August 9, 2014 1:51 pm

Montreal weekend round-up

The 31st edition of the Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu International Balloon Festival is kicking-off just southeast of Montreal. Saturday, August 9, 2014

THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Ulan

The sun promises to shine this weekend, and if you’re wondering what to do in and around the Island of Montreal, look no further.

While Osheaga took over Parc-Jean Drapeau last weekend, this weekend promises to be a little more hard-core as the island hosts Heavy Montreal,  Canada’s largest music festival devoted to heavy metal and hard rock.

Amongst the bands headlining are Metallica, Slayer, Twisted Sister, Voivod, Anthrax and Bad Religion to name a few. Between headbanging acts, wrestlers are set to entertain the crowds with their own production dubbed Heavy Mania. Lucha Libre anyone?

READ MORE: Headbanging caused brain bleed, but doctor says fans can ‘rock on

If metal isn’t your thing, you can still catch the FestiBlues International de Montreal with 40 bands taking the stage in four nights at Ahuntsic Park.

WATCH:  Jay Walker is in Ahuntsic to take a look at the 17th edition of FestiBlues International de Montreal.

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Lovers of classical music can head to Joliette in the Lanaudiere for the closing weekend of the classical music festival, which features Kent Nagano conducting Mahler.

Saturday is also the start of the 31st edition of the Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu International Balloon Festival. The fair, which attracts over 450,000 visitors per year, is the largest balloon gathering in Canada. More than 125 hot-air balloons from all over the world are set to colour the skies over Montreal.

Festival-goers can also take flight themselves, with hot air balloon launches scheduled twice daily, in the early mornings and evenings, weather permitting. Children can choose from a myriad of activities, from face painting, to running, climbing and bouncing around in what is being touted as the world’s largest inflatable park.

Last year’s event was marred by the tragic death of an experienced balloonist, the only death in the festival’s longstanding history.

READ MORE:  Man killed in Quebec balloon accident was clutching cables

The balloon festival, which kicks off on Saturday and runs until August 17, also boasts a variety of shows from dance to comedy and of course music, including multi-platinum Canadian pop group Hedley and Quebec songstress Marie-Mai.

Last but not least, the best female tennis players in the world are set to take centre stage at the Rogers Cup on Sunday, in what promises to be an exciting final match.

 

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