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Barrie’s Biggest Attraction | Kempenfest

Kempenfest is a not-for-profit event that has given back over $10 million to the Barrie community. Founded in 1971, it has now become one of the largest outdoor summer festivals in North America.

The annual festival that occurs on the pristine shores of the Kempenfelt Bay and Downtown Barrie takes place every August on the Civic Holiday long weekend. It averages around 200,000 visitors each year for people of all ages to enjoy.

This year the festival will be celebrating its 50th anniversary after having to cancel the event for the past two years due to COVID-19. Kempenfest is organized by The Barrie Art Club, Barrie Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club of Barrie, Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus, Optimist Club of Barrie and run by hundreds of volunteers. Kempenfest has become Barrie’s largest festival and summer attraction for local Barrians and people across southern Ontario to enjoy. 

In this post, we will be giving you an inside look at Kempenfest and what to expect when attending this lively summer festival.




Being the largest outdoor arts festival in North America, the event is home to 400 art and craft exhibitors and 40 antique dealers. This festival with all its vendors is also home to one of the largest antique shows in Ontario.

Aside from the astonishing displays to view, the festival also offers a wide variety of 40 food vendors to choose from. In addition to all the art and food vendors, Kempenfest offers additional entertainment options for people of all ages to enjoy, such as a midway with amusement park rides and games for people to enjoy. The festival includes Robertson’s Amusements LTD which is a family-operated theme park that travels across Ontario. This offers festival visitors the opportunity to experience rides such as Ferris wheels, Carousels, carnival games, and much more to make memories that will last a lifetime.

The fun doesn’t end there - the festival provides live music adjacent to a beer garden. Live music is offered every day of the festival with free concerts during the day and ticketed shows during the evening at the RBC Stage.


What To Expect When Travelling to Kempenfest

When traveling to Kempenfest it is quite easy and accessible to get to from every major exit into Barrie from Highway 400. It will lead you to the gorgeous Lake Simcoe’s waterfront and all the exciting festival activities to enjoy during the long weekend. Planning in advance is always a wise decision. With an expected crowd of 200,000 visitors in the Barrie area, it’s never a bad idea to plan accommodations ahead so you can enjoy the festival. The 50th-anniversary festival this year will be hosted during the weekend of July 29th through August 1st, 2022.

For more information about Kempenfest visit the official website at the link below.