Friday, June 17, 2011

Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival 2011

The 18th annual Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival officially begins on Saturday! Lucy and I have volunteered for the past three years but have never gotten the chance to fully enjoy the actual dragon boat racing event. I can’t wait until the races begin this year because I’ll be getting the opportunity to ride in the media boat and take photos of the racers. Wahoo!


Since this is a food blog, I scouted out the food and drink vendors that will be at the festival.

This weekend weather forecast calls for a sunny 25 degrees Celsius – and that’s without humidity. No worries. There are plenty of places where you can purchase some cool drinks… like this Lemon Heaven stand.

I like the looks of this stand much better. Ah, I should probably mention that they also serve diabetic lemonade diabetic-friendly lemonade.

(I just went on their website and found out that they do sell mini donuts called “Cin City Donuts” – but not at the festival. Whyyyyyy? Do you remember how awesome the mini donuts at Costco [it was then called Price Club] were? Mmmm…)

There was only one Magnum ice cream stand that I spotted. I’m assuming that there will be more. Speaking of ice cream, I saw a Dippin’ Dots stand. The first one I ever saw was at the First Markham Place. True story.

It should be no surprise that Pizza Pizza is around. They make and bake all the pizzas on site.

Last year, Lucy and I each got a slice of pizza for dinner. The slice had a bit of extra sauce and the pepperoni was baked to a nice curly crunch. I love when the pepperoni gets crunchy. It makes the pizza so much more flavourful. Luck was on our side last year, cause our slices were taken off of a freshly baked pizza. So not only were my components of my slice of pizza spot on, but it was a hot slice of pizza. We washed the tasty slices of pizza down with some ice cold lemonade from Lemon Heaven. That was probably the best slice of pizza Pizza Pizza I've ever had.

The Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival begins at 7am on Saturday. I'm not sure if this waffle stand will be open that early, but it would be a great bite in the morning if it will be. I don’t think they sell chicken and waffles for lunch/dinner, which would be awesome. Can someone bring me some fried chicken when they come visit? Please?

Fridays Organics have been around for quite a few years now. Lucy and I had some of their burgers last year and they weren’t impressive at all.

I remember seeing Stone Soup Foodworks at the Ottawa Race Weekend two weeks ago. I’m not sure if they’ll be serving the same things the whole weekend, but on today’s menu: white gazpacho, green dragon, and strawberry, melon and ginger soup; shredded chicken taco and organic refrito tacos; organic iced tea, local rhubarb ginger cordial, cookies and water.

One stand that was a bit of a head scratcher was the Seafood Macs stall. The only item I remember seeing on their board was shrimp ceviche.

There was a stand serving authentic Indian food. Butter chicken, chickpea curry, samosa, naan bread, basmati rice were on the menu today. They also had some water and Gatorade… I didn’t know Gatorade was Indian… =]

Beside the Indian food stand sits The Piggy Market. I only remembered two things from their menu, sausages and pulled pork sandwiches.

For those who love Thai food, there’s a food stall called Cuisine Thai. It wasn’t open so I don’t know what they’ll be serving this weekend.

I remember seeing this stall during the race weekend as well. They serve smoothies and fruits with chocolate.

The festival’s largest sponsor, Tim Hortons, has a large tent. They’ll be serving coffee, decaf coffee, and iced coffee – all for $1. All of the proceeds will be going back to the Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival. It's too bad they don't have any muffins, donuts, or timbits.

You know what's missing? A bubble tea stand. They don't even need to serve slushies. There's also a lack of Chinese food. I digress.

This stall sells pita wraps, french fries, and poutine. I bought my dinner from here.

I was expecting something flavourful, but the chicken was dry and bland. If it hadn’t been for the sautéed onions, the whole thing would’ve been bland. The tzatziki-like sauce wasn’t very good. I definitely needed the lemonade to wash every bite down. The lemonade tasted a bit weird. I can’t put my finger on the type of sugar they used. It didn’t have that aspertame aftertaste, but it tasted like they used some sort of sugar substitute. Oh… maybe they lady gave me a diabetic-friendly lemonade when I asked for their original lemonade. Bleh.

In terms of food and drink stalls, that’s pretty much it. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the beer tent. So back to the food, the average price is $7. I suggest you either eat before or after you go to the festival. Or better yet, bring food and have a picnic on the giant hill! Something like: Fresh French bread, genoa salami, havarti cheese, grapes, and peaches…

Anyway, come join the festivities! Admission is free and so are the OC Transpo shuttle buses. You should take advantage of the free shuttle buses, too, because there will be no public parking available.

… So come on down!


Wanna see some of the action shots I got? Go to my Flickr page or just skip to the dragon boat festival set that I created.

1 comment:

  1. Hello there;
    Just wanted to let you know that we enjoyed reading through your blog its both interesting and informative. We would love the opportunity to buy you the Original Lemon Heaven lemonade as we believe from your comments that you most likely were drinking our sugar free lemonade that we sweeten with Stevia. It is a very popular alternative for many folks and it definitely has an aquired taste. You can find us on twitter @lemonheavenott to see where we are squeezing during the winter or stop by the Dragonboats this June and we'd love to make you freshly squeezed Original for your tasting pleasure :)

    Lemon Heaven Ottawa


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