A trip around the world would be nice, don’t you think? Ok, maybe not practical with my budget, but we can still head out on a trip around the OneWorld Festival. Add some world-class fireworks to that and you have Globalfest 2023, an explosion of light and sound and family fun.
Globalfest 2023 runs over five days at Elliston Park, from August 17 – 26, 2023. Every evening, from 6 – 10 pm, you can immerse yourself in cultural pavilions, watch entertainment from all over the globe, and try a variety of delicious treats. Then, cap the night off with the International Fireworks Festival and some of the most impressive fireworks you’ve ever seen.
With 3 teenagers who all have busy lives, it can be hard to find a family activity that everyone will happily attend. But Globalfest is an easy sell. We packed some snacks (some things don’t change, from toddlers to teenagers), grabbed the blankets and sweaters, and headed to Elliston Park. Everyone joined the Passport Pursuit, a fun contest filled with questions about every cultural pavilion at Globalfest. It’s a great excuse to visit all the ‘countries’ around the Park and chat with the Pavilion Ambassadors. We learned about national animals and flowers, special toys, and transportation. I’m not sure it dampened my wanderlust, but we enjoyed travelling the Globalfest world, from the henna artists to the highland dancers and the charming man we met in Turkey to the beautiful dresses my girls bought in Thailand.
After we submitted our Passports for a chance to win, we grabbed food and enjoyed some entertainment. As it started to get dark, we made our way to the lake and settled in to watch the fireworks. This is where pyro-musical artists amaze you with their artistry, originality, and synchronization. It’s always an amazing show.
Tips and Tricks for Globalfest
1. I’m not going to lie, Globalfest runs past my bedtime. There is no parking on-site, so once the fireworks are over, you need to catch a shuttle (or arrange some sort of transportation) back to your vehicle. Plenty of small children enjoy Globalfest but pack your patience (and any other entertainment to help your kids get through) and brace yourself for a late night.
2. Dress in layers or bring extra warm clothing. As you know, Calgary weather is all over the place and when the sun goes down, things can cool off quickly.
3. If you’re comfortable leaving your chairs and blankets unattended, you can stake out a spot around the lake when you first arrive, so you don’t need to carry everything all night and you have a home base.
4. We didn’t need bug spray the night we visited, but you do sit by a lake, and the mosquitos can sometimes be a nuisance.
5. If you plan on purchasing food, it doesn’t hurt to have a backup plan, such as extra snacks in your bag. The line-ups for food can get very long, especially as you get closer to the fireworks at 9:30 pm. Buy food early or plan accordingly.
6. I love the sounds of Globalfest: hearing the bagpipes in the distance mix with traditional music from Venezuela to watching the Chinese dancers. But for sensory-sensitive kids, ear protection can be helpful. The fireworks are also set to music, which can be loud if you’re seated near a speaker.
Have more questions? Visit the FAQ page here.
Head to Globalfest this August to travel the world, be amazed by fireworks, and enjoy a summer’s evening!
When: August 17, 19, 22, 24, and 26, 2023
Time: 6 – 10 pm (no entry after 9:15 pm)
Where: Elliston Park, Calgary, AB (access & parking info here)
Address: 1827 68 St SE, Calgary, AB