Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Greek Day

Last weekend (Saturday) was Canada Day. We celebrated with a potluck picnic in Aunty Lorraine's yard, with mountains of food. The babies had a lovely play with their Great Gramma. And George learned to do the Cobra on a picnic blanket. Good times. But I don't have any photos of that, so instead I am going to write about Greek Day, the previous weekend, on Broadway.

Matthew and I went to Greek Day a couple of years ago, and it was a drizzly and humid day. This year was blazing hot. Literally 28 degrees, no clouds. Matthew was out gaming, so I recruited my mum to adventure with me and the babies. We headed out a bit past midday and walked to the festival, about 2 kms away.

The entrance to Greek Day Festival, at MacDonald Street
Mum and the Beavis Babies strolling
This singer encouraged us to join in with him but sadly we had no idea what he was signing. Clearly a 20th century folk classic though. He had a wonderful voice. Weirdly, there was a man in front of us in the audience who had draped himself in a Persian flag.

At a stage further west, we found some Greek dancers. They deserve real props for dancing in traditional costume with such gusto in the heat, which by this time was blazing.
We stopped at a food truck (that I actually had been to before, at the Christmas craft market at the PNE... more on this in my "closing thoughts"...), and ate our weight in felafels. And then the babies needed a snack, so we snagged a sheltered table on the pavement outside a coffee shop. Of course we spent more time feeding the babies at the cafe than we did checking out the Greek Day festival. But the point of the endeavour was just to see if we could actually get there, rather than to really soak up every festival experience.

Which leads me to my closing thoughts: the following week I popped into my work for a quick visit, and I caught up with a colleague who is Greek and has lived in the West Side for years. She recalled that back in the 1970s Greek Day was very Bacchanalian, and these days it's very tame in comparison. I told her that we noticed a lot of the same vendors at Car Free Day on Main Street, and she also recollected that Greek Day had a lot more focused Greek-themes vendors back in the day. In fact we had to walk several blocks in before we encountered the live (Greek) music tent, all the Greek themed food vendors that we saw were serving loukoumades - Greek for sure, but do you need more than one stall? Maybe mix it up and serve something else Greek at the next stall?

Much like in 2013, I enjoyed Greek Day and I would go again in a flash. Music, dancing, food, I love it all. But also, perhaps if I could wish for more, I would wish it to be more Greek?

Warm thank you to mum for strolling the babes to their first Greek Day, and I very much hope to stroll there again with her and them, in years to come.

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