After a couple year's hiatus it's finally time to properly celebrate the birth of the Halifax-Dartmouth area. August 1st is also the second year the Province of Nova Scotia officially recognizes Emancipation Day, where we celebrate the anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. There's plenty of things to do, see and listen to in Halifax and Dartmouth in celebration of both Natal Day and Emancipation Day over the long weekend, keep reading so you don't miss a thing!

Halifax Harbour fireworks

Grand Oasis

A host of fantastic performers will take the Grand Oasis Stage over the long Weekend.

First up is Ria Mae, who has represented Atlantic Canada across the globe. This year Ria will return home for a Natal Day performance on Friday, July 29th from 7pm to 10pm.

The 2022 National Black Summit Series will be coming to a close on Saturday, July 30th, and the grand finale, AfrOasis, will star black artists from across the country! The show starts at 7pm and will continue until 10:30pm with performances by Ama Lou, Divine Brown, and Laydee Vee.

On Sunday (July 31st), Grand Oasis will host the Halifax International Buskers Festival All Stars and Pyro Show. The best of Busker Fest will be on stage from 8pm to 10:30pm. Bob the Builder and Rubble from Paw Patrol will also be at the Grand Oasis site for meet and greets!

All shows are free, but we recommend you guarantee your free pass online so you don't miss out! Find the Grand Oasis stage at Grand Parade in Downtown Halifax.

Halifax Grand Oasis Stage

Stroll Portland Street

Portland Street is turning into a pedestrian plaza in celebration of Natal Day, Buskerfest and Canoe '22! From July 28th to August 7th, Portland Street between Prince Street and Alderney Drive will be closed to motor vehicles and open for walking, rolling and dog walking! Take the opportunity to explore the charming local businesses of Downtown Dartmouth and connect with the community!

Open Portland Street

Takin' BLK Summer Markets

Shop homewares, beauty products, clothing and more from local, black-owned businesses at the Takin' BLK markets. Not one but TWO Takin' BLK markets will take place in Halifax over the long weekend! The first will take place during the AfrOasis Concert at Grand Parade on July 30th from 7pm to 10:30pm. The second market will take place on Emancipation Day (August 1st) from 6pm-10:30pm, also at Grand Parade.

Emancipation Day Exhibit

Visit the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History's Emancipation Day exhibit to delve into this history of Nova Scotia's connection to the West Indies, enslavement and abolition. The exhibit has recently been updated and expanded for this year's Emancipation Day. For museum hours and admission prices click here.

Exterior of the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History

Fireworks on the Harbour

The spectacular Natal Day fireworks display is back on the Harbour! To get a good view find a seat anywhere on the Halifax or Dartmouth side where George's Island is still in view. Fireworks begin at 10pm on Saturday, July 30th. Rain date is Sunday, July 31st.

Halifax Harbour Natal Day Fireworks

ANSMA Freedom Festival

The African Nova Scotia Music Association's Freedom Festival is July 31st at 2pm! Performances will take place on the Dartmouth Summer Sunshine Series stage in Ferry Terminal Park. Bring folding chairs or a blanket to sit on as seating is limited.

Dartmouth Summer Sunshine Concert Series Stage

Macdonald Bridge Walk

Take in the gorgeous views of Halifax and Dartmouth from the Macdonald bridge at the bridge's annual BridgeWalk. Head to the Macdonald bridge Sunday, July 31 from 2pm to 4pm to take part!


The buskers will be here in Halifax and Dartmouth from July 27th and August 1st! See fire performers, magic shows, music and acrobatics on both sides of the Harbour this year. Find more fun at Glow Funland at The Salt Yard on the Halifax Waterfront and East Coast Amusements carnival at Alderney Landing on the Dartmouth Waterfront.

You also won't want to miss the festival's All Star + Pyro Show on the Grand Oasis stage. Happening Sunday, July 31st at 8pm, see a showcase the festival's Best Fire Performers and All Star performers in this finale show. Check out all the performers and make your festival plan here.

Halifax Busker Festival

Dartmouth Natal Day Road Races

This year marks the 115th edition of the Annual Dartmouth Natal Day Road Races! One of the oldest road races in North America, runners and walkers are invited to participate in this family friendly running event! Online registration closes July 30th at 11pm.

If you miss online registration, you can register in person on July 31st between 3pm and 6pm at Christ Church Hall in Downtown Dartmouth if the race capacity limit has not yet been reached 

The races begins on Natal Day (August 1st) at 8am.

People running on road

Natal Day Parade

The Natal Day Parade is making it's long awaited return this year! This year's parade will begin at 10am on August 1st at the Hydrostone in Halifax, then cross the Macdonald bridge to end at Sullivan's Pond in Dartmouth.

Kids watching a parade

Is that enough things to do for you? It's so exciting seeing the community out and about, connecting and celebrating together once again. Have a great long weekend everyone!

Keep up with Halifax festivals and events by following @c21allpoints on Instagram and Facebook

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