Attention Transport Canada restricts operation of 737 Max 8 and 9 Learn more

Edmonton Heritage Festival Fun Facts

  • In 1974 and 1975, a Heritage Day concert was held at Fort Edmonton Park with performers from several ethnic communities. However, it was in 1976 that eleven ethno-cultural organizations set up pavilions for one day in Edmonton’s Mayfair Park (renamed William Hawrelak Park in 1982), thus marking the first Edmonton Heritage Festival in its current form. Attendance that year was 20,000. By 1978, thirty pavilions were taking part, and annual attendance first surpassed 100,000 by 1979.
  • The Festival’s attendance record of over 360,000 was achieved in 2013.
  • A proud moment: in 1999 the Festival was designated as one of the Top 100 Events in North America by the American Bus Association (ABA), the trade organization of the motor coach tour industry.
  • The first Heritage Festival information website went on-line in 1996.
  • Through much of its history, the Festival was a two-day event, taking place over the Sunday and Monday of the Heritage-Day long weekend. It was extended to three days in 1993, and has remained so ever since.
  • In 1985, the Festival opened its site to Edmonton’s Food Bank as a collection point for food donations. The Festival has become the Food Bank’s single largest annual food drive, with attendees often contributing more than 50,000 kilograms of food. That amount remains the goal for this year, so please do bring along a non-perishable food item this year.
  • Edmonton’s “Black Friday” tornado struck just as the 1987 Heritage Festival was being set up in Hawrelak Park, severely damaging most of the Festival’s tent inventory and therefore putting that year’s entire Festival in peril. People involved in the Heritage Festival back then still warmly remember how an impromptu group of volunteers from different cultural organizations came together at the site and went from tent to tent making enough repairs to allow the Festival to proceed that weekend. Although the weather continued inclement throughout the weekend, 140,000 people attended that year.
  • The Edmonton Heritage Festival Association spearheaded the building of Hawrelak Park’s Heritage Amphitheatre. We celebrated the official opening of the $1.7 million Heritage Festival Amphitheatre, designed by noted architect Stephen Iu, in Hawrelak Park in 1986. The Amphitheatre is Western Canada’s largest outdoor seating venue with 1,100 theatre-style seats, along with grass seating for 2,000.
  • Although the Festival is often incorrectly referred to as “Heritage Days” or “The Heritage Days Festival,” it has in fact always officially been called “The Edmonton Heritage Festival.”  Most recently it is also called 'Servus Edmonton Heritage Festival'. Either name is correct.
  • Last year there were more than 390 unique food items to try at the Festival.
  • There are 2 bike compounds at Hawrelak Park where you can lock up your bike while you enjoy the Festival.  They are located at the main entrance by Groat Road, and the south end of the park by the footbridge.
  • The Servus Heritage Festival is the largest customer of Edmonton Transit Park & Ride.  More than 139,000 people used Park & Ride to get to the 2013 Festival.
  • The Servus Heritage Festival uses only 100% biodegradable and compostable serving products for all the food presentation which includes every knife, fork, spoon and cup used during the 3 day event.
  • EIA Kidzworld Children's Tent features fun for the family and very young Festival visitors in our 2700 square foot pavilion area. We have sponsored the Children's tent since 2008.
  • Children can play games such as Soccer around the World, Fishing for Flights, Non-stop Ring Toss Fun and more! There are sand tables for the younger children and all children can win a prize at the Children's tent. Every year EIA creates a new game. This year features a new ring toss game. The tent is bundles of non-stop fun so if you have children be sure to stop by!
  • Entrance and all programming at the Festival is free of charge, and food tickets are available on site for a very reasonable cost.
  • Each year two children between the ages of 7 and 12 are chosen to act as Young Ambassadors for the Festival. They are deemed the Prince and Princess and are announced to the media at the conference prior to the event.  The Prince and Princess are the young faces of the Festival – they wear the traditional cultural dress of their country of origin and an identifying royal sash. In 2014 young royals are Princess Li Jia Ming Tang from Borneo and Prince Muazzam Bayrakcar from Turkey.
  • The original 11 pavilions are: Arab, Caribbean, Chili, Filipino, German, India, Irish, Japanese, Korea, Scandinavia, Wales


For more information on the Edmonton Heritage Festival see their website: