Capital Ex 2009

No particular reason drew us to the Capital Ex grounds on Thursday, except perhaps a sense of homegrown duty to visit the city’s annual excuse for gluttony. Although we enjoyed ourselves last year, the attractions were somehow less interesting this year.

Sand sculptures

That said, I do still enjoy the sights and sounds of the midway – the exhilarated screams from thrill-seekers, enthusiastic pitches from the amusement carneys, the wafting smells of deep-fried everything and flashing neon lights that never fail to transport me to nights of Ex’s past.


We did make a point to go see the Cirque Shanghai troupe. Entertaining, we were surprised at how young some of the performers were. We also walked through the Sip! wine and food experience, but decided not to sample any of the food. Though we arrived too late to see David Adjey in person (I was curious to see if his arrogance held up off the screen), we did see Brad Smoliak and Mary Bailey in their nightly “dessert and nightcap” feature. Their dessert of a ginger cocktail and sautéed nectarines with mascarpone cheese and amaretti cookies was quite nice (and best of all, free!).

Mary Bailey and Brad Smoliak on the CookTop stage


Chris’ extensive inventory of Ex eats was helpful in knowing what was available (and what to avoid). We opted for the tried and true favourites, namely – Those Little Doughnuts, corn dogs, and Deli Manjoo custard-filled treats.

Mack hearts corn dogs!

Deli Manjoo cakes

We stayed for the fireworks that night, and were quite impressed! While not as spectacular as the Canada Day offerings, the show at least exceeded our expectations.

Ferris wheel at night

It’s hard to avoid one of Edmonton’s most popular summer festivals – but I wouldn’t want to. Despite it’s shortcomings (and year-to-year fluctuations in interesting acts), the Ex is an Edmonton institution of frivolous fun.

3 thoughts on “Capital Ex 2009

  1. My wife and I did see Michael Adjey and he was quite entertaining, funny and sarcastic. He prepared pork chops with a celery root, corn, bacon and parsnip hash that when paired with a beer and butter pan sauce was very tasty. We sampled some of the food and I sampled quite a bit of the wine at Sip. We really enjoyed the slices of meat from a hip of bison on a bun with a cherry tomato and fennel relish. The wine (especially the red wine) would have been better if served in real wine glasses instead of the too small plastic glasses that were used.

  2. I have to say that although he does seem passionate about food and his work, Adjey is one of the most irritating personalities on “Restaurant Makeover”. I was thinking it may be an “on screen” thing, and was thus curious to see if it held up in person. My sister did see him on stage though, and even got a photo with him! So I know he is gracious.

    Good to hear that the food was good! Mary Bailey said the bison was quite good as well – I just couldn’t swallow the expense for tickets.

  3. I think you’re a brave soul for attending ‘K-days’ Sharon!

    My husband and I affectionately refer to it as the ‘Trooper Reunion’ or ‘Return of the Skids.’


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