A Celebration of Art and Culture
Canal Fest returns for another year of fun, food, music, and culture! Set along the beautiful Mandalay Canal, this festival includes a local art exhibit, cultural dance displays, a variety of activities and attractions, live music, a food court, and much more.
Admission to this festival is free! Click on the tabs below for more details about the entertainment and exhibits. Important Information:
- Limited seating is provided at each stage, however most of the viewing area is standing room only.
- Wheelchair access to the canal is available via parking garage elevator at 220 E. Las Colinas Blvd. or via ramp located next to the bridge on Las Colinas Blvd.
- An ATM is available at street level near the Information Tent.
- Alcohol will be sold only to guests ages 21 and older with valid ID.
- Alcohol may not be brought into or removed from the event site.
- Leashed, well-behaved dogs are permitted. The handler is required to control and clean after dogs at all times.
- Please refrain from smoking within the event grounds.
- Main Stage
- Irving Arts Center Cultural Stage
- Frontier Communications Family Arts Stage
- Art Exhibit and Canal
- Attractions and Food
2 to 2:45 p.m.
Native Texan Jenna McDaniel was born with an undeniable love for music and performing that’s as big as the Texas sky. Inspired by an at the time up-and-comer named Taylor Swift, Jenna grabbed a guitar and began penning her own songs inspired by Swift’s honesty and sheer relatability. Traveling back and forth to Nashville to hone her writing skills, she has opened for artists such as Cory Morrow and Jason Boland.
|Jonathan Fox Band
3 to 4 p.m.
Growing up in Dallas, musician Jonathan Fox moved to the state’s capital of Austin, where he plays music that brings together a myriad of musical influences. Leading the Jonathan Fox Band, he’s been traveling across the southern region of the United States and performing since the age of 15. Their music tests the boundaries of pop-rock and Americana, with self-aware lyrics and a carefree sound.
|King David Band
4:30 to 6 p.m.
The King David Band is one of the most versatile and entertaining dance/party bands in America. Led by vocalist/guitarist David Whiteman, this 14-piece band covers the widest range of songs around, featuring Top 40, R&B, funk, rock and dance variety music. The passion behind the performance is what sets them apart, delivering a top-notch show every time.
|Love & Happiness
6:30 to 8 p.m.
Love & Happiness is a dynamic, high-energy 10-piece variety band featuring three unique lead vocalists and a three-piece horn section. This talented group of veteran Austin musicians covers everything from jazz to R&B classics, hip-hop to modern Top 40 hits. This powerhouse group keeps audiences on their feet, no matter the venue.
|2:15 p.m.||Azul Raks Belly Dance
Azul Raks has been dancing together under the instruction of Reynah for over five years. Their love for dance and fun personalities combine with their research and fusion of multiple styles of dance for a seamless, intriguing show.
|3:15 p.m.||Ayubu Kamau African Dance
The Ayubu Kamau Kings and Queens program uses African drum, dance, theatre and stortytelling to nurture fundamental life skill tools for personal and collective growth, achieve a sense of expression and build character.
|4:15 p.m.||Furious Bhangra & Punjabi Gabrus Indian Dance
These dance teams are formed by area youth who gather to learn and reinforce the importance of cultural understanding and expression through movement.
|5:15 p.m.||Ballet Folklorico Azteca de Fort Worth
Fort Worth’s oldest, largest and original Folklorico dance group, the company was established in 1975 and is Fort Worth’s most recognized Mexican folk dance organization.
|6:15 p.m.||Elite Dallas Cirque Theatre Youth Troupe
These performers love to thrill audiences with a signature fusion of artistry, acrobatics and high-impact entertainment. The youth troupe unleashes the potential of future stars.
|7:15 p.m.||Grace Hula Dance, Drum & Fire
The beautiful dancers, skilled drummers and daring fireball twirlers of Grace Hula offer an exciting and interactive show that takes audiences to the tropics in a memorable show.
The Canal Fest Cultural Stage is sponsored by the Irving Arts Center.
Located at the northwest corner of the Mandalay Canal, the viewing area for the Frontier Communications Family Arts Stage includes natural amphitheater-style seating under shade trees with a scenic view of the area.
|Sugarfree All Stars
This Grammy-featured, family funk super duo from Oklahoma City has been listed as one of Time Magazine’s top 12 family music acts in America. They blend music genres to provide a high energy rock show dance party for all ages!
Performances: 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
|MerryMakers - All About the Arts
Comedy and Magic
The performers with MerryMakers specialize in entertaining children of all ages, making memories across the country for over two decades. This innovative show incorporates comedy, magic and fun as children learn about the arts.
Performances: 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
|Flying Theater Machine
The actors of The Flying Theatre Machine create new and unique stories at every performance with the help of the kids in the audience. Kids are invited to jump on stage and become a part of the show!
The Canal Fest Family Arts Stage is pesented by Frontier Communications.
Wheelchair access to the south side of the canal is available via a sidewalk path located between the canal bridge and the portable restroom facilities. Wheelchair access to the north side of the canal is available via the elevators located inside of the parking garage at 220 E. Las Colinas Blvd.
Shopping and Activities
Children will enjoy free face painting, balloon twisters, magic and more along the south side of the canal, while all ages can take advantage of craft booths located on both sides of the water. All craft vendors will be selling handmade, unique items.
Additionally, the canal features several water-based rental businesses. Purchase a gondola ride with singing gondolier, take a ride on the Lady Carolyn cruise boat, or test your balance on a stand-up paddle board.
Step inside the United States – Mexico Cultural and Educational Foundation for a unique experience. Located on the south side of the canal, the exhibit features photography, paintings, drawings and more. Many of the pieces are available for purchase, and the local artists are often present to answer questions and discuss the works of art.
Artists and photographers wishing to enter pieces can contact exhibit coordinator Jacqueline Madden by email for more information. There is no fee to participate or to sell artwork at the exhibit.
2017 Art Exhibit Entry Form
Enjoy the sounds of Texas singer-songwriters as they perform both original material and covers in front of the Art Exhibit along the south side of the canal.
|Molly May Rockwell
2-2:45 p.m. and 3-3:45 p.m.
Molly May was born and raised in Texas and began writing music in high school. Having already released a full length album, she is poised to take over the music scene.
4-4:45 p.m. and 5-5:45 p.m.
Zach is unlike most young country musicians, with a background in opera and an ability to blend his smooth, versatile voice perfectly with any music.
6-6:45 p.m. and 7-7:45 p.m.
A singer-songwriter with a voice for the ages, Joel is best known for his amazing combinations of acoustic, soul and blues that can connect with any audience.
Restrooms and First Aid
Standard portable restrooms are located on both sides of the canal. A first aid station is located on the north side of the canal near the Avocado Restaurant patio to provide assistance with first aid and general event information.
A range of food and alcohol vendors bring attendees multiple options, from frozen desserts to cultural fare.
Zeytin Mediterranean Grill ~ What's Cook'n Chef ~ Tu Bones BBQ ~ TC Country Corn Roast ~ Steel City Pops ~ Social Ice ~ Platinum Catering ~ Kona Ice ~ Fuzzy's Taco Shop ~ The Culinary Improv ~ Chef Cassy's Creations
Several restaurants are also located within the festival grounds, including The Avocado Lounge, Subz N Stuff, and Underground Indian Cuisine.
Complete an event survey and receive a complimentary gift (while supplies last). There are two ways to complete a survey:
- Visit the red Event Information Booth located on the bridge overlooking the canal to complete a paper survey.
- Using a mobile device, visit IrvingEvents.org and complete the survey online. Once the survey is complete, show your mobile device to staff at the red Event Information Booth to receive your complimentary gift.
Both standard and ADA accessible portable restrooms are located along the street immediately west of the canal bridge. Please visit the red Event Information Booth (located on the canal bridge) for assistance with first aid, lost and found, and general event information.
2017 Event Sponsors
Become a Sponsor
Thousands of people from Irving and neighboring areas attend our annual festivities. Support this community event and increase the visibility of your organization by becoming a sponsor. For more information on becoming a sponsor, view our Sponsorship Packages (PDF) and contact The Sponsor Bureau at (214) 702-6411.
*Please check back regularly for event updates. Information is subject to change.