With about 50 festivals planned in the capital this year, Ottawa Festivals launched its 2010 season yesterday.

The festival season, which moves into high gear with the Canadian Tulip Festival starting tomorrow, has something for everyone and includes the Ottawa International Children’s Festival and Ottawa Race Weekend — and that’s just the rest of May.

“Last week, Ottawa was named the best place to work and play and raise your family,” said Mayor Larry O’Brien. Part of the reason for that, he said, is “how vibrant and how cultured (Ottawa is) and how much we have going on in our wonderful city.”

June is a big month for festivals, including the Carnival of Cultures, the Canada Dance Festival, Italian Week, Westfest, Festival Franco-Ontarien, the Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival, the Ottawa International Jazz Festival and the Unisong Canadian Choir Festival.

Canada Day festivities, which bring hundreds of thousands of revellers downtown, kick off the month of July. Cultural events include the Ottawa Turkish Festival, Greekfest, Caribe-Expo and Lebanorama, while late summer and early fall ushers in the fair season in Navan, Richmond, Carp, Metcalfe, and SuperEX in Ottawa’s downtown core.

Ottawa Festivals also launched its info and ticket sales centre at 47 William St. yesterday, making it easier to get in on all the action.

“This is a great opportunity for visitors and residents to find out more information about Ottawa’s events,” said Ottawa Festivals executive director Barbara Stacey. “There are some very unique festivals and events going on in Ottawa that they may not be aware of.”

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