The Weekender: Beach Ribfest, Taste of Little Italy and six other things to do this weekend

The Weekender: Beach Ribfest, Taste of Little Italy and six other things to do this weekend

Throw another rack on the barbie (Image: Jeff Karpala) 

1. TSO GOES LATE NIGHT
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, a piece that reportedly had audience and orchestra alike weeping at its beauty during its 1824 premiere performance, is the star of this after-hours show, part of Luminato’s closing weekend. June 19. 11 p.m. $20–$69. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 416-872-4255, tso.ca.

2. TORONTO ISLAND CONCERT
After last year’s cancellation, the Olympic Island show is back, with headliners Broken Social Scene and Pavement sharing stage time with Band of Horses, Beach House and Timber Timbre. The first 250 people to show their NXNE wristbands at the mainland ferry ticket booths get in free. June 19. $49.50. Olympic Island, torontoislandconcert.com.

3. TASTE OF LITTLE ITALY (FREE!)
Little Italy takes inspiration from the motherland at this annual cultural celebration. Live music and plenty of food—our favourite part, naturally—are on offer. Even better, on the FIFA front, Italy plays New Zealand on Sunday morning. Calzone, beer and football, all at 10 a.m.? Sounds good to us. June 18­ to 20. College Street between Bathurst and Shaw, tasteoflittleitaly.ca.

4. TORONTO INTERNATIONAL DRAGON BOAT RACE FESTIVAL (FREE!)
More than 5,000 people compete in this weekend’s dragon boat races, a Chinese tradition and one of the city’s most exciting summertime events. June 19 and 20. Centre Island, 416-595-0313, ext. 22, dragonboats.com.

5. BEACH RIBFEST (FREE!)
Conveniently scheduled over Father’s Day weekend, this three-day carnivore carnival is all barbecue, all the time. Hungry dads can scarf down all the pulled pork, ribs and peameal bacon on a bun a man can eat and burn off the calories with a walk along the boardwalk. June 18 to 20. Woodbine Park (at Coxwell and Lakeshore), beachribfest.com.

6. NXNE
Dedicated to new and up-and-coming music and featuring somewhere in the neighbourhood of 650 bands over the course of the week, the lineup is a nice mix of Canadiana (K-Os, Hawksley Workman, Buck 65, Holly McNarland) and imported acts. The festival’s new interactive conference quickly sold out, possibly thanks to the lure of its Twitter-based assassin game. Until June 20. Five-day wristband $50; events at Yonge-Dundas Square free. Various locations, 416-863-6963, nxne.com.

7. KISS 92.5 WHAM BAM
American Idol alum Adam Lambert offers an alternative to the city’s indie rock takeover this weekend at the Molson Amphitheatre. Also on the lineup: Aussie rocker Orianthi and Canucks Karl Wolf, Danny Fernandes and Kardinal Offishall. June 19. $9.25–$59.25. Molson Amphitheatre, 909 Lakeshore Blvd. W., 416-870-8000, livenation.com.

8. MOVIES IN THE PARK (FREE!)
Catching a flick under the stars is becoming a Toronto tradition. Taking place in Riverdale Park East on the second-last Sunday of June, July and August, this family-friendly outing aims to raise awareness and funds for such Toronto children’s charities as Art City in St. James Town and Toronto Kiwanis Boys and Girls Clubs. This weekend’s movie is the John Candy classic The Great Outdoors. June 20. Riverdale Park East (at Broadview Ave. and Hogarth Ave.), moviesinthepark.wordpress.com.

(Homepage image: ydhsu)