Festivals in Montreal in July 2018

Highlights Include Jazz, Comedy, Film, and Parades

Old Montreal at dusk by the Saint-Laurent river
••• Nicolas Kipourax Paquet / Getty Images

An abundance of Montreal festivals, attractions, and things to do are a given come July. No surprise there considering how the city's legendary joie de vivre reaches a feverish, if humid, pitch. Suffice it to say, there are few places in the world that can top the unbelievable atmosphere and ambiance that take over Montreal in July.

Montreal's main downtown thoroughfare closes off to cars to make way for sidewalk sales and free entertainment. The  Montreal International Fireworks Competition does nothing short of enchant thousands of gawkers with every display. The Montreal Jazz Festival and Just for Laughs Festival echo the fireworks competition with hundreds of thousands of fans dropping by Place des Festivals for days on end of free concerts, shows, and activities.

On a tight budget or the sky's the limit? There's something for absolutely everyone in Montreal in July. 

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    Canada Day Parade July 1
    ••• By Melissa M'Lou / Getty Images

    July 1 is Canada Day! There's so much to do on this national holiday, including the Canada Day Parade, that it would be a shame to miss out on all the festivities, most of which are free.

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    Crowds at montreal international jazz festival
    ••• Image Source / Getty Images

    If there's one event everyone has heard of when it comes to this city, it's the Montreal Jazz Festival. The Montreal Jazz Festival 2018 dates are June 28 to July 7, 2018, with pre-opening shows anticipated on June 26 and post-closers on July 8, 2018.

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    In 2018, Mtl en Arts runs June 27 through July 1. Don't miss this five-day, open-air art gallery set in the Montreal Gay Village.

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    Montreal First Fridays
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    mtlblog.com

    First Fridays, Montreal's monthly food truck tradition, is alive and well.

    Pro tip: Heading to First Fridays? Consider a drop-in at the ​​biodome or ​planetarium first. They're also in the Olympic Park. Tack on an extra five to 10 minutes to that stroll and you'll be at the Montreal Botanical Garden and Insectarium.

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    Piknic Electronik
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    velkr0 / Wikimedia Commons

    Almost every Sunday from May 20 to September 30, 2018, features Piknic Electronik, a weekly spring, and summer electronic music tradition held at Parc Jean-Drapeau.

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    The annual Festival International de Percussions is back after taking a year off in 2017 and is set to run from July 1 to 30, 2018. Check out the family activities, dance and drum workshops, concerts, and more.

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    Just For Laughs Comedy Festival 2017
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    Running July 11 to 29, 2018, is Montreal comedy festival ​Just for Laughs. Catch some of the best standup-comedy acts in circulation and indulge in its outdoor street fest activities and entertainment.

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    At Just for Laughs Comedy Festival's little sister, you can catch a slew of comedy acts at Zoofest & OFF-JFL at more affordable admission prices. Dates are July 16, 18, and 21–23, 2018.

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    For the 2018 season of Shakespeare-in-the-Park, which runs all through July, Repercussion Theatre proposes an outdoor rendition of Shakespeare's "Romeo & Juliet" titled "Romeo & Juliet: Love is Love" in various Montreal parks, including just outside the Canadian Centre for Architecture and Mount Royal Cemetery. Performances are canceled in case of heavy rain. Admission is free.

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    Discover a plethora of cultural traditions at Parc Jean-Drapeau's annual Weekends du Monde event running July 7, 8, 14, and 15, 2018, at Parc Jean-Drapeau. Live entertainment and food are part of the package.

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    Parade Afrique
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    Jeangagnon / Wikimedia Commons

    From July 10 to 22, 2018, Nuits d'Afrique features hundreds of artists performing dozens of shows including more than 30 free outdoor shows at the Parterre du Quartier des Spectacles, roughly one block east of the ​​Place des Festivals.​​

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    Investors and startup entrepreneurs converge at Montreal's Startupfest running July 10 to 14, 2018, by the waters of the Old Port.

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    One of Montreal's most popular film fests, the Fantasia Film Festival, running July 12 to August 1, 2018, is one of North America's largest genre film fests showcasing anything off the beaten Hollywood path, from horror to fantasy, kung fu, and more.

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    Organizers have been saying for years that the Sainte-Catherine Street sidewalk sale is the country's biggest, attracting 300,000 shoppers intent on scoring deals, eating street food, and catching live entertainment all along the fair's 1.5-kilometer stretch. In 2018, it runs July 13 to 15. 

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    From July 18 to 29, 2018, Bouffons Montréal invites locals and travelers to sample edibles at its "open-air gastronomy village" with a temporary boardwalk and sand beach set up just above Ste. Catherine at Quartier des Spectacles' Îlot Clark. It's open from noon to 11 p.m. every day.

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    Parc La Fontaine
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    mtlblog.com

    Parc La Fontaine hosts a slew of cultural events and activities from June through August near Théâtre de Verdure, and the programming changes every year. From dance and music to theatre and film screenings, discover all July has to offer this year.

     

     

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    An open-air market set up in the Mile End neighborhood through the end of July, Marché des Possibles features a beer garden, farmers market, artisanal crafts, free film screenings, family-friendly musical performances, and late-night DJ sessions. It depends on the day, but this is one market that's got the gamut of age groups covered, from children to twenty-somethings to seniors. It's open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during July.

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    Ingenious in its design, Village au Pied-du-Courant is a Montreal boardwalk, a promenade, and gathering place near the Jacques Cartier Bridge that hosts all sorts of events and activities this summer.

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    Montreal Comiccon
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    Pikawil / Wikimedia Commons

    Fangirls and fanboys, this is your weekend. July 6 to 8, 2018, is the one and only Montreal Comiccon happening at Palais des Congrès. Spot amazing cosplay costumes, dress up as your favorite pop culture character, meet your favorite celebrities, and more. This year's guests include Chuck Norris, David Duchovny, Pamela Anderson, Jason Momoa, and Val Kilmer.

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    Carifiesta Montréal 2013
    ••• Flickr Vision / Getty Images

    Carifiesta is Montreal's vibrant carnival that parades down Montreal's Ste. Catherine Street on July 7, 2018. 

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    Heavy metal music fest Heavy Montréal is back in 2018 on July 28 and 29 at Parc Jean-Drapeau. Performers include Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, and Avenged Sevenfold.