Special events in North America

What's on and where in 2020

Make your once-in-a-lifetime visit to the USA and Canada even more unique by timing it with one of these spectacular events. 

NewOrleans anchor

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Louisiana, USA

23 April – 3 May 2020

Saxophones shining in the coloured stage lights


For serious music fans around the world, not much comes as close to heaven as New Orleans Jazzfest. Past headliners have included Dr John, Charlie Mingus, Ella Fitzgerald and Stevie Wonder, but the line-up extends to all genres of music with appearances by Lenny Kravitz, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John and Aerosmith. It’s also the most exciting time of the year for new and emerging talent, with New Orleans’ streets enlivened by more buskers, performers and artists than any other month.

Calgary anchor

Calgary Stampede, Alberta, Canada

6-8 July 2020


This annual rodeo extravaganza celebrates all thing ‘Wild West’, including rodeos, cowboys, horsemanship, saloon bars and frontier towns. Stroll the recreated western streets, explore the First Nations Elbow River Camp and meet a tribal elder, and stock up on cowboy gear in The Market. In the evening, take your seats for the thrilling Chuckwagon Races, followed by an elaborate variety show spectacular.

Mayflower anchor

400th Mayflower Anniversary, Cape Cod, USA

16 September 2020


Nowhere does English and American history join so significantly than in Cape Cod, where the first British puritan settlers landed in 1620 on the Mayflower ship. Especially on its 400th anniversary in 2020, when the whole of Plymouth will be celebrating at the Embarkation Festival. See famous Plymouth Rock, board a full-scale reproduction of the Mayflower, explore Plimouth Plantation, attend a 17th-century Wampanoag feast and discover the culture and traditions of four centuries ago.

Albuquerque anchor

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, New Mexico, USA

3 – 11 October 2020


The smell of roasting chilies, the anticipation that something incredible is about to happen… what else could it be but the biggest mass ascension of hot air balloons in the world? Every October, the skies above Albuquerque are filled with hundreds of balloons in all shapes and sizes, from the traditional teadrop to animals, cars and clowns. It's all part of the unforgettable annual Balloon Fiesta, the perfect window to discover New Mexico, whether you’re there for the tequila, the sacred Christian sites, the breathtaking Sandia Mountain trails or historic Route 66.

Jasper anchor

Jasper Dark Sky Festival, Alberta, Canada

October 2020


There’s stargazing, and there’s stargazing. At Jasper National Park, Canada’s largest accessible Dark Sky Preserve, the universe in all its heavenly glory lies open before you – all you need to do is look up. And at Jasper’s Dark Sky Festival, you get more than a deckchair – you get a guided tour of the planetarium and its colossal telescope, seats at the dome theatre experience and an audience with the world’s most accomplished astronomers. Keep an eye out for the Northern Lights…