Hello Summer! Let’s spice it up with some salsa at the Sun and Salsa Festival

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As the deadly winter had finally gone by, I’m glad the summer has arrived!

Unlike the lifeless winter season, Calgary’s summer explodes with festivals and celebrations. Did you know that Calgary has more than 40 festivals this summer? One of the biggest ones is, of course, the Calgary Stampede. Today, I’m going introduce to you the most unique one we went to this year.

The Sun and Salsa Festival is an annual street fair and salsa-tasting contest held in the Kensington neighborhood. Visitors sample through different salsa recipes served by the local businesses and vote for the best.

This is the first time Kev and I attend this festival. We arrived near noon and found the whole streets were already crowded with people.


Kensington’s Sun and Salsa Festival

Before heading down the street, we found tortilla chips and bottled water were for sale with proceeds going to local charities. We bought a bag of chips not only to show our support, but also that we could test taste all the salsa recipes.


Down the street, local businesses set up their other “station” and handed out cups of salsa for visitors to sample. You could find restaurants, businesses (like gym, real estate firm, banks) or even political parties competing in this contest.

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We went to station after station, trying to find the best tasting salsa. Look at all the different varieties of salsa we sampled!


Besides the traditional tomato-based salsa, there were a few stations that presented more unique salsa recipes, such as mango salsa and seaweed salsa. Our favorite is the tomato-based salsa with tiniest cumin undertone!

Looking for something more filling than salsa sampling? Restaurants and pubs were open for your eating pleasure.  Or you could easily find a food truck to feed your appetite.


While Kev was busy looking for salsa stations, I was lured away by music, dances and street performances.




One of the funniest scene was seeing a group of people doing spinning outdoor! It was really warm that day. I bet they all burned twice as much calories than doing it indoor 😛 I must admit that was a really eye-catching marketing though!


In fact, the streets were filled with vendors and artisans selling a variety of products and promoting their services. Our attention was instantly caught by those that gave out swag. We found a booth that partnered with Fiasco Gelato to give out free artisan gelato and a cartoonist to draw family portrait free of charge!



The queue was long, but it was worth it! What could be more satisfying than cooling off with handcrafted gelato on a hot day?


Sadly, we were already full before we could finish tasting all the salsa. Nonetheless, we had a clear idea of which salsa recipe we liked the most. All we had to do was go online and vote! The winner would be announced in no time 🙂

What an enjoyable day. We had so much fun eating, interacting with the community and collecting free stuff! I am definitely looking forward to next year’s Sun and Salsa Festival.

Note: This post is submitted as part of the #WeekendWanderlust link-up. Big thanks to Carmen’s Travel Tips and other co-hosts for organizing this event! To read more travel articles for this week, simply click on the image below or search #WeekendWanderlust on social media. Have a great day 🙂


After we got home, I went through all the swag we collected that afternoon. Look what we’ve got!


2 t-shirts,
tons of garbage bags and plastic gloves,
a drawstring backpack,
a collapsible wattle bottle,
a heart-shape couple straw,
a coaster,
shampoo/conditioner/lotion samples,
eye makeup remover,
hand sanitizer,
a pack of flower seeds,
2 tickets to a movie at the science center
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8 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Sounds like it was a fun festival! I can’t believe those folks were taking a spinning class on the street (way to hot to be outside). You really made out with tons of give-a-ways. We were in Vancouver two weeks ago and loved it. I wish we had more time to travel to Calgary. I hear it’s just as beautiful. Thanks for being part of the #WeekendWanderlust linkup and the shout out! 🙂

    • Thanks for dropping by, Carmen! Vancouver is stunningly beautiful. Being close to the coast is such a wonderful thing. But you definitely have to come to Calgary in the summer next time. Calgary Stampede is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you are not a rodeo fan, Banff is also a great summer getaway location. If you ever come to Calgary, give me a shout and I’ll be more than happy to take you around. Thanks again for hosting the #WeekendWanderlust linkup 🙂

  2. I love salsa (understatement of the day…)…this sounds like so much fun!! I’ve been meaning to get up to the Stampede one day, but salsa almost sounds better. Delicious 🙂

    • Hi Heather! We really enjoyed ourselves there. Food and fun are the best combinations you could have 🙂 Definitely come to the stampede if you have a chance. You have to experience it at least once in the lifetime!!

  3. It looks like such a fun festival and a really fantastic day! I would love to try all of the different kinds of salsa – tortilla chips and salsa is one of my favorite snacks! I love the looks of that fresh tomato salsa, yummm. Also, hello fellow Canadian – we’re from the Toronto area! Thank you so much for linking up to #WeekendWanderlust, great to see your blog post here and hopefully you’ll join us again next week! 🙂

    • Hi Lauren, thank you for stopping by!! It was definitely one of the most fun summer festivals in Calgary. Too bad the summer here is too short for us to enjoy 🙁 maybe next year we will fly to Toronto for our summer vacation, just to see how the east-coasters party in the summer 🙂

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