July 26, 2011 | Tips from Travellers >
Richmond, Farms & Markets
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Hey guys! It’s summertime in Richmond and you all know what that means- The Summer Night Market! I headed out with one of my best childhood friends, Kathryn, for a night of exotic foods, oddities, entertainment, and adventure!
What is the Summer Night Market? This is a giant outdoor market with lights, music, vendors, food, entertainment, and so much more… all with an Asian twist. Located on Vulcan Way in Richmond (Bridgeport and No. 5 Road area), this is a cool place to spend an evening exploring and eating your way through Richmond’s diverse culture… which is exactly what we did!
Kathryn and I went on a Sunday and it was PACKED! The atmosphere was electric, with shoulder-to-shoulder crowds admiring all the Asian trinkets and paraphernalia being sold. You can find almost anything here—and I mean ANYTHING! In the market for a new bejeweled cell phone case? Perhaps a pair of stylish shoes direct from the shores of Taiwan? Maybe you want a full blown samurai sword? No? Well, at least get some acupuncture while smoking your new hand crafted wooden pipe. The point is there is just a TON of interesting and unique things to check out there!
Though the trinkets and oddities are great, most people come for the FOOD! This is the main reason the Summer Night Market is famous. There is a stretch of shops in one section of the market with wall to wall vendors selling every variety of Asian cuisine you can think of, all for cheap affordable prices. It’s one of those situations where you get ‘a little bit here, and little bit there’, and sort of float around till you’re full. There’s no where else in the Lower Mainland you will find a more unique Asian food experience than this! It’s really a lot of fun!
Kathryn and I had all sorts of weird food including BBQ octopus, deep fried prawns, cheesy hurricane potato skewers (AMAZING; will blow your mind), classic chow mien, fresh coconut milk right out of the coconut, and even deep fried mango ice cream! It was fantastic!
There is also a main stage with constant performances AND karaoke (of course!), as well as street performers that entertain up and down the corridors.? Kathryn and I had an entertaining night full of exotic food, music, and entertainment! It’s definitely an experience and one you’re hard pressed to find anywhere else in Canada! Head down there next weekend and check it out for yourself! Oh, and make sure you try the ‘Hurricane Potato Skewers!’ They will shatter your beliefs to what is possible with a potato!
The Night Market is open Friday through Sunday from June till September every year.
July 12, 2011 | Tips from Travellers >
Richmond, Arts, Culture & History Tours
Well, I’m extremely happy to announce that it’s strawberry season in Richmond! Woo! Richmond, though very urban, is one of the few cities in the lower mainland that still has a huge farming infrastructure! We grow everything including our famous cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries (my personal favorite), as well as all sorts of other delicious fruits and veggies. Richmond is one of the few cities in BC where you can find local farmer’s markets almost anywhere in the city. Today I went out to Featherstone Farms located in East Richmond, to one of the large strawberries patches to ‘U-Pick’ some of my own!
The strawberry season in Richmond is a short one, only lasting 3 weeks to a month at most. (Mid June-Mid July) During this time, the fields explode with red and people come from far and wide to harvest these delicious berries. The field I was in was absolutely chock full of berries, with people filling up buckets upon buckets to bring home.
I have to say the smell of walking through a fresh strawberry field is just incredible. You’re hit with this wall of delicious mouth watering sweetness that just tickles your senses. Combined with a warm breeze, it was an absolute pleasure to walk through the fields.
And the taste… Delicious! Wow! If you’ve never eaten a fresh, ripe strawberry right off the bush, you’re definitely missing out! Compared to what you would buy in a major chain supermarket, you just can’t even compare the taste and freshness with the farmer’s market strawberries. Your taste buds are overwhelmed with a sweetness that you just don’t find anywhere else. I was having problems filming because all I wanted to do was eat strawberries the entire time!
If you’re reading this blog post right now this is your cue to get out into the fields or down to your local farmer’s market and pick up some fresh local Richmond strawberries ASAP! The season ends very soon, so make the best of it and get your fix!!! Strawberry rhubarb pie anyone? Yes please! Gotta run!
July 04, 2011 | Tips from Travellers >
Richmond, Festivals & Events
Happy Canada Day everyone! This is without question my favourite day of the year to be in Richmond! Why? The Salmon Festival, of course!
What is the Salmon Festival? This is an annual Canada Day celebration (held every year since 1945!) down in Steveston! You can expect around 70,000 people to come out and enjoy the massive parade, food (get into that more later), games, music, live performances, volleyball tournament, and tons more! It’s seriously a ton of fun and attracts people from all over Richmond and Metro Vancouver to take to the streets and celebrate for an entire day!
The day begins with a huge parade including floats, marching bands, celebrities, politicians, community groups, vintage vehicles, dancers and much, much more. The parade is great fun and usually lasts between 1.5-2 hours!!!
Afterwards, everyone heads to the famous salmon barbecue where over 1200 pounds of wild salmon filets are grilled on open fire pits. The lines are usually huge and for good reason! It sells out EVERY year!!!
After this there is a ton of children’s games and rides all in a carnival atmosphere. There’s plenty to do and see for the whole family. My favourite? The Steveston water park! (who says it’s just for kids?) Also expect non-stop performances all day on one of the many stages, as well as an indoor farmer’s market!
Waterparks aside, the best part of the festival is the annual (Cambie Sports) Volleyball Tournament held in the fields behind the Steveston Community Centre. It’s non stop action ,all day as co-ed teams of 4’s battle it out on the grass attracting huge crowds!
The Salmon Festival is a spectacular event that offers something for everyone! If I’m not shooting video, you’ll find me playing volleyball all day and then out in one of the many beer gardens all evening! Bring your family, enjoy the parade, get some delicious salmon, and enjoy the wonderful energy that Richmond exudes on Canada Day! See you next year!