The big news this weekend in London, Ontario is of course Sunfest. Alfredo Caxaj  came up with the little idea to host an international music festival in London way back in 1994. Victoria Park has rocked the world tunes ever since and it continues to get stronger every year. This year there are over 35 performers set to perform on one of five stages set up around the park, with 275 unique craft and food vendors on hand to tempt you with. You can buy jewellery, clothing, musical instruments, crafts, get a henna tattoo or pick up your favourite musical act’s merchandise. There will be food from all over the world, including cuisine from Tibet, Iran, Nova Scotia, India, Cuba, East and Southern Africa, a variety of Latin countries, Thailand and even Canada (think Kelsey’s, slushies, and fries).

Brazilian guitarist, singer/songwriter Rômmel Ribeiro will be onstage July 6-7

The main attraction of course is the music though. And the lineup this year aims to please. With artists like “Boogat”, a hip hop artist from Quebec, playing Thursday and Friday, “Briga”, the Montreal born, Serbo-Croatian violinist who plays Romani folk songs on stage the 5th, 6th and 7th, the percussionist group “Drumhand” from Toronto hitting stages from the 5th through 7th, the reggae band “Long Shen Dao” from Beijing, China set to have their North American debut on July 6th and 7th, plus so many more exuberant artists on hand, it will be hard to decide which stage to watch.

Fatoumata Diwara willbe wowing audiences on July 4th and 5th

What else do you need to know? How about that Sunfest is a FREE festival, that only asks for  a donation of $2 or more to their circulating pickle jars. It is the least you can do to help keep the festival going. Souvenir programs cost $3 and offer more information about the festival and its participants. Sunfest runs from July 4-7, 2013. Musical performances are held between 6-11 pm on Thursday, noon to 11 pm on Friday and 11:30 am – 11 pm on Saturday and Sunday. The general festival hours are between 11 am – 11 pm.

Get ready for a little urban joropo with Palo Cruzao July 5-7th

The festival is also one of London’s green festivals, which means vendors will only be selling their wares in compostable containers, utensils and drinking glasses made from paper, or corn and potato starch. Eco-Stations will be set up around the park with containers for recycling bins, compost bins and waste bins, manned by friendly volunteers to help you out if you get confused. Bring your own water bottle (refill it at a fountain on site) and don’t forget your own reusable shopping bag for whatever items you purchase. You might even want to consider biking, carpooling or taking the bus down to Victoria Park to help out the environment that little bit more. However you manage it, make sure you stop in to Sunfest this weekend (one of Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals, as rated by Festivals & Events Ontario).

See you there!