Edmonton’s outdoor activities, natural scenery, and diverse selection of eateries make it the perfect destination for your next summer getaway. Outdoor enthusiasts will love the parks in the North Saskatchewan River Valley, which contain stunning vistas of the downtown skyline and more than 100 miles of trails. Whether you're catching a show at the Citadel Theatre or touring the newest exhibit at the Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton has something to offer everyone.
The Taste of Edmonton has been showcasing the best foods from Edmonton and around the world for the past 33 years. This year’s event will take place July 20-29 at Sir Winston Churchill Square in Downtown. The Taste is the largest food and music event in Edmonton and organizers expect more than 400,000 attendees. Attendees can sample food prepared by vendors, restaurants, and chefs from all over the Edmonton area. Whether you're craving fried calamari or raspberry sorbet, the event has it all. The Taste is also one of the largest outdoor concerts in Canada and attendees can see performances by Grandtheft, Tyler Shaw, Alex Cuba, and more. Families in attendance have the opportunity to participate in the Taste 4 Kids program, which encourages kids to live an active lifestyle and make healthy eating choices. The event supports a variety of charities and causes including Boys and Girls Club, Hope Mission, and more. We got the opportunity to interview Paul A Lucas, General Manager of the event, to learn more about this comprehensive culinary exposition.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
PL: The Taste of Edmonton is 33 years old.
RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?
PL: We attract over 400,000 people each year.
RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?
PL: The event is a great experience for families, and we also conduct a Taste 4 Kids program to help them learn about food, cooking, and healthy living in a fun way.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
PL: This is the largest outdoor food festival in Canada. Our combination of unique food and live entertainment is unmatched in the region. The event is close to the hearts of Edmontonians, and it's one the top five festivals in the city.
RAL: Take me through a day at the event.
PL: We feature 10 days of free entertainment with headlining acts including Tyler Shaw, Royal Canoe, Bif Naked, SHAD, Bobby Wills, and more. There will be more than 30 bands performing over the course of the event.
RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?
PL: Each night will bring a different theme to the food presented including Taste of Italy, Pork n’ Pinot, Vegan and Vegetarian Night, and more. We have something for everyone.
RAL: Tell me about the atmosphere?
PL: This is a dine alfresco style of event with everything from beverage pairings to chef’s themed creations. Sir Winston Churchill Square is a beautiful area, and it's in close proximity to downtown shops, restaurants, bars, and more.
RAL: Are there any lodging specials that are set up specifically for the event?
PL: Sutton Place is our host hotel, and it's right next to Winston Churchill Square. Check with them for deals and packages.
RAL: What does this event mean to the community?
PL: We support 13 community and nonprofit associations like Boys and Girls Club, Hope Mission, YESS, Elizabeth Fry, and more, with over $80,000 a year in return for services assisting us in putting on the festival. We also created the Taste of Edmonton Community Endowment Fund with proceeds from donated unused tickets. The fund raised more than $40,000 in its first two years, and we give the interest from the fund to the event's top performing service group.
RAL: Why should people come?
PL: The food is prepared in sample sizes so that guests can savor various tastings from a variety of restaurants, food trucks, and vendors. Edmonton comes alive during summertime with unique community festivals and events for visitors of all ages and backgrounds.
For more information about the Taste of Edmonton, please visit the event website.