Canadian Wanderer

Travel plans, thoughts & lessons

Month: May 2019

Blatchford Hangar, Fort Edmonton Park Edmonton

There could be few more suitable venues for hosting a travel presentation than the historic Blatchford Hangar at Fort Edmonton Park and so it was with interested I learned the hangar’s  roots trace all the way back to Edmonton’s pioneering years in aviation history which began barely a decade after the Wright Brothers took flight.

The building is a reconstruction of the aircraft hangar at the the first licensed ‘air harbour’ in Canada named in honour of one of its biggest proponents, Edmonton Mayor Kenneth Blatchford. The original hangar was officially opened on January 8, 1927 and saw the city grow up around it before its demolition in 1979.

The modern, multi-purpose space may be rented for conferences, fund raisers, social gatherings and weddings with room for 200 –  600 guests depending upon configuration and equipment.

photo by author

An outdoor picnic site is also available as part of the facility rental and the immense sliding hangar doors open complete for an indoor/outdoor event.

photo by author

photo by author

photo by author

Fort Edmonton Park is nestled on 64 hectares (158 acres) of wooded parkland along Edmonton’s River Valley. What began as a Canada Centennial project in 1967 to reconstruct the old Fort Edmonton, quickly grew to encompass much more after construction began in 1969 and now includes the 1846 Hudson’s Bay Fort as well as the Streets of 1885, 1905, and 1920, depicting the evolution of Edmonton’s early history. The city owned attraction celebrates it’s 50th anniversary in the Summer of 2019 but inexplicably opted to close its doors to the public during its special anniversary year and for all of 2020 to complete a $165-million dollar upgrade project aimed at turning the local facility into Western Canada’s biggest cultural attraction. There’s more on that project here.

Fort Edmonton Park Maps

Edmonton’s 124 Grand Market Opens for its Summer season

A staple of the West Edmonton Summer scene since 2012, the 124 Grand Market returned for  it’s 2019 season on 9th May, the warmest day of the year with the first Thursday Market and the lure of eclectic food truck cuisine and local vendors is enough for an early office exit.

Under sunny skies with the mercury peaking at 21 Celsius, Edmonton’s Public Market as it bills itself showcases quality, locally farmed and focused products and supports growing small businesses in and around Edmonton. 

One of those local vendors is farmer Brian Wilson of Dawn Agri. Ltd, a Camrose-area farm who sells his free range non-GMO, soy free pesticide free, and herbicide free fresh farm eggs.

photo by author

Brian, who is no relation to the Beach Boys founder of the same name although probably hears Pet Sounds on his farm,  explained that most chicken feed contains soy which is transferred to the eggs in concentrations of up to 5-percent, enough to affect those with soy sensitivities or allergies. As I am always eating eggs for breakfast, I picked up a dozen of the extra large brown eggs at a price not much more than the generic white eggs sold at the local supermarket.

A popular tent is Bent Stick Brewing, a local Edmonton nano-brewery with a dare to be different mantra and palpable passion for beer. Pick up a few of the 650-ml beer bottles of brew such as Four-Thirty PM Stout or my favorite the Wizard Device Belgium Amber. And yes, samples are available.

photo by author

Among the rotating line-up of food trucks is Little Village, the freewheeling Greek eatery (try  their lamb & potatoes covered with tzatziki) or Meat Street Pies which Specializes in baked-on-board their Partridge Family-like multi-coloured food truck ethnic pies, pasties and patties, gluten free & veggie options.

video by author

photo by author

Each week, a new crop of vendors (think food trucks, artisans, produce and prepared food) hits the market, so no two weeks will be the same.

Thursdays on 108 Avenue & 124 Street from 4:00 PM-8:00 PM. Enjoy live music, performances, food trucks, local growers, bakers, makers, and kids programming including a Little Beans Program for the young ones.

The 2019 Season will run outdoors from May 9 to the Harvest Thanksgiving Market October 10.

Thursday Market
Thursdays from May 9 – October 10, 2019
4:00 PM – 8:00 PM
108 Avenue & 124 Street

Sunday Market
Sundays from June 2 – September 29
11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
102 Avenue & 124 Street

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