Heritage Festival organizers hope to break records
Published Saturday, August 3, 2013 4:53PM MDT Last Updated Sunday, August 4, 2013 12:29PM MDT
The 38th annual Heritage Festival took over Hawrelak Park Saturday as Edmontonians turned out to celebrate multiculturalism.
Organizers said there were over 60 pavilions representing about 84 cultures from around the world.
“We opened at 12-noon and before we opened there was like 10,000 thousand people here,” Jack Little, the executive director of the Heritage Festival Association told CTV News.
“If we have three days of sunshine, as it looks like we might have, we fully expect to smash every record,” he smiled.
Little added the record last year was 352,000 people.
Food, cultural performances, crafts, artwork and clothing have all been put on display, including a new addition this year – the Columbia pavilion.
Also new this year the festival features a digital experience with an iPhone and Android app to help people navigate their way around the park.
“We’re really proud of it. It really works well,” Little said.
The app, designed by XEA Services Corp., provides an interactive map of the pavilions and amenities as well as menus for foodies.
“There are 400 opportunities to eat something different,” he added.
“I think it is a great way to interact and a beautiful way to see other cultures,” Columbia pavillion co-organizer Daiane Moy Sanchez said.
Although admission is free festival organizers encourage food bank donations and have been hoping to garner over 50,000 kilograms in donations for the charity this year.
Unused food tickets can also be donated – the Edmonton Heritage Festival Association will reimburse the charity for all tickets turned in.
The event runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday.
With files from Nicole Weisberg