Some people go to festivals for the music, some go for workshops, and some go for activities or rides. Others, well, they go for the food. Manitoba happens to be a fantastic spot for this special type of feasting. We have festivals that serve up dishes from over 40 cultures around the globe, festivals that offer free, mouth-watering local fare, and festivals that wage war between food trucks from across the province. Needless to say, you will want to arrive hungry to one of these 7 festival feasts, found right here in Manitoba…
Come for the music, stay for the food at the Winnipeg Folk Festival
July 7 to 10
Start with the Whales Tails, a sugar and cinnamon concoction that wafts to your spot in line. This pastry treat is as big and flat as a Frisbee. It comes out of the fryer and gets slathered with butter then topped with whatever your heart desires. In the mood for spanikopita or souvlaki? They have that. How about pad thai or green vegetable curry? Not a problem. And if you’re committed to eating healthy breakfast, start with hemp seed muesli with yogurt or spelt banana bread French toast. From there, take your pick from a roast bison wrap, tofurkey dog (seriously!) or a cool, crisp salad topped with fresh veggies. Two final words: kettle corn.
Pull up a plate at the perogy party at Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival
July 29 to 31
Can you smell the cinnamon buns? That’s coming from the top of the hill where a traditional clay oven has attracted a crowd. And it’s just for kids! Youngsters are encouraged to get into the bun-making business and pop the rolls into the old-style oven. Other clay ovens pop out round loaves, fresh and hot. Try ruby-red borscht, crowd-pleasing chicken noodle or tangy cabbage soups. Time to move on to that Ukrainian staple, the perogy. Here they come stuffed with potato and cheese, sauerkraut or Saskatoon berries. Add some rice-stuffed cabbage rolls, a couple of meatballs and you have the beginnings of an authentic Ukrainian meal. Need a little exercise? Head over to the pastry demonstration area where you can try your hand at rolling out krysticki, a deep-fried treat dusted with icing sugar.
Enjoy ethnic cuisine from 45 pavilions in two weeks at Folklorama
July 31 to August 13
Have your pick from 45 pavilions, complete with entertainment, artifacts and, of course, food, during this city festival. Visit the Tamil Pavilion for an Indian dinner with curried chicken, roasted eggplant, rice and chickpeas. Hop over to the Cuban Pavilion for seasoned rice and beans on the plate along with stewed beef loaded with peppers and onions. Fans of stuffed green peppers should make their way to the Serbian “KOLO” Pavilion and the Serbian Pavilion “Beograd”. Sample fried plantains at the Africa Pavilion or polenta at the Italian Pavilion. If you can’t pick just one, visit two to three pavilions a night on a VIP tour.
Nibble corn on the cob at the Morden Corn and Apple Festival
August 26 to 28
It’s no secret as to what you will be eating at the Morden Corn and Apple Festival. This annual 3 day fair has become a staple event in Morden, celebrating a whopping 50 years this summer! The celebration offers free entry, free corn on the cob and yes, free apple juice! The mouth-watering corn on the cob is a special, sweet brand grown locally by Marcus Wiebe, Zach Wiebe and Kevin Dalke in specially timed plots. And if you’ve never had husked corn cooked in water that has been steam heated by an antique steam engine (provided by thePembina Thresherman’s Museum), this is your chance.
Get a taste of komst borscht and plueme moos at Pioneer Days
July 29 to August 1
Have you ever tried plueme moos? Komst borscht? Schmauntfatt? Let us translate: Plueme moos is a variety of dried fruits (apple, plum, apricot, raisins) simmered and served cold or at room temperature. Komst borscht is a warm-the-soul soup made from hearty meat broth,
cabbage (komst), onions, potatoes and pieces of chicken flavoured with dill, while Schmauntfatt is a delectable rich and creamy gravy. The Livery Barn Restaurant at the Mennonite Heritage Museum serves up these Russian Mennonite dishes and more. The annual festival, Pioneer Days, is the perfect time to get a taste of the traditional fare. Relive the past through a variety of pioneer activities, or simply wandering the turn-of-the century Russian Mennonite street village and see the fully operational Dutch windmill.
Try unique combinations at the Honey, Garlic and Maple Syrup Festival
September 9 to 10
The Pembina Valley has never tasted better. The Honey, Garlic & Maple Syrup Festival is a quirky food-themed festival that focuses on some of the most delicious food staples: honey, garlic and maple syrup. But the delicious goodness goes beyond the festival’s name. You can also get your fill at the pancake breakfast (make sure to use maple syrup), farmers’ market and beverage gardens. This is a festival where tasty treats are never far away; and with ‘Gourmet Alley’ and a delicious buffet supper, you will never leave on an empty stomach.
Go food truck hopping at Manyfest
September 9 to 11
Downtown Winnipeg’s largest festival brings 60,000 + people to Broadway Avenue for a weekend of celebration. The foodie draw? Food. Truck. Wars. You heard right! ManyFest brings Winnipeg’s best food trucks together in one spot for an epic food truck-hopping tour. 2016’s lineup is still being announced, but last year’s participants included: The Bannock Factory, Better than Baba’s, and Habanero Sombrero. To quench your thirst, there’s also the option to do a wine pairing with each food truck menu, which comes highly recommended.