Monday, August 3, 2009

Heritage Festival

Edmonton is known as "Festival City" because there is a festival happening every week throughout summer. Our favorite festival is called the Heritage Festival. We usually don't stay in Edmonton until August because I am usually anxious to get back to Fresno to get ready to go back to school. Since I'm not going back to school this year, we decided to plan our trip so that we'd get to go to this festival this year. I love it because it pretty much sums up how I view Edmonton- incredibly diverse and multicultural. The festival takes place in one of Edmonton's largest parks, Hawrelak Park. It features 62 pavilions representing over eighty cultures from all over the world. As you go from pavilion to pavilion, you're able to buy food dishes that represent that country's cuisine, see their culture's creative dance/music performances, and even shop for cultural items. We were able to sample foods of cultures that we normally wouldn't have the chance to.For example, who knew that we'd enjoy food from Azerbaijan?! We had a Qutab-style meat pie (marinated beef on a thin crust baked and topped with sumakh, which is similar to a tzatziki sauce). We almost went back for another portion because our entire family devoured that dish! Here are some other foods we tried: Arab- Beef Shiskabobs served with hummus, and Arabian thin bread; Chile- cheese empanadas; France- Crepes with chocolate sauce; Guatemala- Pinchos (grilled cube meat on sticks with garlic, onion, cilantro, vinegar, chili); Israel- Ruggelach (pastry with raspberry/chocolate filling); Scandinavia- Rullupylsa (open faced sandwich with spiced lamb); and Sudan- Kofta (meat balls with Sudanese spices). Maybe it doesn't sound like a lot, but it was! We were at the festival for four hours, eating food and watching the cultural dances. We saw all kinds of performances such as those representing Nicaragua, Bangladesh, the Caribbean, Ecuador, Colombia, Indonesia, Arab, Israel, Nigeria, Philippines, and Venezuela.


Jason and I loved it, but as to be expected, Jeremy made it hard to fully enjoy the experience. He didn't want to be in the stroller, he didn't want to hold our hands, and he didn't want to be held. For short periods of time, he would be ok riding on Jason's shoulders, but he can't just stay there. If we let him just walk, he would end up taking off because he saw it as a game. I realize that we need to train him, but at a festival with thousands of people everywhere, it really wasn't the time or place. We finally succumbed and tried a "leash" (we bought it after our experience at Capital Ex but hadn't used it yet). Go ahead- I expect people to fully judge us for using one. Plenty of people stared at us when they saw Jeremy attached to a leash. He made it known that he didn't like it one bit, but once he saw that he had a little freedom, he calmed down and it was good. Our reason for using one is simply because with it, Jeremy gets to walk on his own, but we get to control how far he walks from us, and the direction we go. At least with all the walking he ended up doing, he got really tired out. He fell asleep in the car soon after we left the parkade.
This was our last day in Edmonton. We fly out first thing tomorrow morning. It's going to be a really long day of traveling, so pray for us if you think of it. Grace should be fine, but we know how Jeremy is!
Emotions of leaving Edmonton haven't quite hit me yet because my mind is mostly consumed with all the packing that still needs to be done. It'll probably hit me tomorrow... I guess I'll reflect and blog about that when I'm back in Fresno... Sigh...

3 comments:

kc said...

First of all...YUM! Reading about all that food made me hungry. What a great opportunity to eat around the world. Also, we've missed you and are glad that you are on your way back to Cali... Hope the trip is going OK!

Christa said...

Can't wait for you to bring that leashed kid home :)

Jamie said...

Hope you had a great time. I've been so busy with travel and pack/unpacking myself I haven't even read about all that you've done yet! All the better I guess...I'll be a great listener for all your stories when we get together. SOON!