Two of my favorite Ottawa festivals are the Ottawa Ribfest on Sparks Street and the Ottawa Jazz Festival. The Ottawa Ribfest on Sparks Street hosts teams from the United States and Canada who compete the top rank of rib choice, best rib sauce, best chicken choice and best chicken sauce. This rib and chicken barbecue cookoff is a feasting frenzy for lip smacking good barbecue. This international chicken and rib cookoff event occurs in June and leads up to the Ottawa Jazz Festival. It is a week long music festival which features jazz and other music genres. Some of the entertains that I enjoyed at the Ottawa Jazz Festival 2012 were Janelle Monae; Arturo O'Farill and the Latin Jazz Orchestra; Dave Holland, Kevin Eubank, Craig Taborn, Eric Harland - PRISM; Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue; Allen Toussaint; and the Soul Rebels.
Although the Montreal Jazz Festival is the largest North American Festival. This is a not to be missed jazz festival. The Ottawa Jazz Festival is a smaller and more intimate jazz festival with big name entertainment.
Ottawa is located in Ontario Canada which just across the U.S. border. It is the second largest city in Canada.
It is about seven hours drivng distance from Boston, New York City and Philadephia. American Airlines flies to Ottawa Ontario Canada daily. A passport is required.
The Ottawa Ribfest is an outdoor street with vendors selling ribs, chicken and sauces so Canadian Dollars are accepted. Visit www.ottawafestivals.ca for current dates and more information.
The Ottawa Jazz Festival offers passes so you can attend for the day or week. There are also jazz jams at the hotels which allow you a more intimate listening experience. Plan on attending the late night jazz jams in the tent across the street from the festival grounds. You can purchase passes online at www.ottawajazzfestival.com.
Ottawa is a great walking city for tourists with museums, markets, monuments, shopping, dining, nature, and adventure waiting for you to experience. For this reason it is one of my favorite cities to visit in Canada. Everything is accessible. It has a European flair so Americans can feel like they are visiting another country. Many Americans tend to think that Canada is just like the United States. If you visit Ottawa the experience is more of a French flavor. English and French are both spoken in Ottawa so need to worry about a language barrier.
If you plan on attending the Ottawa Ribfest and Ottawa Jazz Festival book your hotel early. The city of Ottawa is full of tourist to celebrate Canada Day on July 1st. Canada Day is comparable to the July 4th holiday in the United States.
Have you added Ottawa Jazz Festival to your travel plans?