair has been part of the beloved Westfort neighbourhood for more than 40 years. Frederica, the main street, closes to traffic and happy shoppers and eaters flood in to enjoy events like mini train rides, plenty of food, a beer garden, live music, carnival games and lots of shopping.

Learn more: Westfort Village

August 17

Matsuri Summer Festival

The Lakehead Japanese Cultural Association launched the first Matsuri Summer Festival to share Japanese Canadian culture in 2023 and it was a big hit, so fortunately it’s making a return for 2024. Events include odori dancing martial arts demonstrations, food demonstrations for treats like mochi (ice cream), kids’ activities, and food and artistic vendors, all at the West Thunder Community Centre.

Learn more: Lakehead Japanese Cultural Association

Two guitarists performing on a darkened stage with a decorative cutout of a skeleton's profile behind them. A cheering, smiling crowd lined up in front of an outdoor stage at night.
Memorable summer nights are made of this—Tumblestone and Country on the Bay. // Photo credits Tumblestone, Tourism Thunder Bay

August 17

Lighthouse Carnival

The Lighthouse Carnival on Porphyry Island on Lake Superior is arguably the smallest Thunder Bay festival, but it manages to pack a lot of cool stuff into a small gathering. Hosted by the non-profit organization Canadian Lighthouses of Lake Superior, the festival is a fundraising event to support these historic structures, and includes live entertainment, a fish and chips dinner, a lighthouse tour, an ecological exhibit and film screenings. Come via your own boat or book the provided transportation departing from Silver Islet—either way, you’re in for an unforgettable time.

Learn more: Canadian Lighthouses of Lake Superior

August 17-18

Anishinaabe Keeshigun

Anishinaabe Keeshigun is a celebration of First Nations culture at Fort William Historical Park. This free weekend event features demonstrations, hands-on activities and entertainment to showcase Anishinaabe language, technology, culture and traditions. Expect a pow wow with dancers and drum groups, as well as a community feast on Saturday night.

Learn more: Fort William Historical Park

August 23-25


Ribfest is a local charity fundraiser event in support of Our Kids Count. This multi-day event at Thunder Bay's Marina Park includes local food vendors offering BBQ ribs and other Canadian classics as well as live music and entertainment, a Kid Zone, and a 50/50 draw. 

August 23-24

Tumblestone Music & Art Festival

Tumblestone is a two-day art and music showcase held in Gorham, 20 minutes north of Thunder Bay. Referred to by some as a “mini Woodstock,” it features lots of local bands as well as performance artists, visual artists, films and other multimedia. Check out their website for more details about this year’s lineup. Camp on the Canadian Shield (it’s where the festival gets its name) and make some memories.

Learn more: Tumblestone

August 25, 2024

Celtic Day

Join Fort William Historical Park for a Celtic celebration of culture, music, dance, hands-on activities, and great food! Featuring local pipe and drum bands, Highland dancers, and more. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More details coming soon.

Learn more: Celtic Day

September 14

Wake the Giant Music Festival

Now celebrating its fifth year, this immensely popular music festival is the perfect way to cap off the summer. Wake the Giant has its roots as a cultural awareness project, designed to make Thunder Bay a more inclusive, welcoming city for Indigenous peoples. Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School is the First Nations high school that heads up the event. At this one-day music festival at the Marina Park waterfront on Lake Superior, folks come together to listen to music from some Indigenous and non-Indigenous acts, and 2024 includes headliners Arkells, DJ Galantis and Walk Off the Earth, as well as DJ Shub Presents War Club Live, Chester Knight, Ira Johnson Band, Thunder Spirit, Drives the Common Man and a mystery afternoon headliner. There’s also lots of food (try the bannock tacos), merch, vendors, cultural exhibits, a kids zone, a live art installation, a Pineapple Guy mascot and general good vibes.

Learn more: Wake the Giant

Start your summer planning now—there are lots of festivals for summer 2024 in Thunder Bay and lots of fun to be had!

Past Thunder Bay Festivals for 2024

May 25-26

Dorion Birding Festival

Calling all birders! Hosted by the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority, this two-day birding event in Dorion, east of Thunder Bay, regularly sells out. Known as “canyon country,” Dorion is home to deep canyons, towering cliffs, the lakeshore and a variety of other bird habitats, creating conditions for some excellent guided tours. Each day ends with a meal with your fellow birdwatchers.

Learn more: Lakehead Region Conservation Authority

June 7-8

10x10 Short Play Festival

Theatre fans will love this one: the 10x10 features 10 original short (10 minute) plays by local playwrights, featuring local actors and directors. Fast-paced and often very funny or poignant, this festival, now in its eleventh year, showcases some super-talented Thunder Bay theatre folk. Learn more: Magnus Theatre

June 8-9

Quilts at the Village

New for 2024, the Quilts at the Village event at the Oliver Paipoonge Heritage Park celebrates all things quilting. This two-day event at a reproduction heritage village just south of the city on Hwy 61 includes a quilt exhibit, vendor village, quilting bee gatherings, a circle of embroidery, knitting and crochet, live acoustic music, quilting demos and make-and-take workshops, and a trunk show and lecture by renowned quilt and fibre artists.

Learn more: Canada Paula Brasil

June 9

Kite Festival

Chippewa Park on Lake Superior is the site of the Thunder Bay Kite Festival. With beautiful views of the lake and the Sleeping Giant as your backdrop, fly your own kite or simply observe all the colourful kites dancing in the sky. There are on-site food and shopping vendors too.

Learn more: City of Thunder Bay

About Bonnie Schiedel

Bonnie Schiedel is the founder of www.tbaywithkids.ca, which covers fun family-friendly attractions, events and restaurants in Thunder Bay. She enjoys canoeing, hiking, snowshoeing and travel, and you can read more of her award-winning work at www.northstarwriting.ca.

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