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Atlanta, Georgia
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We're considering going to NL for the George Street Festival and staying on through the Folk Festival the following weekend. I know nothing about the logistics for these events.

1) Must you stay in a hotel in downtown St. Johns to be in walking distance, or is there a way to drive into town and park somewhere outside George Street and walk in?

2) Are tickets for these events easy to purchase or does it sell out quickly?

3) From what I've been reading, it seems as if we could stay in St. John's the entire time and take some great day trips from there, correct?

4) Is the regatta an interesting thing to go see as well?

Thanks for any input.

Gros Morne National...
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for Newfoundland and Labrador
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1. Re: Festivals

I would say give George Street Festival a pass:

The venues are too small. The street is too crowded. The patrons are too young and drunk.

Just not a fun, safe or enjoyable experience.

If you are looking for a party vacation check out Burning Man, Nevada, it falls the last week in July as well and you will have a blast.

St. John's, Canada
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123 posts
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2. Re: Festivals

Both festivals are popular, fun events....depending on what you are looking for, as they are quite different. George Street is a younger festival, Folk festival for all ages.

George Street Festival will be crowded, with lots of drinking but there will be lots of people wandering enjoying the outdoor stages. You can take in the ambiance of George Street outside of the dates of the festival....it is really fun to wander.

The Newfoundland Folk Festival is a great venue for enjoying and appreciating the varities of NL music.

You do not have to stay downtown St. John's however I would certainly recommend it if you are coming here. It provides the best "sense" of St. john's. It would be easy though to stay outside of downtown and find somewhere to park, as long as you ok with a little walk and arriving early. It will be very crowded at peak times.

George Street and Bannerman Park (folk festival location) are within a 20-30 walk of each other.

Tickets are easy to obtain but will need to be purchased in advance...these venues can sell out.

Yes, you can definately stay in St. John's and do multiple day trips. Early August is a nice time to be in NL.

The Regatta is a hugh traditional event, and as you probably realize the oldest sporting event in North America. It will be crowded. Focus is on the rowing events and on the multitude of small booths/ vendors/games.

Enjoy your planning!

Placentia, Canada
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736 posts
16 reviews
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3. Re: Festivals

George st. festival is mostly for the younger generation nowadays....but the days leading up to it has some great entertainment(still is great time and you'll never know who'll you will meet)

The Regatta is a good laugh but all is pending on weather conditions

The folk festival in bannerman park is pretty good for local entertainment and is in a relaxed setting.

There is no need to stay in the downtown area in regards of accomodations,everything is a fairly close ride.

In regards to daily trips outside of the city ...logy bay,outer cove,middle cove aloows for some great scenery..cape spear is a must also.

But day by day trips will limit you mostly to the popular tourist places....there is just so much more to experience...

Vancouver, Canada
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3,155 posts
47 reviews
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4. Re: Festivals

I am not familiar with the two festivals. However, it seems from what you say that you have two weekends devoted to festivals with the five days (or so) inbetween for general sightseeing. There are some great day trips from St. John's. For example, Ferryland and the Lighthouse Picnics, and, as mentioned, Cape Spear. St. John's itself is also very interesting. However, Newfoundland is really beautiful. Have a look at the Newfoundland Tourism website -


(You can order free guides and maps via the website.)

Think about spending a few days outside of St. John's and exploring another area of the province, e.g., the Baccalieu Trail or the Bonavista Peninsula. Both would provide a different experience from urban St. John's.

Atlanta, Georgia
5 posts
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5. Re: Festivals

Thank you SteffieNL,

Your reply was very helpful. We're proceeding forward with our plans. I will check back in with more questions as I go. I did visit the Newfoundland and Labrador tourism site and ordered the free book. Very helpful and nice site.

Atlanta, Georgia
5 posts
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6. Re: Festivals

Thanks TAT 2011 and Itchyfeet,

I think we are coming to the same conclusion....I think we will end up wanting to do more than just day trips from St. John's so will probably not book our entire time there. Thanks for the suggestions!

I'll check back in with more question as our plans start to shape up.

We really want to experience the local culture away from tourists too. It would be cool to end up in a little fishing village and stumble onto a great pub witth lots of local musicians just playing and telling stories (is that too stereotypical or does that really happen?)

Gros Morne National...
Destination Expert
for Newfoundland and Labrador
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1,659 posts
38 reviews
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7. Re: Festivals

Re: "Does it really happen?"

The short answer is: "If you are lucky".

The long answer is "Luck is preparation meeting opportunity".

Get out of your car, off the main drag, be open to opportunities and don't be afraid to initiate contact and you will be surprised the experiences you have.

Check your PM's.

8. Re: Festivals

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