June 2011

The 4th Street Lilac Festival is the unofficial kick off to the Festival season in Calgary, and is always highly anticipated.  Unfortunately due to the cool spring, there were no lilacs in bloom, but at least it was a gorgeous sunny day!

I went to the Lilac Festival  with my husband and our children, and while we were walking along the streets, taking in the sights, sounds and smells that come along with a good street festival, I realized that a little bit of “festival-ing” goes a long way for me.  I don’t particularly enjoy the shopping aspect but the food is always a good draw for me.  I love people watching but I hate crowds and as this is a very popular festival it was very crowded.  There were several stages set up with lots of different types of live music and there were always people in front of the stages laughing dancing and having a great time.

There was a kid’s area with a bouncy castle and slide set up on one of the side alleys, but it was so crowded that the 10 minute wait for a 20 second slide hardly seemed worth the tears it invoked when we told them they couldn’t go again.  Oh, and I could never find the balloon animal making guy which really disappointed my kids.  Although, I think my son got over it when he got to meet a “stormpooper” from Star Wars.


So yes, please call me the Festival Grinch, but don’t let that stop you from taking your kids to the various festivals around the city this summer.   I do offer the following cautionary pieces of advice for festival goers:

    1. Leave the ginormous designer handbag at home!  It keeps falling off your shoulder, takes up huge amounts of airspace and sits right at head level of children.  My kids got whacked in the head a few times by immaculately coiffed and dressed, but clueless women.  Cash, ID and lipstick will all fit in your pocket; if you need more than that, carry a back pack.  Ditto for diaper bag toting moms; use a backpack at festivals.


    1. Smokers: do you really need to walk around the streets with your cigarette in your hand down by your side?  Not only do you risk burning me with it, but if you read the comment above, you realize that your ciggie is inches from my child’s HEAD!  I’m sorry you are treated like a second class citizen but there are very good reasons for it.  Take your cancer stick, go stand by a wall where you can’t hurt oblivious passers-by, and keep your smelly, burning device away from us.


    1. In this country we drive on the right hand side of the street.  We wait for a break in traffic to make a left hand turn and we stop and wait for oncoming traffic to complete their turn before we continue on our way.  Apparently though, all bets are off when we walk on the street.  Apply driving laws to walking in large crowds and you will avoid contributing to the chaos.


  1. Despite my b****ing above, I had a pleasant afternoon at the festival.  It was a beautiful day, there was a lot to see, my children enjoyed the sights, sounds and smells and ultimately, we spent the time together, which is what it is all about.

Have fun at the festivals!