Festival du Voyageur…

Today I went to Festival du Voyageur! This is a fun celebration.. that celebrates the fur trade, the voyageurs and all things french in Manitoba…. I had a blast, I love all things historical… (hence my first BA with a major in history)…and the festival didn’t disappoint!

I went with one of my co-workers, two children she knows, her mum and her mum’s homestay student from China…and later another friend of my co-worker, her husband and her two kids!  It was way fun to go to something like this with kids…and not all on my own!! Thanks so much for thinking of me…. Andrea… you rock!!

(there may be an extrodinary amount of photos…. hehehe I got into a ‘photo’ groove again.. so bare with me!!)

There were quite a few snow sculptures…because of the weather we have been having… (nice…and fairly warm) some of the sculptures were melting!  but they were pretty awesome to look at!
A Different view of the one above….. (I have no clue how these were carved..they are ginormous!)…
Teams came from around the world to compete in this competition….the end result was amazing!
Some were a bit ‘abstract’ and not so ‘voyageur’ themed…but awesome too!!!
Nothing like being a bearded ‘voyageur’ with a fiddle….. 😉
There was a pretty cool ‘ice’/’snow’ maze…. with tunnels that kids can get from A to B–but parents or ‘big’ kids (like me) have to go around!!! It reminded me of the hay maze I went through when I went to pick apples a few falls ago!!! 🙂
In the maze…. not so hard for adults because we could ‘see’ over the walls…. but still a lot of fun!
Next stop…. sledding…. how much fun it was…. apparently Andrea didn’t like the ‘speed’ we picked up!!!
…as we rush by Andrea’s Mum…. she snapped a photo… and then down the rest of the hill…
The day wasn’t complete without a little horse drawn sleigh ride…

Lunch was yummy! I had a ‘meat’ pie with gravy that was yummy.. and hot chocolate… we listened to some awesome live music while we ate…though was hard to ‘talk’ to my friends!  I didn’t get a photo of that band.. but snapped a photo of this one…..

After lunch we split up the groups… some went back to the ‘sledding’ hill.. and others went into Fort Gibraltar … I was in the group for Fort Gibraltar!!!
A snap from the “North Tower” the bottom was the ‘fridge’ where they put ice blocks from the river…in hay to keep meat fresh… then the room above that in the tower was a ‘holding’ cell… or jail… for disorderly voyageurs…(hmmmm I think one night sleeping ABOVE the freezer/fridge…would be enough for me).. and then the top floor was a lookout—360degree view…. pretty awesome!
These guys were ‘practicing’…and going through all the motions… of different positions..and what-not… and I was standing there and wondering are they going to shoot? finally like 5mins later..when I wasn’t expecting it… they did indeed fire those guns…. and guess who screamed? Oh yes.. that would be me…

The person here is making pemican.. she’s pounded the dry buffalo meat.. now was adding it to the strips of meat, dried berries and ‘fat’… apparently voyageurs ate like 4lbs of the stuff when they were out working…Can you imagine sleeping in a bed like that? just ropes for a mattress… hmmmm I’m glad I wasn’t a voyageur–though the adventure and excitement might have been enough to hook me into that kind of life!

This guy was awesome..he spoke really knowledgable… as he talked in the ‘trading’ post room.. about how everything was based on bever pelts… their worth etc.   He also talked about the process the beaver pelts went through— in order to turn them into top hats… and how the hatters did indeed often go mad because of the process of the ‘felting’ and the use of mercury.  He spoke in a fantastic British accent.. and kept going on and on… made me think.. perhaps I could do something like this in the future!?
Next was the Blacksmith’s  shop..another really fun spot…This guy was making a flint stricker…out of an ‘old’ file….
This photo was to show me what a ‘flint’ stricker did…. basicly it was to make sparks to start a fire…I LUV, LUV, LUV this photo!!… I can’t believe I caught it–in just one shot… (apparently I’m that good!)…You can’t see the ‘flint’ stricker—it’s the blurry thing on the left side of the photo!)
After that walking around, and learning about times in 1815… it was time for a little ‘sugar’… or ‘suggaa-time’… mmmmm let’s just say this was the most enjoyable… $2 I spent all day….. I wish I had gotten TWO of them!!
…first the guy poured out all the maple syrup on the snow…… I put my popsicle stick at the end, and then once it hardened a bit… I started to roll it up!!!
Mmmmmmmmm sugar on a stick!!!  (I should have put my sunnies on… it was BRIGHT outside!)
Guess you can dress me up..but can’t take me out…. it got a bit ‘sticky’….hence the maple trail out of my mouth onto my chin… But still so worth it!!
All in all it was an awesome day… Can’t wait til next year!!
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