Canada Day, July 1

How YOU doin’? Parka loves making new friends. Come on over and say hi.  (© Parks Canada)


Nobody loves Canada Day more than Parka! Get an eyeful of festive floats as you cheer in the Fort Smith Canada Day parade, where Parka is making a special appearance. Then meet us at the green Parks Canada tent for an airbrush tattoo-- to show off your pride for Canada and all her lovely creatures!

Pine Lake Picnic, July 14

 lac Pine Lake
Canoers flee shark-infested waters. Only kidding. Feisty canoe races at Pine Lake  (© Parks Canada)


Be part of the largest Northern picnic! Celebrate Parks Day in Wood Buffalo National Park at the annual Pine Lake Picnic: a long-standing Fort Smith tradition. Feast on burgers and hot dogs fresh off the grill, then cool down with a sweet slice of watermelon… Or a dip in the aquamarine blue waters of Pine Lake! Bring your competitive spirit as you go toe-to-toe in our lively games and contests including canoe races and tug of war.

Paddlefest- August 2 - August 5

Red-tassel hats are aerodynamically superior to all other hats in voyageur canoe races. Fact. (Photo: © A. Lusk)


Play in the bouncy waves and big-water at Slave River Paddlefest. Unravel the fascinating lore and history swirling behind the Slave River Rapids with Wood Buffalo National Park and the Town of Fort Smith on our featured guided hikes and programs. Head over to to sign up or learn more.

Thebacha & Wood Buffalo Dark Sky Festival – August 22 - 25

Come behold the mysteries of the universe. Was that too dramatic? Too bad. We kind of get to be when we’re the biggest dark sky preserve in the world. #Sorrynotsorry  (Photo: © John D McKinnon / Parks Canada)


Embrace the night skies like never before at the Dark Sky Festival. Whether you’re a budding astronomer or seasoned stargazer, soak in the stars, constellations, planets and other space oddities in Wood Buffalo National Park. Watch homemade rockets streak into the sky and share a spot around the campfire with our renowned guest speakers. Curious kids (and adults) can join Professor Quark for our “Circus of Science” while budding astronomers can hone their observation skills during special workshops offered throughout the weekend. Kick around town and then spend the weekend camping out at Pine Lake. Advance registration required. To learn more or register,  contact our visitor centre or the Thebacha & Wood Buffalo Astronomical Society 867-872-0243,

Want to see who has joined us in the past? Become a Dark Sky alumni alongside some of our featured guests