There is something lovely about a warm September Saturday.
Fall is my favorite time of year. Warm during the day and cool and crisp in the evening. It was the Kaleideo Festival in Edmonton this weekend and my friend and I went. It was an art festival. There is one thing about artists, they are very relaxed and casual.
We arrived down at Alberta Avenue just before noon. Not very much was set up, in fact, people were still setting up booths and exhibits. It was a bustling atmosphere and family friendly…just not much open.
HODA was playing on the main stage, I had heard them before when they visited my school. The food trucks were all over the place. Edmonton has take food trucks to a whole new level. Gone is the Gut Truck theme and now it is gourmet fair with tantalizing yummies. I passed and moved on to the Artist’s Village. That is where I spent the last of my birthday money. Local art that I find beautiful.
We saw giant flies hanging from a building and popped into The Carrot, a not for profit Coffee House run by volunteers….What??? What a cool concept! We decided we needed to come back to visit this place.
By the time we wandered the 2 blocks of street festival, we realized that we still wanted to be outside, so we headed for the City Market Downtown. I love this street market! It is my favorite Farmer’s Market in Edmonton.
We bought spicy peanuts and butterflies, and I bought a bottle of great wine for my graduation day. The fresh vegetable smells mixed with dill and bbq was delightful. These kinds of events make me long for living close to the core of the city. I think I am done with living in the burbs. I want to step out my door and run in the valley, or walk to the market.
I am a big believer in giving of your time for social justice causes. Especially if you have a talent of knowelege that will help someone out. This year my time and effort is going towards the Scarecrow Festival. The Festival raises money in support of ABC Head Start. A Charity very near and dear to my heart. ABC Head Start works with low-income families and their preschool children to achieve success in learning and life.
I am now blog writer for the Scarecrow Festival. I invite you to come and read my weekly post here. I will be there every Monday morning bright and early. Please feel free to like and comment. Then head over to Facebook and like Scarecrow there. You will learn lots about weird scarecrow trivia like this one: In Kojiki, the oldest surviving book in Japan (compiled in the year 712), a scarecrow known as Kuebiko appears as a deity who cannot walk, yet knows everything about the world.
I bet you had no idea scarecrows were that old, did you? Then come to the festival and bring your kids, or come to the Gala and leave your kids at home. Either way, you will have funa nd support a great cause. Changing the world starts with one person…you.
Today is the last day of my summer vacation. No one cares? That is okay, I am well rested and excited about heading back to work. This summer I set a goal for myself. Happily I achieved it! It was my intent that I would attend as many Edmonton Festivals as possible. Edmonton has a bit of a reputation for being Festival City. All year-long, right here in River City, there are many fantastic festivals and some that are just meh. This Summer I was able to attend 9. That meant heading out every weekend and trying something new. I went with family and friends, or brought my children and I even went solo on occasion.
It was an import goal for me because I didn’t want to waste my summer. In years past, I have over planned my vacation, enjoyed every minute during the usual 10 days away, then came home a floated in the pool. It sounds much more glamorous than it really is. My pool is a 32″ deep wadding pool. Just big enough for me to float on an air mattress, have my standard issue beverage with paper umbrella perched on the side, and read one book or more a week. Last summer it was 15 books. This summer it was 2.
Now if you have read my past blogs dear reader, then you know that I don’t consider reading to be a waste of time. But I always felt I could do more with my days other than clean and organize my linen closet. Don’t get me wrong, I did that too, but I wanted to explore this great city I live in. And I did that.
When I was small, Edmonton didn’t have as many festivals, but the ones we had were so amazing! The biggest and Best was called Klondike Days. I know you are thinking – the Klondike was in the Yukon not Edmonton! True. Edmonton was known as the “gateway to the Klondike” the Alaska highway is just down the road and for the longest time Edmonton was the last major city to get supplies before heading north. So that’s how we called it Klondike Days.
Klondike Days had 10 days of bizarre and fun activities as well as a midway. There was everything from Bathtub races down Jasper Avenue to the Sourdough Raft races on the North Saskatchewan River. Sunday was the Promenade. Jasper Avenue would close down for the afternoon and people would dress up in their Klondike finery and stroll dawn the street parading around like peacocks with feathers in the lady’s hair and straw hats on the gents heads. Thinking about it now seems unbelievable that people would take the time and effort to do this. Shop owners would paint their store windows with Klondike themed pictures, the city would use Klondike dollars for currency during the 10 days.
The year I was 4, my mom made matching pink Klondike dresses and hand bags for me, her sister and herself. I felt like a princess! We went downtown and walked with the hundreds of other people in their Klondike attire. Stopping to look at booths set up for the street fair. People would stop and compliment us on our gowns. I loved every minute of it! If you weren’t dressed up there was a chance that you would be thrown into the Klondike jail and would have to be bailed out. That terrified me, so I was secretly glad we had the pretty pink dresses.
I couldn’t be bothered with all of that costuming now, and I am sure no one else can either, which is largely the reason for the festival to be changed in the first place. Now it is just Capital Ex. A non descriptive midway carnival with not a lot of other things going on during that week. Thankfully there are other festivals with flair and flash that make festival season here fun.
I am thankful that my mom thought it was important to get out and explore the world where you live. It has brought a richer sense of community into my life and I appreciate home after traveling. It makes me feel like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, “There’s No Place Like Home”. I am trying to bring that sense to my children and hope they carry fun and crazy memories with them into their adult lives.
This summer I learned that to be a tourist in your own life, you really need to take the time to get to explore and discover your surroundings in order to better understand your personal journey.