Weekend Planner: July 28–29, 2012
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Weekend Planner: July 28–29, 2012

This weekend: the Beaches Jazz Festival returns to Queen Street East; Harbourfront Centre celebrates strings; the ROM is getting into the Carnival spirit; discover old bikes at a vintage bike show; and more.

Sidi Touré is one of the musicians at Harbourfront Centre's celebration of strings this weekend. Photo by Covalesky.

JAZZ FESTIVAL: It’s back! The Beaches International Jazz Festival is making its triumphant return just as the weather finally decides to play nice and cool down a bit. So take that as your cue to browse Queen Street East and discover some soulful sounds. There will be plenty of street performers, vendors, and food. Along Queen Street East (Woodbine Avenue to Beech Avenue), Friday to Sunday, times vary, FREE.

STRINGS FESTIVAL: Sure, classical music is pretty much everywhere, but how often do you make the effort to actually go hear some? Well, now’s your chance to catch up on what you’ve been missing, with Classical IV: Strings. This festival includes a wide range of string-related performances, as well as the Ukulele Project (where the public is invited to play along with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture on ukuleles), and much more. Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West), Friday to Sunday, times vary, FREE.

BEER FESTIVAL: As if you needed another reason to drink, the Toronto Beer Festival is here. Besides massive amounts of beer, there’ll be live music, a grilling tent, exhibitors, and other things. If you go, consider calling in sick on Monday. Bandshell Park, Exhibition Place (200 Princes’ Boulevard), Friday to Sunday, times vary, $38.50.

CARNIVAL: Though you may already have your feathered costumes and colourful floats on standby for next weekend’s big parade, here’s another way to get into the Carnival spirit. The ROM is hosting a day called “Jumpin’ at the ROM—it’s Carnival!” Families are invited to experience the joy and rhythm of the islands as a sort of prelude to the Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival festivities. Activities will include storytelling, a children’s day parade, and music from a children’s steel orchestra. And while you’re there, don’t forget to check out “Carnival: From Emancipation to Celebration,” a new Carnival-themed costume exhibit. Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queen’s Park), Sunday, 11 a.m.–4 p.m., FREE with admission.

BICYCLES: Do you long for the days when bicycles had humongous wheels, or handle bars so tall you could ride with your back perfectly straight? Well, long no more! The Vintage Bike Show is in town to show off and sell bikes of yesteryear. There will be plenty of vendors with vintage bicycles participating. This is also your chance to shine up that old rusty heap you’ve had sitting in the garage. Give your bike the spotlight it deserves! Trinity Bellwoods Park, Sunday, 12 p.m.–5 p.m., FREE.

MARKET LIFE: If all you want to do all summer is walk around in the sun, eat, and socialize, then don’t miss this year’s second Pedestrian Sunday. This pedestrian-friendly event allows everyone to enjoy the market life in Kensington with vendors, artists, and performers. Kensington Market, Sunday, 12 p.m.–7 p.m., FREE.

Urban Planner is Torontoist‘s guide to what’s on in Toronto, published every weekday morning, and in a weekend edition Friday afternoons. If you have an event you’d like considered, email all of its details—as well as images, if you’ve got any—to [email protected].