Fort Erie Friendship Festival offers engaging activities and memories worth making

Peace Bridge between Fort Erie, ON and Buffalo, NY lite up for annual Friendship Festival / Flickr

With Canada 150 celebrations happening across the nation, there are many places and activities that Canadians can choose to enjoy.

If you don’t have the time to travel across Canada by train to visit the iconic rockies, why not celebrate Canada’s anniversary closer to home?

Right on the Niagara River is a quaint town called Fort Erie. It’s one the the largest growing communities in the Niagara Region and it is located directly across the river from our American friends in Buffalo, New York.

Fort Erie has a lot of rich historical ties that not many people know about. For example, it was a major terminus for the Underground Railroad in the middle of the 19th Century and it was also a base of operations during the War of 1812.

Nowadays, Fort Erie is known for having a peace bridge which crosses over to Buffalo.

Fort Erie is one of the places in Canada which reinforces the unbroken bond that the U.S. and Canada have today. It may be for this reason precisely that since 1987 the city of Fort Erie has been hosting an annual Friendship Festival in the summer months.

According to the festival’s mission statement, the purpose of the five-day event is to continue to support and promote relations between Canada and the U.S., support economic growth of the Niagara Region, celebrate the good friendship between Canada and the U.S. since the end of the War of 1812 as well as to support tourism and Canadian cultural activities.

The 30th annual Friendship Festival, running from July 13 to 17, will feature an abundance of activities available for families to enjoy, whether they’re Canadian, American, a combination of both or simply a tourist from another country.

Although not yet announced, the Friendship Festival will have a line-up of artists hosting concerts each day of the event.

In previous years, Fort Erie has hosted bands such as Cardinal Street, a band from Toronto that gained international noteriety.

In addition to a multitude of concerts, the Friendship Festival will be offering entertainment in the form of car shows, carnival games and rides, historical performances, a variety of vendors, food trucks and much more.

“The Friendship Festival is essentially our town’s biggest event and one of the only opportunities to interact with local vendors and see people from around town,” said Matthew Barker, a Brock University student and a Fort Erie resident. “The festival happens right by the water so it’s truly a beautiful setting.“

Whether it’s for a romantic evening out on the ferris wheel or a day to spend with the whole family doing fun things in the sun, the Fort Erie Friendship Festival seems to offer activities for everyone.

“The Friendship Festival is an amazing event that brings the whole community together,” added Barker. “I really think it brings a lot of happiness and joy to people. It also reminds us that friendship isn’t just for those closest to us. Friendship is with our neighbours, our communities and even with our fellow countries.”


To find out more about this summer’s friendship festival, visit

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