MTM: Festival City

This is my first entry into the My Town Monday chronicles, so please be gentle. Edmonton is where I was born, however I was raised in a small town further North in AB. I have moved back and forth a few times since becoming what is considered an adult in Alberta, but I have lived in Edmonton for about 20 years, give or take and I do consider it my town.

We are known as Festival City and host 30 festivals annually here. I am going to tell you about the one I just attended with some friends last week.

A Taste Of Edmonton is all about food! This year there were about 40 restaurants involved, each with samples of two dishes to be tasted. This is a fabulous way to find new food and restaurants in the city. The number of restaurants wanting in on this event is extensive, they have had to limit the number of years you can be there in a row and they now have to split the event, with some restaurants there for the first few days and another for the last few. Even though the cost this year was more than in previous years, it was still worth it.

This year they included Taste Of Wine for those that want to maybe try a new wine or two...
click to enlarge
and Taste of Beer for those that enjoy getting drunk in public. Behind the beer you can see the art set up for viewing.

Of course all of this entails road closures and the re-routing of about 18 bus routes. In fact, this area gets closed every summer from the middle of June to the end of August just for the festivals!

These are just a few photos from the event.

We also had some live music...

and some tents selling things other than food. There was art and jewellery and toys and clothing.

Kids were playing in the fountains at city hall, of course, not when I took this.

At past events, I have tried alligator, ostrich, kangaroo, I think snake and some other, more usual (to these parts) items like bison and elk. Those types of things haven’t appeared for awhile, but maybe they will again someday.

This is by no means the only food festival in our city, but it is the best in my mind. Anytime you come to visit though, I am sure you will find a festival with great food and entertainment involved.

Have a good day all and drop by Travis Erwin's blog to see more My Town Monday Posts.


Jay said...

I love food festivals. That's the perfect time to be adventurous and try something new!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Festivals are a great way of seeing a city on blogland. Thanks.

Barbara Martin said...

Well this is something Edmonton didn't have 24 years ago when I left. It's nice to see the Festivals crowded and people enjoying themselves. A great way to try different food.

Terrie Farley Moran said...


Welcome to MTM world. What a great post to start you off! Festivals are the best.

You are very brave to eat all those unusual foods.


Reb said...

Jay, you've got that right! When you go with friends, you can try one bite and if you don't like it, someone else will.

Pattinase, thanks for stopping by. Yes, they are and lots of fun too.

Barbara, I thought of you when I was posting this, but I couldn't find any mention of when they started.

Terrie, thanks! It helps to have more than one person eating the portion. I am a very picky eater normally.

Leah J. Utas said...

I've always wanted to go to A tase of Edmonton. Never got around to it. Not sure about trying snake. Glad you did, though.
I'll give Edmonton this, the name Festival City is well-earned.
And you're right, it's always good to have someone along to eat cleanup for you.

the Bag Lady said...

Great post, Reb! I really enjoyed the Taste of Edmonton when we went!

Hilary said...

What a fun virtual tour, Reb. I'd love to attend something like that. A few summers back, my kids and I went to a much smaller version at the lake shore (Lake Ontario. It was mostly international foods but not tester-sized portions. You had to make your choice and then order that meal. I opted for Jamaican.. and the delicious taste still haunts me! Great shots and tale. Thanks for that. :)

debra said...

Welcome to MTM, Reb, and thank you for a wonderful look at your town. My #2 daughter and I were just talking about visiting Canada--and your town would be a great place to start.

gary rith said...

30 festivals????
your city looks so pretty!

Lois Karlin said...

My husband and I are from New York but we lived in Edmonton while he was working on a PhD ('75-'78)...we loved it from April through October (those LONG days of sunlight) but found winters a tad intimidating with babies and toddlers and snowsuits and all. I think the city must have changed, though, I don't recall festivals...we lived in married student housing on the university side of the river and were there before the huge underground mall was built.

Travis Erwin said...

Wow 30 festivals. I think that is cool and welcome to the My Town gang. Glad to see a new participant.

Reb said...

Leah, you will have to try and make it one year, it is a lot of fun.

Sis, that was two years ago, time for a return?

Hilary, thanks! Come on out next year! Your experience sounds more like our Heritage festival.

Debra, thanks so much. It is a great town and a great Province. Check out this site for ideas.

Gary, yes, 30! Thanks.

Lois, you are right about the awful winters. The Uni area is one of the prettiest in the city though. There have been so many changes, you might have to come for a visit!

Travis, thanks for hosting MTM and for the warm welcome.

Crabby McSlacker said...

Sounds like a wonderful event! I'm all for food & wine & festivals.

Reb said...

Crabby, it is wonderful. You get to try stuff from restaurants you would not have tried for a full meal.

Robyn said...

Thanks for stopping by! This post was truly interesting...that is alot of festivals! And who doesn't love food! :) I will be back as I hope you will be too!

Reb said...

Robyn, I'm glad you found it interesting. Thank you for stopping by too.

Jo said...

MTM is such a great idea, and right up your alley...I love your posts about Edmonton.

Food festivals are so fun & yours looks really lively. Do alligator & kangaroo taste like chicken?

Reb said...

Thanks Jo. Alligator does, but I think it was the way they prepared the kangaroo, it didn't taste anything but revolting.