Every so often, the river valley development debate comes up in the news cycle, with proponents either for the preservation of its current state or to enhance the ability for Edmontonians to better take advantage of one of our city’s key treasures. While I am in favour of providing more opportunities for folks to enjoy our waterfront, I think it’s easy to forget that some ideal vantage points already exist.
The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald will be celebrating their centennial next July, though for a building so etched in our skyline, it is far too underappreciated. Being a hotel, it is easily overlooked by locals, and with the Fairmont franchise attached to it, it may seem out of reach to others.
In my opinion, there are few better places to soak up our river valley’s views than the terrace of the Hotel Macdonald. Not only can you take in the lush greenery below, but the terrace itself is gorgeous. EnRoute Magazine also recently named the Confederation Lounge (the restaurant that offers primary patio seating at the Mac) as one of its top five must-visit Canadian patios.
To help more Edmontonians discover this well-kept secret, the team behind last year’s Blink: Parkade Party has partnered with the Hotel Macdonald to host the ImMACulate Garden Party on August 24, 2014, from 2-5pm.
We are encouraging attendees to dress in their garden party whites or pastels for a chic afternoon of food, drink and entertainment. The Mac has put together a fantastic menu for us, featuring their cherry-glazed duck confit tacos, which were a big hit at the recent Taste of Edmonton, as well as a signature drink.
Tours will be offered every hour, so you can learn more about one of Edmonton’s institutions. For those who may not know, the Mac sat vacant for years, and was nearly demolished in the 1980s.
We’ve secured a harpist to help set the tone for the event, a perfect backdrop to try your hand at several outdoor games, including croquet and lawn bowling. We’ve also put together a scavenger hunt – those who complete it will have a chance to win a gift certificate to the Confederation Lounge.
The Mac is unique for many reasons, such as its use of a canine ambassador, the first in Edmonton. Smudge is a six-year-old Yellow Labrador, and was originally trained as a guide dog. She is often seen greeting people in the hotel lobby, and can be requested to accompany guests on a stroll through the neighbourhood. In honour of Smudge, the ImMACulate Garden Party is a fundraiser for the Edmonton Humane Society.
Tickets for the event are $40, and must be purchased in advance here. I hope to see you there!
More information about the ImMACulate Garden Party can be found on blinkedmonton.ca.