Weekend Festivals Mean Great Music

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Summer in Manitoba means festivals. The August long weekend offers up no less than nine festivals, from theatre to multicultural celebrations to frog racing. Whether you like classic rock, traditional music, or the folkier stuff, music fans across the province have ample opportunities to catch some fantastic music over the holiday.

The annual classic rock party Manitoba Summerfest storms the Grand Beach Entertainment Centre for three days starting July 29. Featuring such headliners as Cheap Trick, Twisted Sister, and Lou Gramm from Foreigner, the rock fest is a summer tradition, no matter your musical tastes.

Over at Lake Minnedosa, there's more classic rock with Kenny Shields, April Wine and Wide Mouth Mason courtesy of Rockin' the Fields of Minnedosa, running the same dates as Summerfest.

Kenora's Harbourfest, which also runs July 29-31, features more rock with Trooper, 54*40 and Canadian Idol runner-up Theresa Sokyrka.

Over at Dauphin's Selo Ukraina Site, Canada's National Ukrainian Festival runs July 29-31 and features a variety of Ukrainian music and dance, including Winnipeg's own Rusalka.

Gimli hosts its wildly popular Icelandic festival, Islendingadagurinn July 29 through August 1 with the less traditional musical offerings of Moses Mayes, Novillero, Cuff the Duke, Cara Luft, Nathan Rogers, and Alana Levandoski.

Bluegrass band House of Doc will be one of the featured acts at Pioneer Days out at Steinbach's Mennonite Heritage Village July 29 through August 1. The quintet, which released its latest effort Prairiegrass on July 28, is one of Manitoba's newest roots breakouts. The album has been enjoying widespread critical success and the band has recently hired on one of Canada'a top booking agencies, S.L. Feldman & Associates, as well as new manager Vince Ditrich (Spirit of the West). Pioneer Days may be a rare chance to see this hometown favourite before the buzz takes over.

Hailed as the largest and longest running multicultural festival of its kind in the world, Folklorama, kicks off two weeks of food, dance, and music at The Forks on July 31. Audiences can catch musical traditions from Japan, Africa, Ireland, Serbia and beyond at 44 exciting cultural pavilions throughout Winnipeg.

There's still plenty going on at Old Market Square in Winnipeg's historic Exchange District for the remaining days of the Fringe Festival. The outdoor stage features fantastic local music from the likes of Sierra Noble, b.u.m.p., J.P. Hoe, After All These Years, Floor 13, Telepathic Butterflies, and more. Winnipeg rock act The Attics - formerly Freeman Stereo - will also release its latest CD from the Fringe Fest's free stage on July 30 at midnight.

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