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We're fairly close to the City of Edmonton — yet far enough from the daily grind to make your shoulders drop a few inches.

You may already be familiar with Lac Ste. Anne — home of the healing waters. Or perhaps you’ve heard of our extreme 24-hour motorcycle ice race. No matter your appetite or adrenaline level, rest assured: something special is always happening here. Planning a visit? Check out some of the unique experiences you'll only find in Lac Ste. Anne.

Lac Ste. Anne Pilgrimage

Location: Lac Ste. Anne Parish, Alberta Beach
Date: Late-July each year

Thousands of pilgrims make their way to the shores of Lac Ste. Anne each summer. Many come in search of healing and spiritual renewal. Some come simply to reconnect with old acquaintances and forge new friendships. Established more than a hundred years ago, this pilgrimage has become one of the largest annual Catholic gatherings in western Canada.

The Lac Ste. Anne Pilgrimage site was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2003.

As early as 1889, Indigenous people, including Cree, Dene, Blackfoot and Métis, have been coming to Lac Ste. Anne to celebrate the Feast of Saint Anne. Saint Anne embodies, for many Indigenous people, the traditional importance of the grandmother figure; for the Indigenous people of Western and Northwestern Canada, it is an important place of social, cultural and spiritual rejuvenation, which are important aspects of the traditional summer gathering.

Rural Roots Farmer Showcase

Location: George Pegg Botanic Garden, Glenevis
Date: Mid-August each year

Rural Roots began in 2019, when a dedicated group of local food enthusiasts and farmers got the bright idea to build a sustainable, resilient local food community in north-west Alberta to connect local people to their roots and farm fresh food. Highlights include an outdoor market; tours and demonstrations; children's activities; and an outdoor dinner & concert.

Rural Roots culminates with an open-air dinner and concert; an ideal way to spend a summer evening in the countryside.

Rural Roots Farmer Showcase takes place during Alberta Open Farm Days — a collaborative, province-wide, two-day event that gives Albertans an opportunity to experience the farm and understand where their food comes from. It is a backstage pass to meet the farmer, experience agri-tourism in Alberta, and taste local foods direct from the producer.

SnoMo Days

Location: Various venues in Alberta Beach
Date: Mid-February each year

SnoMo Days is an ever-popular Alberta winter festival dedicated to supporting motorized and non-motorized winter leisure sports and family oriented winter leisure pursuits. With more than four decades under its belt, SnoMo Days has steadily evolved from a simple snowmobile event into a full weekend of frosty family activities including an ATV rally, fishing derby, ice sculpture contest and more.

Snowmobiles continue to be a big focus of the event — but with the addition of an ATV rally, fishing derby, broom ball, over the line softball, ice breaker, hay rides, food vendors and many children events, SnoMo Days packs a wide variety of activities into a winter weekend the whole family is certain to enjoy.

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Barnburner Music Fest

Location: Darwell
Date: Mid-August each year

Come rain or shine, the Barnburner Music Fest has been hosting exceptional summer concerts for close to 20 years! Held every August, this well-attended open-air concert is headlined by a country artist, and provides a fitting kickstart to the Darwell Fair.

Past concerts have featured noteworthy country music talents such as George Canyon, High Valley, and Jess Moskaluke.

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Mayerthorpe Rodeo

Location: Mayerthorpe
Date: Late May each year

Cowboys and cowgirls from all corners of Alberta hitch their horses in Mayerthorpe to compete in this annual competition.

At the Mayerthorpe Rodeo, cowfolk from far and wide show off their skills in events such as bareback riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, bull riding, barrel racing, and saddle bronc. Be sure not to miss this edge-of-your-seat rodeo action!

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Polynesian Days

Location: Alberta Beach
Date: August long weekend each year

Polynesian Days is an always-popular event that has been hosting family-friendly summer fun for more than half a century!

Thousands of visitors make the trek every August long-weekend to experience dozens of exciting events and attractions including a parade, sand castle sculpting, and the Alberta Beach Music Fest — all of which are sponsored by local businesses and community organizations.

More Great Celebrations, Destinations & Happenings

Alberta Beach Music Fest

Imagine being able to lounge by the lake, explore a sun-kissed summer festival and take in an amazing open air concert all in the same magical day. It’s all here at Polynesian Days and the Alberta Beach Music Fest! Proudly supporting the community and unsigned musicians, this event is free of charge thanks to the generous donations of local corporate sponsors.

Darwell Ag Drag

Darwell’s annual truck and tractor pull, the AgDrag draws fierce competitors and avid spectators from near and far. Held the same weekend of the Barnburner Music Fest, this fully-sanctioned event offers an adrenaline-packed thrill. Watch trucks and tractors strained to their mechanical limits, performing feats you just won’t believe possible. Not to be missed!

Darwell Annual Fair

For more than seven decades, this has been the de-facto summer gathering place for hundreds of residents and visitors alike. Billed as a small-town fair with big time fun, this two-day event is chock full of sights, sounds and activities for every demographic. From face painting and a petting zoo to extreme bungee trampoline and the infamous Quad Wars, the Darwell Fair has it all!

Mayerthorpe Agriculture Fest

Since 1956, this fair has been putting smiles on the faces of locals and visitors alike. Grab a pancake breakfast and take in the ever-popular slow-pitch tournament. Take the kids to the petting zoo and peruse the fairground marketplace. From parades and children’s rides to dancing and beer gardens, this action-packed all-ages ag fair truly has something for everyone.

Onoway Heritage Days

If you love good old-fashioned early summer fun, you’ll want to partake in Onoway Heritage Days! Held every June, this chock-full weekend includes a variety of sporting events, music and entertainment, games, and all the things you’d associate with a country fair. Take in a baseball tournament, watch a parade or check out the drive-in movie at the park!

Threshing Bee

Travel back in time to the days when horse-drawn hayracks brought stooks in from the fields to be pitched onto the threshing machine and be turned into bags of grain. Time-lost crafts such as blacksmithing and wool spinning are skillfully demonstrated. Take in the antique tractor display, watch the threshing bee, and bite into the best homemade pie you’ll ever taste!

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