Mack and I made our annual pilgrimage to the land of doughnuts and carneys yesterday. I’m not sure when it became a tradition for us, but a summer in Edmonton isn’t complete for us without a trip through Capital Ex.
Midway food is one of the reasons we’re back like clockwork. Mack treats himself to the one corndog he has a year, and of course, we just have to indulge in Those Little Doughnuts.
This year seemed to bring more “branded” food items, kiosks that offered items that differed from the usual fare. Some skewed healthy while others just piqued our interest (waffle-coated hot dog?).
Skewers and Those Wicked Waffles
Based on a recommendation, I tried the poutine from La Poutinerie ($8). While the gravy and fries themselves were not bad, this was the third time in a week that I had tried Quebec cheese curds, and the third time that I found they didn’t squeak. I miss curds from the Cheese Factory!
We also tried the frozen little ice cream pellets – they were surprisingly filling! A really odd texture to get used to though, sticking to your tongue because of how cold they were. I think we both prefer real ice cream.
Pellet ice cream
I was so confident that the skies would hold up yesterday that I didn’t bring an umbrella, and Mack didn’t wear a jacket. And you know what that means – about an hour after we passed the gates, it poured.
Mopping up the slide
Thankfully by that time, we were fed and ready to explore the Expo Centre. We really liked the Container Art – though Mack commented that the “Like” exhibit really could have done with the most famous “Like” of all – Facebook!
I like Mack!
Through the art
We stayed for the Spirit of Michael Jackson, billed as a “laser spectacular”. It took a while to get going (and some of the song choices seemed less than inspired), but the “Thriller” finale was fantastic! The lead dancer who played Michael was quite good – he had a wicked moonwalk!
Spirit of MJ
Walking through Sip!, we found the liquor sampling booths to be fewer than last year (especially on the wine front), but those that did have tables seemed to step it up this year.
The aerial entertainment from Firefly Theatre was a welcome spectacle
The menu of items (including smoked local beef sausage with a salted potato pancake, inspired welsh rarebit) was appealing, but for us, carnival food is king. It’s a bit unfortunate – I wish food items served at Sip! were served at the Taste of Edmonton – it would be a big improvement over what is currently being offered at Churchill Square.
When we decided to peek outside again, we were happy to discover that the rain had stopped, and lucky that it did not return again.
Given similar amusements can be played at Chuck E Cheese for a fraction of the price, Mack and I rarely partake in carnival games. But we came across one that cost a quarter this year! Neither of us won anything – but we had fun trying.
Bowl to win!
Before the fireworks, we took a turn on the ferris wheel. That was definitely the silver lining on a wet evening – shortened ride lines!
There’s nothing like the view of the midway from the top
We’ve been able to hear (and see, to a lesser extent) the fireworks from our condo in the last week, but the show is of course better up close. It was probably the best show of fireworks that I’ve seen at Capital Ex in the last few years.
We’ll be back next year!
Capital Ex 2011 runs until July 31, 2011.