If getting on the wrong side of
this summer gives you the jitters, then get a little French fix on this side of the ash plume, and head to
. It's a beautiful destination, and English is welcome. Plus, this summer presents three great reasons to go.
From June 12 through Aug. 14, eight countries, including the U.S., face off on Saturday nights in what can be considered the
of pyrotechnics. Known as L'International des Feux Loto-Quebec, the competition was founded in 1985 and in its first season drew more than 5.7 million people. It's been a hit ever since, drawing more than 3 million sore necks a year. Pre-sale tickets are based on a person's height, so show prices start at about $35 for people 54 inches tall and $26 for those shorter. Taxes not included. Visit tiny.cc/3of29 or call 800-361-4595.
And because the competition is held at Montreal's LaRonde amusement park, you might as well hit the roller coasters. But you'll have to pay for park tickets, which don't include the fireworks competition. laronde.com/larondeen
Then there's the jazz. The Montreal International Jazz Festival runs June 25-July 6. This legendary fest stations stellar performers at various venues in Montreal. This year will see such headliners as
, Cassandra Wilson, Herbie Hancock, Nicholas Payton,
, David Sanchez and
Still not convinced? New this year is the Montreal Festival of Circus Arts, bringing more than 100 circus artists from Belgium, Germany, Spain and Canada to Montreal to perform in the debut of this international festival, July 8-25. For an overview, visit tiny.cc/mi9ns. You probably will be able to figure out the calendar (French only) at montrealcompletementcirque.com. Click on "calendrier," or call 800-361-4595 and wait for English.