Smorgasbord of Festivals

by Kari There are many advantages to living in a city with such a diverse population, but one of my personal favourites is the plethora of summer festivals.  Last weekend, we attended the South Asia Festival in Confederation Park.  Was it the best festival I've ever attended?  Nope.  Was it still a good outing and intriguing for the little ones?  Absolutely.  My four year old daughter loved the Bollywood infused dancing, particularly when two of the dancers came out into the crowd to encourage audience participation!  The colourful sarees appealed to her dress-up desire and she's still proudly sporting her henna tattoo six days later.

The onsite concessions also provided a hit for the taste buds.  My husband enjoyed the offerings of the New Nupur Restaurant, while the girls and I enjoyed some fresh naan bread after watching it being stretched, placed in the Tandoor to cook, and withdrawn for our pleasure.

This weekend, July 23-25, offers a minimum of three ethnic festivals for your consideration.

The Ottawa Turkish Festival will take place in Confederation Park.  If your wee ones enjoy vibrant colours, interesting sounds, and dancing, this may be worth making the trek downtown.  The water marbling, ebru, sounds cool and I suspect a kabab may be in order.  Admission is free, but some activities, such as face painting will come at a cost.

The Egyptian Festival will take place at St. Mary's Church in Trend Arlington.  If this is your neck of the woods, this free festival may merit a stop-by.  They boost of many children's activities, including a very popular hair braiding station.

The Lebanese Festival will take place at St. Elias Cathedral, across from Mooney's Bay.  The organizers claim days of sights, sounds, and tastes of Lebanon's rich and lively culture.  In addition to the traditional cultural performances, foods, and crafts, they have children's rides, games, face painting and more.  The Make a Mosaic craft on Friday night may just be the highlight of my eldest daughter's weekend!

As the summer unfolds, look for other ethnic festivals, such as the Muslim Summer Festival and the Ottawa Greek Festival Perhaps I'll see you out there...

Kari is the mom of two girls, a 4 year old and 10 month old.  She can be found frequenting free activities throughout the city in hopes it’ll tire them out enough to sleep through the night.