The Winnipeg Folk Festival, one of North America’s premier outdoor music festivals held just outside of the city in Bird’s Hill Provincial Park, is quickly becoming just as well known for its fabulous array of food vendors as the amazing lineup of musicians.
Taking place July 10 – 14, 2013, this marks the festival’s 40th anniversary and they’re pulling out all the stops to make it the best ever, including construction of an all new Festival Village.
Inspired by the musical harmonies and patterns found in nature, the Festival Village feels at home in its natural forest clearing. It’s a place to meet up with friends, have a bite to eat and plan your next festival discovery.
A brief overview of the changes for this year includes:
- A village tower that will soar high in the air and act as a meeting point
- Two new forest stages
- Additional pathways that will link the Main Gate, Festival Village and new stages
- Trees planted for shade, using a palette limited to the species native to Birds Hill Provincial Park
- Additional shade structures
- Permanent food kiosks for 20 vendors which include:
- Bellissimo Restaurant – pasta, sandwiches and salad
- Boon Burger – famed for their vegan burgers and salad
- Casa Burrito – delish beef, fish, chicken and chickpea tacos
- Chocolatier Constance Popp – chocolate popsicles and ice cream sandwiches
- East India Company – some of the best butter chicken, curries, and traditional mango lassie you can find in Winnipeg.
- Gramma’s Kettle Korn
- Green Bean Coffee Imports – keep caffeinated with their fair trade organic coffee and local sweet treats
- Kawaii Crepe – sweet and savoury stuffed crepes
- Lemon Heaven – stay hydrated with four flavours of freshly squeezed lemonade
- Lovey’s BBQ & Smokehouse – amazing pulled pork, ribs, tornado potatoes and poutine
- Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils – a selection of delicious, nutritious hemp products and samples
- Mondragon – vegan friendly faire like veggie sandwiches, miso soup and dragon bowl
- Santa Lucia Greek – Say opa to souvlaki, spanakopita and baklava
- Santa Lucia Pizza – a Winnipeg favourite, whole or by the slice, and ceasar salad
- Sukhothai – amazing stir fries, rice rolls and spring rolls
- The Star Grill – calamari, meatballs and mashed potato sundaes
- The Travelling Dogs – gourmet hot dogs and salad unleashed
- Whales Tails – a festival tradition
- Yellow Deli – sandwiches, chili, breakfasts and baked goods
- Forbidden Flavours – coffee and ice cream
- Classic Car-B-Que – hot dogs, burgers and fries in the Tavern
It should be noted (perhaps applauded) that most of the food vendors feature local produce, fair trade, and many vegan and organic options. Also where washable, re-usable flatware and dishes aren’t an option, organizers have opted for compostable, disposable containers.
Of course, being surrounded by forest, the informed forager will know how to find and harvest wild edibles too.
What would an outdoor festival be without a few cold bevvies. Two “Taverns” offer up beer, hard lemonade or wine. Unfortunately it looks like organizers succumbed to sponsorship pressures here and went in favour of an Alberta brewer over the fabulous local options Half-Pints Brewing Company or Fort Garry Brewing.
- Big Rock Tavern – serves a selection of ice-cold Big Rock draught beer, Mike’s Hard Lemonade or Billy Goat wine.
- Billy & Mike’s Li’l Tavern – located near Big Bluestem stage, offers Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Billy Goat wine, Big Rock products and non-alcoholic drinks.