Have you ever had a moment when you realized that you have been to a place several times, but you have not actually seen that place? I felt that way about Victoria after I left home and I have recently discovered that Edmonton has been the same. I have been here many times, but I have never actually done anything here aside from shop (not the WestEd is not awesome, but it is definitely not all that Edmonton has to offer).
So this visit, I have thankfully stumbled upon the Servus Heritage Festival! The only word for this event is A-M-A-Z-ING! 60 pavilions, representing 85 cultures from countries all around the world. Admission was free, but a non-perishable donation to the Edmonton Food Bank was encouraged. Each country had several different types of food and there were cultural shows every hour to watch and enjoy.
Good Food + Great Friends = A Helluva Day!
First thing’s first, I had some lovely (albeit blurry) lady friends join me with their babies (did you know that cabs encourage you not to bring a carseat in Edmonton….weird). I have to say, I was worried about the kids seeing as they were so young, it was hot and it was a long day, but they were fantastic! We did come up with some better plans for next year to make things easier on us if we are to go again, but I will get to that later.
The event was held at the William Hawrelak Park for three days. We arrived on the last day and I will tell you that one day was not enough time to enjoy everything. There were thousands of people there visiting and over a thousand people volunteering. The multicultural atmosphere did not stop at the people working there or the food/events. I have never seen so many people embracing their heritage. It was outstanding.
Here are just a few examples of the food available. Next year I will absolutely be going for a few hours each day and bringing my camera, not just my iPhone.
So there you have it. It was absolutely amazing and if I have a chance to go next year I would make the following preparations:
- bring my real camera
- go for a few hours on all three days so as to be able to experience everything AND not wear myself and my stomach out
- bring sunscreen…a lot of sunscreen LOL
- bring a blanket so when you are too full and too tired, you can have a little rest before you move on
- bring more friends and share each item so you have room to try a little bit of everything
Next year is the 40th anniversary of this event. It will be held on August 1st, 2nd, & 3rd 2015. Bring empty bellies and full wallets and we can all enjoy it together!