Heritage Festival an 'exceptional' experience
The people who attended last Thursday’s Heritage Festival enjoyed a truly “exceptional” experience, according to Sheila Parks, a member of the organizing committee.
People of all ages came to the Senior Citizen Centre on July 26 to take in cultural music, entertainment, food, quilting and butter-churning demonstrations and more. The festival included performances from singers, musicians and dancers from various backgrounds.
“It really highlighted how diverse we are and how we can all work together as a community,” Parks said.
Seeing that diversity was one of the highlights for Simone Marshall, one of the people attending, who said, “I think it’s very good to bring cultures together.”
Sunnyside Manor had called Marshall, who volunteers for the seniors’ lodge, to ask if she would serve cabbage rolls on the day. She agreed to come, but said she had no idea that the event would be so well organized and entertaining. She enjoyed the performance of Earl Wood and Pretty Red Bird Productions from Saddle Lake, noting the dancing of the group was great and that Wood made several culturally-themed jokes that got the audience howling with laughter.
Another high point of the day was the cultural foods on offer, with Parks noting the dishes were “fantastic.” Many people wanted recipes for the different cultural tastes, which included German, Mexican, Italian, Norwegian and East Indian dishes, among others. Parks’ one suggestion for next year, if people are interested, would be to have recipes to hand out alongside the culinary creations.
“The food went like crazy. We ran out because it was such a big success,” said Maggie Cartier, with Town of St. Paul FCSS, who also was part of the organizing committee. Cartier and Parks thanked the people who brought food for giving their time and energy, and everyone else who volunteered efforts for the event.
There was already interest from people in next year’s event, said Cartier, adding one German woman was interested in singing German folk songs at a future Heritage Festival. “I see next year being even bigger and better.”
Everyone of all ages came together during the day, with young and old alike offering entertainment and taking part in the demonstrations. Part of the mandate of the Heritage Festival, which received funding from the federal New Horizons for Seniors program, was to recognize the contribution of seniors. “They’re so knowledgeable and they’re our teachers,” said Parks, adding that generations of today have learned “how to live and how to be successful in life - and they’ve taught us that.”
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