to celebrate the end of the olympics and hopefully the winding down of winter, halifax decided to organize the "waterfront winterfest." from what i could tell, this isnt something they regularly do, but they wanted to do something for the olympics and to promote the 2011 canada games (which will be held in halifax!). activities planned were snow sculpting, snowboard competitions, a skating rink, and outdoor winter treats.
while the weather (see previous entry about the EXCESSIVE wind and rain) decimated nearly all hopes of a "winter" atmosphere, they did still attempt to celebrate. we ventured down to the waterfront around lunchtime to see what we could see. two blocks from us were the trucked in blocks of snow that were supposed to be sculpted later. they must have been brought in after the storm, but they still looked grey, lumpy, and depressing. next to them was a maple syrup treat tent...we came back for this after lunch. :)
we walked further down the waterfront to the "main center" of the festival. the jumbotron was being set up to view live olympic events for the final two days. the jumbotron was sandwiched between the dismal looking snowboard area with mucky snow and the "ice rink" that was actually made up of some fake ice material that still allows you to glide with skates. weird. but, at least there was a trusty "beavertail" stand in the mix.
(the beavertail cart)
ever since we encountered this heart attack treat while skating on the canals of ottawa six years ago i have come to associate it with canada and winter. the beavertail stand pumps the smell of grease out almost as well as they pump their treats out. basically a flat doughnut, you can put sugar, a squeeze of lemon, chocolate, apples, maple syrup, bananas, nutella, or almost any other thing on your beavertail. you cannot justify eating one unless youve already burned some serious calories for the day. i was actually more repulsed than drawn to the stand this time.
instead, my stomach led me in to the touristy restaurant called the waterfront warehouse which was located right in the middle of the action of this jumpin winterfest. they had a special reduced price menu, so i figured it would be their one chance to impress. the sandwich i got was actually decent (first tasty ciabatta bread ive had since i arrived) and the price was right (like $6 or $7) but our waiter was like a used car salesman. ew. after my cheapo sandwich (and water) dave and i finished the snack with two of their cookies that came wrapped in cellophane, which our waiter bitterly referred to as "canteen food." okay guy, youre really winning me over, i didnt really wanna come here in the first place and im happy to leave only $12 in your restaurants purse. kiss my butt!
anyway, after food we wanted to leave because the scene was just so depressing. we walked back to the maple syrup tent and got to enjoy a sweet treat of hot, condensed maple syrup poured over ice while being swirled on a stick. mmm. i love maple syrup in every form. the tent was representing a maple farm north of us, near the b&b we recently went to, called sugar moon farm. they are located in earltown and regularly hold maple syrup pancake meals and related events. i think we will definitely have to get up there sometime.
although we left the "winterfest" with a maple treat induced smile on our face, i have to say it turned out to be a bummer. even if the weather had cooperated, it didnt seem that they had anything impressive going on (we ended up checking in with the jumbotron at night to see how the gold medal curling match was going and the atmosphere and crowd were still lame). but, of course, the crap weather had come through, so it just made everything that much more pathetic. however, after seeing the major devastation our storm caused when it got to western france (spain and portugal too), we definitely got off easy.