Each year in August there is a weekend festival down the street in Colonel Sam Smith Park, called Lakeshore Mardi Gras. Although we’ve been living in Long Branch for three years now, today marks the first time we’ve ventured out to the festival.
I confess I’m not thrilled with the odd appropriation of the term Mardi Gras for this festival. After all, Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday and refers to the celebration right before Lent. I think we all commonly use the term to describe the over-the-top pre-Lent festivities in New Orleans. However, I quickly got over that.
The Lakeshore festival is fun though, regardless of what it’s called. When we arrived with the dogs, a Zydeco combo called Loco Zydeco was on stage, complete with accordionist and frattoir player, and they sounded very good. We wandered around a bit. There was a dog rescue booth and an Etobicoke Humane Society booth, and we heard that earlier in the day, there were three other Newfie dogs there. The dogs were stars at the event. Lots of kids and adults too approached us and asked if they could pat the dogs, who were happy to enjoy the attention.
We stopped at the Baba Ali stand where I couldn’t resist a shawarma. Baba Ali is a falafel/shawarma place located on Lakeshore between 27th and 28th streets. I was happy to see their booth at the festival doing well, because not only do they make excellent food, they’re really nice people too. Past the food stands, there were rides for the kids set up, and it looked like everyone was having a good time.
Lakeshore Mardi Gras is a very worthwhile community event, and I’m glad we walked over there with the dogs. It was great to hear some live music and enjoy a snack and talk to a bunch of people too. Having two giant dogs is a great conversation starter.
We didn’t stay for the feature performers tonight as there was another place we had to be. It was the Five Man Electrical Band. Remember them? I hadn’t heard their name in years, but I sure remembered their hits, Signs and Absolutely Right and Werewolf. Friday night the festival featured another blast from the past, Chilliwack.