Something for everyone at Manitou festival

A guest weighed out her garlic before purchasing at last year's Honey, Garlic & Maple Syrup Festival in Manitou. (FILE PHOTO)

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The Honey, Garlic & Maple Syrup Festival returns for its 18th year in Manitou and there will be enough activities to keep everyone busy.

The festival kicks off on September 6 with Ridley Bent and the Killer Tumbleweeds.

On Saturday September 7 vendors are open for business, musicians take to the stage to provide free entertainment and a local chef will be providing demonstrations of how to use the honey, garlic and maple syrup in recipes.

Chair of the Honey, Garlic & Maple Syrup Festival board Evelyn Lea said the demos are a popular part of the festival each year.

“People love it,” she said. “They don’t do it at the other festivals, and [people] come to our festival for that, so it’s nice.”

New this year is an art exhibition hosted by the Manitou Opera House. Quebec artist Christiane Pravez’s exhibition “A Moment in Space for the Space of a Moment” officially opens September 5.

“I’m thinking it’s going to be really nice to see something different, something new for our festival,” Lea said. “More culture, more variety for us.”

Pravez will be at the exhibition during the weekend, and the show will run through the month of September.

“There’s just something for everybody,” Lea said. “There’s something for kids, free activities and free admission to the festival grounds.”

Along with vendors and live bands, the festival features a car show, Mighty Machines show and guided bus tours of the town and surrounding areas.

“It’s quite interesting and people come off the bus and think, ‘Wow, that was really good,’” Lea said. “They don’t expect much but then when they get off they’re quite thrilled and quite amazed and happy that they actually went on it.”

With the recent unearthing of the first petition signed by Nellie McClung, Nellie’s Homes make for a good historical stop during the festival.

Lea said the pièce de résistance is the buffet supper with slow roast pork, honey glazed chicken, sweet and sour farmer sausage, garlic mashed potatoes, honey glazed carrots, gourmet pasta salad, corn on the cob, honey coleslaw, wild cranberry jelly, honey applesauce, assorted pickles, harvest buns, Pembina Valley strawberry shortcake and tea, coffee, iced tea.

Lea said it takes lots of volunteers to put on the festival. “We’re all volunteers from a small community, and we love hosting and giving them a taste of the Pembina Valley,” she said. “It’s the community spirit to get together and put it all together for one cause.”

“It’s a year planning but it’s over before you know it,” she added.

For tickets to Ridley Bent call 204-242-4415 and for tickets to the Saturday youth concert with The Stowaways and Boys Avenue call 204-825-8406.

For more information and a schedule check