This free festival is patterned after European festivals whereby the day’s events are held on numerous outdoor stages in the town core. Traditional forms of folk music and dance are the festival’s theme, with emphasis placed upon the various cultures present in Cambridge and surrounding area. Arts, crafts, and an excellent choice of food and refreshments are also available at the festival site and from the many fine eating establishments in downtown Cambridge. Local and internationally renowned performers, are selected each year to reflect a most diverse and entertaining mixture of musical cultures.
The Mill Race Festival of Traditional Folk Music is held in the historic downtown Galt portion of Cambridge, amidst nineteenth century heritage architecture. Weather permitting, festival events will be held in a variety of outdoor venues. If the weather is inclement, events will be held in a variety of indoor locations within walking distance. Admission is free to this physically and financially accessible event. Traditional music and song from many different cultures will be represented at this unique event.
The showpiece is the stage at Mill Race Park which is wonderfully reminiscent of an Old World amphitheatre, formed from the ruins of an old stone textile mill on the banks of the Grand River. In addition, there is also the Civic Square Stage, the Children's Stage, The Galt Room (second floor of Cafe 13) and (new this year) The Royal Oak Pub Garden.
The festival events begin on Friday at 7 pm with a series of concerts at four of the venues featuring some of the festival's most exciting acts. On Saturday and Sunday, the Children's Stage, Farmers Market and Royal Oak Pub Garden will be added. Informal jam sessions and acoustic performances will be held in the new Royal Oak Pub Garden throughout the weekend. The historic Cambridge Farmers Market (c. 1830's, possibly Canada's oldest Farmer's Market in continuous use) will have live music from 10am-noon on Saturday during normal hours of operation.
Information regarding all performance locations, the performance schedule and rain venues will be listed in our festival programme, available onsite for $5.00 per copy. Programmes will be available at various advance locations throughout Waterloo Region and Wellington County prior to the festival or from our Store, and at each festival Information Booth during the event itself. Sales locations will be posted on the website when they are finalized.