This year marks Canada’s 150th birthday, and what better place to celebrate Canada Day 2017 than in the town of Banff, surrounded by the awe inspiring scenery of Canada’s first National Park. With Parks Canada offering free park passes throughout 2017, entry to Banff National Park will be free of charge this year, so there is no excuse not to join us for the wide range of family friendly events offered by the town of Banff on July 1 2017.
Canada Day Events & Activities
Why not start the day with a free pancake breakfast from 9am to 11am on the Banff High School field, found on the corner of Banff Avenue and Wolf Street. The views from the High School are actually quite amazing, so it’s an ideal place to begin your day in the mountains. Also from 9am to 11am, the sidewalk outside the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies (Bear Street) will be the canvas for Children’s Sidewalk Art, which is always lots of fun for kids of all ages.
From 11am the Banff Artisan and Farmers Market will open at Central Park (Buffalo Street and Bear Street), where you’ll find an array of local produce from Alberta and BC, as well as crafts, food stalls and tasty treats.
The highlight of the day will no doubt be the Banff Canada Day Parade from 11.30am to 12.30pm along Banff Avenue from Fox Street to Buffalo Street, which will include the usual impressive selection of spectacular floats and marching bands, with plenty of great viewing spots along Banff Avenue.
Back at the High School field from 1pm, kids are sure to enjoy the Steve Harmer Magic Show, and old fashioned games with Isabelle Cliche. This will be followed by a variety of performances throughout the afternoon, including Blackfoot Medicine Speaks, Polish-Canadian Dancers, Parks Canada’s Mountain WIT (interpretive theatre), Filipino Traditional Dancers, finishing with a second performance from magician Steve Harmer at 6pm.
Canada Day afternoon/evening in Central Park will be equally exciting with live musical and dance performances by The Swillbillies, Verkhovyna Ukrainian Dancers, The Wardens, Dance For Joy Studio, Brad Brewer, The Calgary Fiddlers, Amelie Patterson, Elk Run & Riot, The Steadies, culminating with Japanese Drumming Group Midnight Taiko from 10pm.
Rounding off the Banff 2017 Canada Day celebrations there will be the traditional firework display from 11pm.
For the full schedule of events, visit the Town of Banff website.
Canada Day in Banff is always busy and July 1 2017 will be no exception. Availability at Banff hotels will be very limited over the Canada Day weekend, and it is highly recommended that you book your stay early in order to secure a room. Many properties will require a 2 day minimum stay.
Most hotels are within easy walking distance of downtown, where the Parade and special events will be taking place. Alternatively the local Roam Transit bus service is the best way to get into downtown if you prefer not to walk.
Camping is also a great option in the summer, and Banff campgrounds will also need to be reserved well in advance.
If you cannot find a suitable place to stay in Banff, the town of Canmore is a good alternative being an easy 20 minutes drive east on the Trans Canada Highway.
Shopping & Restaurants
Although Canada Day is a National Holiday, the vast majority of shops and restaurants in Banff will be open as usual, with the exception of institutions such as the banks and post office. With the high number of visitors expected in town it would make sense to make restaurant reservations in advance if you already know where you would like to eat. Alternatively, eating outside of the regular lunch and dinner hours will give you the best chance of getting a table without waiting.