Summer festivals heat up the city

FIESTA LONDON! MEXICAN FESTIVAL
June 12
Covent Garden Market
fiestalondon.ca
Admission: free
It's an all-day party showcasing the Mexican-Canadian way of life. Experience the tastes, sights and sounds of Mexico in downtown London. Ol!

FRINGE FESTIVAL
June 16 - 26
Venues across London
londonfringe.ca
Admission: Vary by show but all less than $10
Ten days of the best local, Canadian and international theatre talent taking place all around the city. From the hilarious to the dramatic and everything in between, there's sure to be something for everyone at this fantastic festival. Don't forget to buy your backer button for $5 - it gives you entry into the wonderful world of Fringe!

KIDS EXPO
June 17 - 19
Victoria Park
canadasbiggestparty.com
Admission: free
Tons of games, plenty of food and awesome exhibits make the Kids Expo weekend a total blast. It's fun for the whole family, and it just so happens to take place on Father's Day weekend.

LONDON INTERNATIONAL FOOD FESTIVAL
June 24 - 26
Victoria Park
canadasbiggestparty.com
Admission: free
This delicious weekend brings flavours from all around the world. There will also be musical and dance performances, exhibits and a beer garden. Take your senses on a journey around the world without ever leaving downtown.

CALIENTE FESTIVAL HISPANO
July 2 - 3
Victoria Park
calientefestivalhispano.com
Admission: free
A celebration of all things Latin - from food to dancing to art and music! Last year's festival had 150 national and international performers, crafters and musical bands celebrating folklore, cuisine, music, dance, art and heritage from 20 Latin countries, and this year's festival is shaping up to be just as great.

SUNFEST
July 7 - 10
Victoria Park
sunfest.on.ca
Admission: free
This festival is a fan favourite year after year — last year's Sunfest was listed in the top 100 festivals across Ontario. With food and craft vendors selling goods from around the world, there's sure to be something for everyone. Sunfest 2011 also has a ton of amazing local and international performers lined up.

BLUESFEST
July 15 - 17
Corner of King and Clarence Streets
thebluesfest.com
Admission: Three-day pass: $55; Single-day pass: $30
Grab your lawn chair and listen to some of the most soulful blues this side of the border. Performances by Ten Years After, Texas Scratch, Steven Page and many more talented musicians bring a blues flavour to downtown. This is a 19-plus event.

HOME COUNTY FOLK FESTIVAL
July 15 - 17
Victoria Park
homecounty.ca
Admission: free
Listed as one of Ontario Festivals and Events' top 100 festivals in Canada, this event is always sure to please. Performers including Basia Bulat, Hawksley Workman and Sarah Harmer will provide the sweet sounds of summer as tons of exhibitors sell glass, handmade crafts, fine arts, aesthetic products, gourmet food and more.

ROCK THE PARK
July 21 - 23
Harris Park
rockthepark.ca
Admission: July 21 & 22 two-day pass: $79.50; July 23 pass: $47.50
A great concert for a great cause. Classic rock legends such as Poison, Meat Loaf and Blue Oyster Cult, along with modern rock bands Our Lady Peace, Sloan, Stone Temple Pilots and more will rock the hell outta Harris Park to benefit Bethany's Hope, a charity that raises money for children with Leukodystrophy.

PRIDE LONDON FESTIVAL
July 22 - 24
Corner of King and Clarence Streets
pridelondon.ca
Admission: free
London's most colourful parade is back for its 29th year! The annual parade on July 24 starts at the Western Fairgrounds, proceeds down Dundas Street then south on Clarence Street, ending at the corner of King and Clarence Streets. The party lasts all three days at the corner of King and Clarence Streets, and will feature vendors, live entertainment, a bar and more.

RIBFEST
July 28 - August 1
Victoria Park
canadasbiggestparty.com
Admission: free
What's summer without live music, beer and barbeque? London's gone hog-wild for this festival every year since it began in 1986. This year sees a ton vendors dishing out the most delicious ribs around.

EXPRESSIONS IN CHALK
July 30 - August 1
120 Bruce St.
imadon.org
Admission: free
Watch as a parking lot in Wortley Village is transformed into a true work of art. The artists put their chalk to asphalt on July 30, and August 1 will be the official viewing date.

AFROFESTA
August 19 - 21
Victoria Park
afrofesta.org
Admission: free
London is home to a very diverse and rich African culture, and this is a great way to celebrate it! Experience the food, music, culture, dance and clothing of Africa at this unique festival.

FESTA ITALIANA
August 26 - 28
Covent Garden Market
festaitaliana.ca
Admission: free
Celebrate Italian culture, cuisine, music and dance at this lively festival. There will be contests, fun for kids, cooking demonstrations, story-telling, a fashion show and even a special Italian Farmer's Market on August 27 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Italian Seniors' Project.