When my parents arrived last weekend it was pefectly timed for them to be able to check out the Tall Ships Festival. This was a long-awaited, much-planned event for Halifax. It's a really big deal in these parts! I gotta admit the ships 'were' pretty awesome to see.
The ships arrived and were docked all along the waterfront for everyone to view. People were able to board the ships, take a look around, and to meet the crew (just $5 got you into all of them!).
It wasn't just about the ships though, the food was pretty darn good too. Taste of Nova Scotia had many events going on too with a whole section devoted to local cuisine and celebrity chef demonstrations.
My first stop, however, wasn't to any of the seafood treats though. It was to Sugah! Halifax for a Beep Slushie. Twitter was going crazy over these things. People were getting excited, posting pictures of themselves with them, etc. My question though was what the bleep is Beep? Being from 'away' it would seem that only the locals really know about it and have a strong emotional connection to the stuff.
After doing a bit of research, it turns out that 'Beep' is produced in Bedford, Nova Scotia by the Farmers Co-operative Dairy. I have also learned that it was once widely available but due to declining sales it was discontinued in 2010. The main reason for removing it from store shelves was partly due to its sugary ingredients and the fact that it really only contained 25% fruit juice (I'm thinking it was something similar to Tang).
Anyways, it has made a comeback (for a limited time only anyways).
I gave it a shot for a special treat. It was delicious!! I can see what the fuss was all about. It's not something that I would drink on a regular basis but as a special refreshing treat on a really hot day. Yes!
My next stop was for some food. I ended up with a yummy lobster club sandwich. I've fallen in love with lobster since we moved here. I just can't get enough. I would have liked to have tried some of the other items but I really can't eat that much food in one sitting.
After some eating it was back to looking at some of the ships. The 'grandest' of them all was definitely the one for the U.S. Coast Guard. Holy Crap!
Really, it was so awesome to see all of these ships. And it was the most beautiful day too.
Between visiting ships, walking the waterfront, and my daughter's incessant desire to bounce on the bouncy castles we were able to find more time to spend in the Taste of Nova Scotia for cooking demos.
I watched Anna Olson's presentation - with her husband by her side. She made a gumbo and some chowder fish cakes. No baking for this event; I'm sure even she wouldn't be able to figure out how to incorporate seafood into her desserts. Luckily I was able to meet her (again) and got another picture with her. I had met her last year at Springridge Farm in Milton, Ontario when she first released her book 'Back to Baking'.
Someone else I was able to meet for the second time in one year was Chuck Hughes. He also did a cooking demo for the festival and I was able to get another picture with him. Last year I had seen him at the Savour Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario. What an awesome guy. He's hilarious (and cute)!
While watching the cooking demos it was super hot outside and we were starting to get parched. Good thing there was strawberry lemonade being sold. Refreshing!!
The last ship we visited was The Peacemaker. A newer ship, the people on board make pottery and sell the mugs and bowls to finance it.
Here is what I found about them on their website:
"Our vision for the ship is to be a seagoing representation of the life of peace and unity that our twelve tribes are living on land in our many communities around the world. It will also provide apprenticeship opportunities for our youth to learn many valuable and practical skills, not only in rigging, sail-making, sailing, navigation, marine mechanics and carpentry, but also in living and working together in tight quarters, as well as many cross-cultural experiences traveling from port to port."
It's a beautiful ship!
Overall the festival was pretty darn awesome. The ships were grand, the food was delicious, and we were all able to be pirates for a little wihle. Arrr!!
My only regret? Not making it out to George's Island... On the Sunday there were special ferries taking people out to the island and back. Apparently, NOBODY is allowed on this island and haven't been for a while. We tried to get tickets but they stopped selling them in the early afternoon.
Here's a beef that I have about events in Halifax - there isn't anything that lets you know where to get what you need and nothing listed anywhere about the time of the event either. There was lots of talk about ferries going to the island for the one day but that's all. Nothing about where to buy tickets, what times the ferry would go out (or how often), or anything. I noticed the same for the cooking demos too. Until we were actually at the event and looking at the schedule in person on the grounds there was nothing online to say when things were going to be happening. It's really annoying!