Every year Hamilton winds down a busy summer season with the most epic event of the year – Supercrawl! This free, four-day music and art street festival showcases live music, art installations, fashion, theatre, artisans and makers, food trucks, and more.
There are countless sights and sounds to experience during Supercrawl. Here are just some of my top picks.
This year, Supercrawl celebrates its 10th anniversary and promises to be bigger and better than ever. As of this year, Supercrawl will now span four days (September 13-16), giving you even more chances to explore the festival itself and experience the many galleries, venues, restaurants and shops along James Street North in downtown Hamilton. Delve into this vibrant neighbourhood that’s at the root of Supercrawl’s inception back in 2009.
Music in the Streets
In celebration of Supercrawl’s 10th year, many acts from previous years return to Hamilton to rock this multi-stage festival. Headliners include indie rockers Wintersleep, eloquent rapper Cadence Weapon, electro-pop artist Lights, prolific producer/arranger Owen Pallett, alt-folk/country outfit Elliott Brood, and Hamilton’s own band-on-the-rise The Dirty Nil.
It wouldn’t be a Supercrawl without a stacked lineup of local talent! Don’t miss more standout artists from Hamilton: Basement Revolver, Poesy, Canadian Winter, Ellevator, Iskwé, Shanika Maria, Hamilton Children’s Choir, and more. Every year Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra hosts an exciting collaboration with a local indie band and this year we’ll see them take the stage with The Altobeelays.
In recent years, fashion has become a major component of Supercrawl. Hamilton’s fashion scene has grown exponentially with more designers, shops, and brands than ever before. Make time for frequent visits to Supercrawl’s Fashion tent to take in creative and eye-catching designs by Blackbird Studios, Batik Boutik, Designs By Mallory, With Love Lingerie, Hamilton Vintage Community and more. We will get a local fashion preview with the Supercrawl Fashion Pop-Up Shop located in Jackson Square where you can purchase amazing local designs from August 3-25.
For Arts Sake
Every Supercrawl, James Street North fills up with thrilling art installations. Often constructed right onto the street or perched atop buildings, these dramatic and thought-provoking pieces always make a statement. Make sure to have your cameras ready. Since the very beginning, Supercrawl has aimed to celebrate Hamilton’s vibrant creative sector which exists both inside and outside of traditional gallery spaces. This year’s lineup showcases an eclectic array of contemporary artists inlcuding Nedda Baba & Amber Helene Müller St. Thomas, Vanessa Crosbie Ramsay, Robert Hengeveld, Christopher MacLeod, Megan Press, and Al Runt.
Feed your hunger
Keep up your strength during your Supercrawl adventures with the delicious selection of food trucks that rolling in for the weekend. Expect to see some of the best trucks in the region join Hamilton favourites for a seriously tempting food truck alley. There are also tasty options for food and drink along James North including: Mulberry Coffeehouse, Merit Brewing, Born and Raised, The Brain, Mesa, Saltlick Smokehouse, Knead, Green Bar and countless more.
Hands-On Family Fun
When the kids are done exploring with you along James Street North, head over to York Boulevard, transformed into the made-in-Hamilton Tim Hortons Family Zone packed with hands-on activities.
This year features engaging family-friendly programming that showcases Hamilton’s creative talent and community cultural organizations. Just some of the many highlights include an Instrument For Every Child’s “Instrument Petting Zoo”, performances by the Hamilton Youth Poets, Hamilton Public Library’s “Imagination Station,” performances by The Vaudevillian, and back by popular demand, an epic kids’ foam party!
Made in Hamilton Retail Therapy
Don’t forget to bring home a souvenir to remember Supercrawl weekend. Enjoy incredible local, one-of-a-kind shopping at shops along James Street North including: The Hamilton Store, O’s Clothes, Mixed Media, Pretty Grit, White Elephant, and The Pale Blue Dot, to name a few.
Always expect the unexpected as you wander James Street North during Supercrawl. Every year Circus Orange delivers an electrifying show-stopping performance that is one of the highlights of the weekend. This year we’ll also witness performances from Blending Reality Productions, Flat Earth Global, Paraphrased Productions, Rooks Theatre, SJAM Dance Theatre, and magician Nick Wallace.
Tourism Hamilton Visitor Centre
Tourism Hamilton is getting in on the party with a great lineup of activities during the four-day festival. Make sure to stop by their Visitor Centre in the historic Lister building (28 James Street North). Check out the finalists in this year’s #MyHamilton photo contest and help vote for the winner, take in some incredible storytelling and displays about Hamilton’s rich music history; get your groove on with free dance classes, and shop for great locally made souvenirs. Find out more about Tourism Hamilton’s special Supercrawl programming.
Here’s a breakdown of what you can do at Tourism Hamilton’s Visitor Centre during supercrawl.
Kristin Archer is a lifelong Hamiltonian and the blogger behind the popular blog I Heart Hamilton where she inspires every local to “be a tourist in your own city.” She’s passionate about discovering her hometown, new experiences and sharing all that Hamilton has to offer. Catch Kristin Fridays at 2 p.m. when she hosts “I Heart Hamilton” on 93.3 CFMU and follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Kristin’s #MyHamilton blog offers an insider’s look at Hamilton’s buzz-worthy arts and culture scene including James Street North staple Art Crawl, great music festivals and venues, outdoor events, theatre, dance and specialty shopping.