Edmonton is known as the Festival City and summer is littered with festivals and events to suit the tastes of all.
After the Calgary Stampede ends, the midway rides and booths are all loaded on trucks and move 288 km North up the highway to Edmonton for our K Days Exhibition. K Days used to be called Klondike Days, as Edmonton felt some connection with the Klondike Gold Rush. Now called K Days, the Klondike connection is all but gone and time marches on.
In tandem with K Days (Edmonton’s biggest festival, attracting over 800,000 visitors during its 10 day run), A Taste of Edmonton also runs. This festival celebrates the food and drink tastes from 54 Edmonton restaurants and attracts more than 350,000 visitors to munch their way through the offerings.
We always try to get to A Taste of Edmonton and this year was no different. After finishing an errand for our son, we set off to find free parking on the South side of the river. Our intent was to walk across the High Level Bridge, experience the festival and then walk back.
The blown over sign should have been our first clue that the bridge walk might be a challenge.
To say it was windy this day is like saying Niagara Falls is wet. Wind gusts exceeded 60k/h and as we got closer to the river, we were buffeted and bashed about. We found it all quite amusing in a two steps forward, one step back kind of way.
Arriving at the Alberta Legislature grounds, we made our way to the venue in front of the Legislature Annex. Relocated during LRT construction in front of City Hall, this location is far superior to Winston Churchill Square and we hope it can stay here.
The Festival is trying to go paperless by 2021, so in addition to paper tickets, this year, they offered an app to buy and pay for food and drinks, as well as a QR code to be scanned at each booth. This latter is what we opted for and it worked reasonably well.
All coupons gone, but one, we headed back to the car, pausing for this plaza view of the Legislature.
Down below was a bit more relaxed. We were sheltered from the winds here.
The wind was trying valiantly to blow the clouds away for a sunnier day, but not yet succeeding. Still, the flowers were bright spots in the day.
On our walk, we spotted a new metal sculpture on the grounds that seemed to celebrate Alberta’s pioneers. As there was no plaque, we were uncertain of this. We played around a bit making wet footprints on the smooth base surface.
Back on the bridge, we found the wind again and laughed our way across it. As we lifted each leg to walk, the wind blew it to the side, making it seem like we were walking along the rolling deck of a ship. The river below was swollen and angry looking from the recent rains.
As we exited the bridge, the High Level Streetcar rolled onto it, shuttling passengers between Old Strathcona and downtown Edmonton.
One last look at Edmonton’s skyline and we were on our way back home. What a wonderful day.