- When Chris Rod and his fellow organizers met three years ago, they had no idea what they would witness all weekend at Kiwanis Memorial Park.
- Toni Chin, president of the Saskatoon Association of Filipino Entrepreneurs, had trouble comprehending how much food was being offered.
Chris Rod never expected what he saw all weekend at Kiwanis Memorial Park when he and his other organizers met three years ago to talk about what would eventually become The Saskatchewan Filipino Music and Food Street Fest.
Not the thousands who participated in the three-day event by dancing to music, cheering along to acts, and eating nonstop from a variety of vendors, but rather hundreds of attendees were what the organizers had in mind.
Rod remarked, “It (was) 200 to 300 people for a day. We’ve been receiving so many visitors that we’re overwhelmed.
The festival shut down a portion of 23rd Street and lasted two days downtown the previous year. With up to ten times as many attendees as anticipated, this year’s celebration filled Kiwanis Park.
“We celebrate festivals virtually every single day in the Philippines, where there are 7,600 islands, as well as several cities and provinces. Everybody participates in a particular festival. Thus, according to Rod, we aim to instill a culture where we always celebrate holidays.
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Due to the high foot traffic on Saturday, practically every vendor sold out of food.
The Saskatoon Association of Filipino Entrepreneurs president, Toni Chin, had problems understanding how much food was being provided.
Perhaps a tonne of meat per day, he estimated. “We served 1.5 tonnes of beef over three days, and we’re still running low. It’s incredible.
Chin acknowledged that he was just as weary as he was thrilled by the turnout and its impact on his company, Flor’s Filipino Specialty Catering Service.
Because of the planning, Chin remarked, “This celebration and festival has been fantastic, (yet) at the same time horrific.”
Of course, there was plenty of dancing and music at the event, but the food was the real draw. Rod could not pick a favorite dish from the pig and chicken adobo, stir-fried noodles, spring rolls, and copious rice. However, he claimed that a pig roast is necessary for every Filipino event.
Everyone appreciates that traditional food when we have festivities, according to Rod.
Chin claimed that without the fire and the pig roast, “it wouldn’t be the same.” It is what adds to the celebratory atmosphere.
Rod and Chin were thrilled to witness dozens of different Philippine cultures join together for three days of nonstop entertainment, and they were already planning how to improve the festival for the next year.
According to Rod, everyone simply puts their differences aside and gathers for the food and music festival.
“That’s the one memory we’ll all always treasure,” someone said.
Source: CTV News