Planning for Westfest: Westboro's Giant Street Party

FunzoneWestfest is one of Ottawa's most happening arts and music festivals, featuring a whole slew of great Canadian talent. It’s basically a giant, free, four-day party in Westboro and after a year of waiting for the excitement, Westfest is back and it starts tonight!

 If you’ve been to Westfest before, you understand what all the excitement is about and if you’ve never been, do yourself (and the kiddies) a favor and get out there and enjoy. Some rules of thumb to remember when attending Westfest with the kids:

Walk if you Can

If you live close enough to Westfest you really should consider walking since parking is extremely limited. If you live too far away to walk, prepare to park away from the action.

Wear your best walking shoes and don’t forget your stroller because Westfest covers nearly 15 blocks, about a one kilometre chunk of Richmond Road, which can feel very long if your feet hurt or if you have short little legs. Biking is also a great way to get around.

Check the Weather

Check the weather before you leave the house, and if you’re planning on spending some time there, prepare for any weather-related eventuality. If it’s hot, bring water, lots of sunscreen and hats. For chilly weather, bring sweaters and blankets for strollers. Westfest happens rain or shine so always have an umbrella is you’re willing to brave the rain.

Have a Food Plan

If it’s a nice day it’s pretty much guaranteed that all the restaurants will be jam-packed. Some restaurants will have a special Westfest menu and have seating out on the street. If you have little ones, figuring out how and when to feed them beforehand is a pretty important piece of the puzzle if you want your day to run smoothly.

Plan Your Day

There is so much for kids to see and do on the street. There are always some really cool street performers, a bunch of inflatable bouncy things, awesome face-painting artists. This year, for the kids, there is a Dovercourt Funzone, ScotiaBank Kidzone and some pretty awesome balloonists from The World’s Greatest Balloons. There will be so much to do that you’re kids won’t be bored. But it is easy for them to get overwhelmed so having a plan of what you want to do is critical.

Plan Some Adult Time

One of the best parts of Westfest, however, and a part that shouldn’t be missed is the music. This year, Jane Siberry, The Skydiggers and Fiftymen are some of the big name draws. You can check out the lineup here. The music during the day is fun for the kids but don’t forget to book a sitter if you want some adult time to walk, eat and enjoy as well.

Are you heading out to Westfest this weekend? What is your favorite part?