This summer for Travel Thursday I’ve been sharing more local events that happen in Winnipeg- although it may seem like we are a small and boring city, we do have some very cool and interesting events here! We are a city of many different cultures and groups, and Folklorama is the perfect celebration of our mosaic. For the first two weeks in August every summer, different cultural groups host pavilions throughout the city for a week, and share the food, dance, music, and history of their culture! My brother and I always try and make it out to a few pavilions, and this year we made it to two…
What is Folklorama?
Folklorama is a 40 year old tradition in Winnipeg! There are three shows each night at each pavilion, and if you want to visit more than one pavilion in a night, you have to make sure that they are within driving distance of each other and that the line up to get into the pavilion isn’t too long. (Some pavilions are popular enough that you will wait outside for a the length of a show to get in!) You can buy entrees, sides, and desserts from that country, including pretty much any alcohol that they are known for, and get to have it while you enjoy an amazing 45 minutes show. There are local performers, but many pavilions also bring in performers from that country- it’s great way to learn about new cultures and people in a fun and entertaining way.
We’ve been trying to go to the Scottish pavilion for years, but it’s never worked with our schedule- this year, it was finally the year! At a local arena (because this is still Canada), there was a stage- complete with a castle- set up, tables to eat and watch the show, and a ton of food to try whatever you want. We were able to see local Scottish dancers perform different numbers, including my favourite- the sword dance! I also maaaaay have eaten my share of shortbread while I was there….
Ireland Irish Pavilion
We made our way to the Ireland Irish pavilion next- there are two Irish pavilions, and this was the new one. We knew we had to check it out! Firstly, they had interested facts about Ireland in each stall in the bathroom and it was the greatest commitment to history that I have ever seen. I didn’t get any food at this pavilion but it looked delicious and my brother loved his Guinness, as always. This was an absolutely amazing show. Not only did they show competitive Irish step dance, they also had show style (a la Riverdance), and sean nòs dancing (which is more of the folk style). The seats were super comfortable, the band was from Ireland and very talented, and the dancers looked like they were having the time of their life. (The lighting was a little weird for pictures but I managed to grab a few!) Also, their display on the history of Irish dance and culture was fascinating and so well done, I loved wandering through it.
One of my favourite parts of Folklorama is seeing what little “souvenirs” I could buy- obviously I was buying westies at the Scottish pavilion. We also met two westies outside and it was the greatest surprise of my natural born life. I was also able to buy some more Dublin Breakfast Tea from Bewley’s at the Irish pavilion, and you wouldn’t believe how happy I was.
What local events do you always look forward to?