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Critic's picks: Fern Fest, Whistlemania, Vic West Fest

Looking for something fun this weekend? Our critic's got you covered with these top picks
Victoria disco band Tight Hair performs Saturday night at Fern Fest this weekend. SUBMITTED

Fern Fest

Where: Fernwood Square, 1240 Gladstone Ave.
When: Friday, 5-10 p.m. and Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
Admission: Free

Why: This annual neighbourhood celebration is celebrating its 25th anniversary this weekend, with two days of packed programming on tap. Music is a huge component, including sets from Downtown Mischief, Tight Hair, Listening Party, Grapefruit is Impossible and others, but community art is also key. Local businesses will be spread out across nearby William Stevenson Park, with dozens of opportunities (such as a puppet show, scavenger hunt, and writing workshops) for children and families to whittle away the day. One of the best pound-for-pound events in the city, with a super-sized footprint.


Where: Whistle Buoy Brewing Company, 560 Johnson St.
When: Saturday, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Tickets: $55 from

Why: The popular Whistle Buoy Brewing Company is mixing sports and suds — and music and mania — on Saturday with a one-of-a-kind event in Market Square. The taproom is celebrating its third birthday with Whistlemania, a 19+ event featuring live performances (Downtown Mischief, The Projectors, Juice, and others), food (Wandering Mollusk, Wannawafel, Los Panas Kitchen, Hey Happy) and — wait for it — professional wrestling, where grapplers courtesy of Ontario’s 365 Pro Wrestling will square off in a full size ring. A crazy concoction that will be more fun than it has any right in being.

Vic West Fest

Where: Victoria West Park, 250 Esquimalt Rd.
When: Saturday, 12 p.m.-8 p.m.
Admission: Free

Why: An all-day celebration of Vic West, which boasts everything from musical performances (including ones from Brett Smith Daniels Band, Trophy Dad, Best Laid Plans) to an on-site car show. There will be activities for both adults and children, all centred around the hub of Victoria West Park, with rollerblading, basketball, spikeball, and lawnbowling among the highlights for the athletically-minded.