The Labour Day long weekend may be a bittersweet one as we all bid adieu to summer, but it’s also a weekend full of excitement and celebration. Calgary’s 26th annual Pride Festival started this past weekend and wraps up on September 5th, .
If you’re heading downtown on Sunday, September 4th for the festival’s culmination, the Calgary Pride Parade (which starts at noon), then you should plan on having a few celebratory drinks and eats when it wraps up at 1:30 p.m. Here are six places close to the parade route to try out.
Head up to the rooftop to find Pride celebrations continuing on at the bar’s 7th annual Deep Roots Patio Party. In addition to a mix of drag queen performances and DJs spinning tunes, the menu here is quite tasty and includes easy to share plates like cauliflower “wings”, chickpea fries and some of the most delicious chicken fingers you’ll find around town.
Always a hot spot for dancing the night away, Commonwealth is playing host this Sunday to the Hot Mess Pride Bash which is hosted by drag performer, Katya, a Ru Paul’s Drag Race alum. Sure, the booze is always free-flowing here, but the little cafeteria window on the top floor dishes out plenty of bite size foods to satisfy any late night food cravings. Dance, drink, eat, repeat? Event starts at 9 p.m.
Since you’re already downtown, just head south a block to Stephen Avenue to try out Earls’ new custom concept restaurant attached to Bankers’ Hall. It’s Sunday, so the after-work business crowd will be nowhere to be found. With that, you can expect a more casual environment and well-made drinks like its signature Black Gold, a mix of bourbon, rum, rootbeer bitters that chill around a huge branded ice cube topped with edible gold. Fancy! Just like you!
Right next door to Broken City, you can expect this top notch brewpub to be packed with energized people as well. There’s always something new on the taps to try and, weather permitting, the enclosed patio is always a fantastic place to sit, soak up the sun, hang out with friends and mingle with other patrons.
National on 8th and 10th
Head to National on 8th big rooftop patio beginning at 2 p.m. for post-parade festivities, a few games of ping pong and drink specials. By 9 p.m. the patio will play host to a MuchMusic video dance party which should be a fun-filled way to celebrate into the later hours of the night.
Over at the 10th avenue location, try a game of bowling to go along with a late Sunday brunch (pro tip: you can bowl free for one hour if you have brunch here). There’s also a Sunday happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. which means all pints of beer, select cocktails and glasses of house wine are only $5.
With three different levels offering three different concepts (east coast-style pub in the lower level, gastropub on the main and a sports cantina on the top), a street level patio and huge windows on the top floor that open wide, there is a table for everyone here. The top floor might be your best fit for a more buzzing atmosphere, so order up some braised beef tacos, a few margaritas and have some fun.