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Welcome to WestFest 2010

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WestFest is a celebration of the Westboro Village and a fantastic opportunity to celebrate local and Canadian music, literature, and art. Now in its seventh year, this three day celebration continues to expand with local businesses eager to showcase what they do best and big Canadian acts realizing the immense popularity and uniqueness of WestFest. Regardless of the weather, an estimated 200,000 people are expected this weekend.

Beginning the evening of June 11th, the party doesn’t stop until late Sunday night. You can check out the entertainment for the weekend, including the big music headliners, street performers, and vendors at the WestFest website.

Last year was the first year Don and I volunteered for this popular event. We had attended in previous years, but it was not until we became volunteers ourselves we truly understood the amount of work and planning behind the festival. The majority of of volunteers in the core group (the “crew”) have full-time jobs, yet are willing to donate time to WestFest simply because they love and are proud of their neighbourhood. Kudos to them for all the hard work they put in!

After a great volunteer experience last year, we were eager to to sign up again. As a result, last night, Don and I did our first 6 hour shift with 12 more hours to go today. Originally, we had been slotted to sell bar tickets and bus tables. However, Beau’s Beer (a major sponsor for this year’s event) decided to bring in its own staff to serve alcohol. As such, Don and I have been re-assigned to other duties.

Despite the mix-up, we were busy, but still found time to walk up and down a partially blocked off Richmond Road. During our break, we managed to partake in some of the fun and delicious foods of WestFest. Please note Friday night was only a sample of what this great festival has to offer. The real fun starts on Saturday and Sunday when much of Richmond Road is blocked off (from Kirkwood to Broadview). There, you will find street performers, local shops and restaurants extending their businesses into the street, and family-friendly activities.

Don and I will be out and about all day today. Hope to see you there!

As a head’s up food-wise, Westboro’s The Piggy Market (400 Thurston) will be making Jamaican patties every half hour to serve at WestFest. They will also be sending out trays of charcuiterie to the street. Hintonburg’s Essence Catering has an adorable site between Roosevelt and Golden. They are serving the most amazing smoked Pork Po’ Boy, easily the best sandwich at WestFest.

I’ll be checking out Sloan tonight!

Teacher by day and blogger by night, I have always been passionate about food. I grew up watching my mother cook and bake as I sat at the kitchen table doing my homework. In the summers, I happily played in the backyard garden, picking strawberries as my parents tended their crops. A city girl with a love for the outdoors, my goal is to capture the ever-changing Ottawa food scene. When I’m not running, you can find me shopping for ingredients or in the kitchen cooking for my family and friends. Whether you’ve been cooking for a long time or are learning to cook for the first time, I hope you will find something delicious here to inspire you.