Blackpool Illuminations 2009: Fun for all the Family

One of the UK theme parks I‘ve really fell in love with is Pleasure Beach (in case you couldn’t tell hehe). So, I did a bit more exploring, and here’s what I’ve found so far…

Blackpool's Central Pier -- Ferris Wheel(credit)

If you’re looking to view a dazzling light show this year, Blackpool Illuminations 2009 will tantalize, amaze and delight your whole family. This time-honored tradition attracts visitors to the area in their droves, and the Illuminations remain one of Blackpool’s most popular tourist hotspots. Surrounded by luxurious casinos, the Pleasure Beach family theme park, and spacious beaches, the Illuminations thrill tourists year after year with their innovative designs, spectacular visual illusions, and amazing colors.

Here is a whistle-stop tour of Blackpool’s world-renowned Illuminations. From its historic conception to this year’s show, families from all over the world have been left gasping in wonder as they travel the colorful miles together.

Read the rest of the post at its new home here:  http://www.traveltheprairies.com/canada/blackpool-illuminations/

Saskatchewan Culture at Its Best – FolkFest 2008

©2008AngieHaggstrom

August 14 – 16 in Saskatoon is an amazing time in the city for young and old. The volunteer based event features a variety of displays, performances, food, and shopping from all over the world. Folkfest started in 1980 and has since grown into one of the best cultural events in Canada.

Twenty-five pavilions are set up in the city to showcase the various cultures that can be found in the city. Youth Ambassadors and Ambassadors welcome you to each miniature country. Visitors can hear the stories each culture prizes as well as music, traditional dances, and art. Best of all is the food. Trust me. You haven’t eaten cabbage rolls or perogies until you’ve tasted the real thing from the Ukrainian Pavillion. Just like grandma used to make! The Indian/Metis pavilion is a great place to gain an understanding of the history and traditions of the culture including traditional dances and costumes.

To attend the event, you simply purchase a passport that not only permits you entry into all of the pavilions in Folkfest, but it also provides you with free transportation. For anyone under the age of 12, the entire thing is free! For more information visit the Folkfest website!

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(This post also appears here: http://www.traveltheprairies.com/saskatchewan/saskatchewan-culture-folkfest-2008/)

Include a Celebration of Your Favorite Food in Your Manitoba Travel Plans

Planning a Trip to Manitoba? Food-Themed Festivals and Events

Planning a Trip to Manitoba? Food-Themed Festivals and Events

©2008AngieHaggstrom

If there is one thing Manitobans like to celebrate, it’s food. You name it – they have it. Several of the communities honor foods native to their area throughout the year. These communities present visitors from around the world with the cream of the crop and immerse everyone in the culture and lifestyle behind these delectable, edible idols. There is plenty of good food, family fun, friendly people, and fantastic music. Here are just a few of these great Manitoba tributes to food:

Portage La Prairie’s Potato Festival

No matter whether you bake them, fry them, mash them, or barbeque them, potatoes are a dietary staple with worldwide appeal. The Potato Festival, held on Island Park, attracts famous potato treats and homemade goodies from all over and offers them in a farmer’s market style venue. Visitors can come out and sample these delicious treats. Who knows? You might discover a new addiction.

The festival isn’t just great food. With headliners like Doc Walker, this festival is the party of the century. Local music groups also get a chance to perform for attendees in the ‘Battle of the Bands.’ Besides bragging rights, the last band standing gets to perform on the exhibition’s main stage. This year, Doc Walker performs on August 16th, 2008.

Morden’s Corn and Apple Festival

Prefer something to satisfy your sweet tooth? Morden Manitoba’s Corn and Apple Festival, held yearly on the fourth week of August, has been a favorite event of the community since 1967. This is a massive three-day festival that boasts an attendance of more than 50 000 people. Music includes several local groups and upcoming stars as well as big names such as The Wilkinsons and the Muddy River Quartet. Historical fashion shows, a midway, an arts and craft sale, car show, the crowning of the Queen, and the list goes on. It is three days jam packed with fun and entertainment.

Pssst….Can you keep a secret? It’s FREE! The town prides itself on the fact that almost everything at the festival is free thanks to the generous corporate and private support. This means you not only get into the street festival and all of the music entertainment for FREE, but there is free transportation to and from the event as well as all of the iced apple cider and corn on the cob you can handle!

Plum Coulee’s Plum Fest

Plum Coulee, just outside of Winkler, celebrates well…plums! Held the second weekend of August, Plum Fest showcases this delicious fruit at the peak of the harvest season. Plum pie, plum jam…it’s all on display in all its glory (Note — Bring a container of wet naps!)

This festival is designed with families in mind. The main street becomes plum party central and hosts a variety of dancing, music, and family activities to fill the entire three days. A petting zoo and kid zone will keep the children entertained while ‘Plum Fest Idol’ lets you see if you have the ‘it’ factor when it comes to your own star power and vocal prowess.

Eriksdale Museum Creamery Days

Disguised as a country jambouree, the Eriksdale Museum Creamery Days commemorates everything and anything to do with milk. A parade, scavenger hunt, and a realm of other activities are held throughout the town north of Winnipeg. Music and dancing is also a main portion of the celebration with a massive barbeque to fill hungry tummies. This year, the event is being held on Aug 23, 2008.

These are just a few of the great festivals being held in Manitoba this year. We haven’t gotten to many of the other important festivals like Folkarama and Pumpkin Fest. To find out if Manitobans will be celebrating your favorite food or to find out what else is happening in the province, visit TravelManitoba.com.

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(Photo for this post supplied by konr4d at Stock.Xchng)

(This post now appears here: http://www.traveltheprairies.com/manitoba/celebration-favorite-food-manitoba-travel-plans/)

Eat Manitoban Style: The Top 3 of the Best Places to Eat in Winnipeg

Best Places to Eat in Winnipeg

Best Places to Eat in Winnipeg

©2008AngieHaggstrom

The multiculturalism in the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba make it one of the best places in the Canada to eat and enjoy foods from around the globe. It doesn’t matter what your personal tastes are, there is a restaurant, cafe, or bistro with an atmosphere and price range you will love. Here are three top spots to eat in Winnipeg to include in your next Manitoba travel plans. (In no particular order, you just simply have go there! You’ll be addicted!)

1. Stella’s Cafe and Bakery

Anyone in the city looking to enjoy a quiet lunch, relax with a book, or spend breakfast with a loved one has to try Stella’s Cafe and Bakery. That is what this place is known for – desserts, breakfasts, and lunches. Found on both Kenaston and Osborne, the desserts are all made right there. The meals look fantastic and taste even better than they look. Portions are not too small and not too big and the prices are really quite reasonable. Inexpensive when you consider the care and effort put into each menu item. The service is efficient and knowledgeable while still creating the comfortable and friendly atmosphere. Be warned, however, both locations can get extremely busy!

2. Amici Restaurant and Bombolini Wine Bar

If you want to dine like a rock star, the Italian restaurant Amici’s on Broadway is sure to please — even Mick Jagger was impressed. This place is even a member of Canada’s Top 40. This is not the typical family restaurant. Fine dining combines with an elite ambiance for a high-class and romantic evening meal. Some of Canada’s top chefs carefully scrutinize every fine detail of the meal and the service is the finest in the city. You and your guests will truly be treated like royalty. The pastry chefs are not to be left out of the equation either. Good thing the meal is delicious. Otherwise, it would be difficult to concentrate with the dessert cart going by. You will definitely pay for your meal, but it is worth every succulent morsel. For a more affordable alternative, Bombolini’s is right there and it is run by the same kitchen.

3. Muddy Waters Smokehouse BBQ and Blues

Western Canadian cuisine is the feature of this unforgettable steakhouse. Not far from The Forks and other popular Winnipeg attractions, Muddy Waters has the best ribs you will ever taste in your entire life. This is a place of fun, partying and great food albeit a little unusual. When you order the ribs, the entire thing comes with a galvanized pail. Now you’re asking why…For the bones! This is definitely not a suit and tie affair. You might want to consider a bib though. There are two large patios at Muddy Waters so you can enjoy looking at the historic Forks historical site while you enjoy your meal. The food is reasonably priced and the service is excellent.

These are just a few of the great places to eat in Winnipeg. For more information, visit World 66 and enjoy your trip!

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(This post can now be seen here: http://www.traveltheprairies.com/manitoba/eat-manitoban-style-best-places-eat-winnipeg/)