March 8 to 29 – Festival of Animated Objects -Held in Calgary, Canada. See puppet shows and performances with other animated thingys touch on dark, troubling themes. Even though, many of the shows are supposed to be family friendly, it all seems rather ominous. Watch animovies projected onto a historic grain elevator. A historic one, no less. Programming includes live performances, screenings, lectures, workshops, and exhibitions for all ages.
Last Weekend in July – Nanaimo Marine Festival and Bathtub Races – As always, there will be amazing firework displays, decorations, and food everywhere. Arts and crafts stalls will dot the landscape, as well an entertainment stage, and a children’s tent. Visit the farmers’ markets, and do other stuff. Let’s face it the highlight of this festival is, and will always, be the stupendous bathtub race. It’s known appropriately enough as the Great International World Championship Bathtub Race. The race crosses the 36-mile Strait of Georgia.
Last Weekend in July – Elvis Impersonator Festival – Perhaps the best Elvis impersonator festival in the world occurs in the summer at the Collingwood Elvis festival which thank goodness, is held in Collingwood, Ontario. This festival draws a variety of people . . . Oh heck, no it doesn’t. Only lovers of Elvis’ music will go. Oh, and Elvis impersonators. Expect to see lots and lots of Elvis impersonators. This is a good thing, however, if you don’t love Elvis’s music and if you don’t love his songs, then why are you attending an Elvis festival? And eat the food the King ate. See how many fried banana and peanut butter sandwiches you can devour during the festivities.
July 30 to August 2 – Icelandic Festival in Manitoba – Embrace your inner Northern European spirit by raiding your way to the Icelandic Festival in Gimli, Manitoba. You’ll find tasty Icelandic food to eat. See the Icelandic fashion show. Visit musicians and artists who offer up Icelandic music and Icelandic crafts. But really the most exciting part of the festival is the Viking Village. See people dressed up a Viking warriors. Go to every single Viking Combat Demonstration. And oh my gosh, oh my gosh, don’t, just don’t, let your children miss the half-hour long Kiddie Shield Wall event.
September 2 to 4 – Poutine Festival – Make your way to the Poutine Festival in Drummondville, Quebec. Poutine, perhaps Quebec’s most famous dish, consists of French fries, beef gravy, and cheese curds or mozzarella. Listen to wonderful music while tasting caloric culinary greatness. Heart specialists are standing by. The highlight of the event is seeing which poutinier food truck will win the coveted Gold Fork for making the festival’s best poutine. * = If history is anything to go by, next year’s excitement will take place anytime from July to September.
September 13 to 14 – Accordion Extravaganza! – Clear your musical palate by attending the Accordion Extravaganza! in Edmonton, Alberta. Pop in on all sorts of concerts, workshops, dances, and competitions, all featuring the accordion. Accordion lovers will melt in ecstasy here.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.