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International Street Festival in Edmonton...anyone been there?

International Street Festival in Edmonton...anyone been there?

Mar 10th, 2004, 07:23 AM
  #1  
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International Street Festival in Edmonton...anyone been there?

We will be in in the Canadian Rockies the first week in July and heard about the International Streeet Festival.

We are thinking about going from Jasper to Edmonton and then driving to calgary to fly home.

I know we are addding many miles....but is the Festival as good as it appears?

Thanks
Dick is offline  
Mar 10th, 2004, 07:56 AM
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Hello Dick, inspite of my having lived in Calgary most of the time since 1977, I confess I've never heard of the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival. What I've now found from a Google search makes it sound like fun, for example:

http://www.edmontonstreetfest.com/home/

Whether or not it's worth going that far out of your way to see it, I can't say. I suppose it depends how much you like that kind of thing.

But there is one logistical question. You say you'll in the the Canadian Rockies the first week of July. Well, the above mentioned festival is July 9 - 18 this year, and that doesn't fit my definition of the first week, so I don't know if you'll be able to stick around for it anyway.

Ironically the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival coincides exactly with the annual rodeo festival here in Calgary, the Stampede. I've grown pretty blase about the Stampede now, but the first few times I participated in the festivities I thought they were enormous fun.

Anyway, just in case you have any notion of being in Calgary during the Stampede, let me warn you that the city gets very booked up, and you cannot make hotel reservations too soon.

Immediately the Stampede shuts down, the rollercoasters, etc., get packed up and transported to Edmonton for Klondike Days, the one Edmonton festival I HAVE heard about.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Mar 10th, 2004, 08:52 AM
  #3  
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Judy,

You got me....we actually depart on July 10. I just ticketed our flight today. Since we are using FF miles, I wasn't able to shift days or to fly back from Edmonton.

If we go to the festival, we would be there the first day..on the 9th. We could stay and then drive to Calgary airport late even though it might not mean getting to our airport hotel until 1:00 am or so.

I have a tentative reservation for a hotel at the airport for the night of the 9th.
Dick is offline  
Mar 10th, 2004, 09:28 AM
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Hello Dick,

The plan you've mentioned could work quite well, I think. You probably would get the most out of your day in Edmonton if you drove there from Jasper the previous night, July 8th. It's been a long time since I drove from Jasper to Edmonton, but I think it's something like 3.5 hours. Fortunately there are many hours of daylight in summer.

I notice from the previously mentioned website that the festival is taking place in Strathcona this year. That's a community a little to the east of Edmonton proper. You may want to ask about a conveniently located hotel, and I'm sure the Edmonton contingent here at Fodors will step up to the plate and give you good advice.

The drive from the centre of Edmonton to the centre of Calgary is about 3 hours, although your journey may be slightly shorter because Calgary's airport is in the northeast quadrant and you won't need to go all the way downtown.

If you want to stop for a meal between Edmonton and Calgary, the only town of any significant size is Red Deer, about half way between the two. That is the best place to stop if you want to do so.

As far as your Calgary accommodation is concerned, you mentioned you had a tentative reservation for a hotel at the airport. I don't know what you mean by that. There are quite a few hotels in the northeast quadrant relatively close to the airport (you usually can tell which ones they are because their street addresses end with N.E.). There is, however, only one hotel that is part of the airport complex.

The Delta Calgary Airport Hotel (right in the airport complex) is convenient if you have a very early morning flight (and yes, if you're going to the U.S. that really does mean getting to the airport a couple of hours before departure time ).

However, the Delta Calgary Airport Hotel takes advantage of its location, and charges more than an equivalent hotel elsewhere would do.

There are better values in the rest of the N.E. quadrant, and I would choose one of those other properties if my flight wasn't leaving at the crack of dawn. The rather pleasant Greenwood Inn springs to mind. Like many of the other hotels in the N.E. part of the city, the Greenwood Inn is in a commercial zone. The area lacks the charm of a residential neighbourhood, but it's convenient if you're just popping in and out.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Mar 10th, 2004, 10:07 AM
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The street performers' festival takes place in the area of Edmonton known as Old Strathcona, not "a community a little to the east of Edmonton proper". Old Strathcona is what we call the area along Whyte Ave. on the south side, and the nearby streets. It is an area full of funky, eclectic shops and some really great restaurants, with the nearest hotels (aside from the ones that rely on bar/blues clubs for their main revenue) further south. The Fringe festival is also held here, BTW.
luna is offline  
Mar 10th, 2004, 10:09 AM
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Judy,
I really appreciate your assistance.

I got a rate of $152 CAD at the Delta...our flight is at 8:15am

I wasn't as concerned about the hotel location in Edmonton because we are going to have to check out anyhow and I figured I could find a place to park in the festival area.

Any other thoughts?
Dick is offline  
Mar 10th, 2004, 11:00 AM
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Hello Dick,

The International Street festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, plus the city of Edmonton is celebrating its centennial, so the festival is likely to be a very special one.

The street performer's festival has always been held in the downtown area, but because of construction this year (preparation for the 100 birthday celebration), it had to be moved to Old Strathcona.

Old Strathcona is centrally located in Edmonton. It is across the river (more or less) from the city centre. However, it is a very popular spot in town, and during summer and during festivals the area is crowded (and there are wall-to wall festivals in the summertime in Edmonton). The parking in Old Strathcona is notoriously bad. So I would recommend staying in the area - the Varscona and the brand spanking new The Met are both on Whyte Avenue & right in the middle of things.
Whyte Avenue also intersects with Calgary Trail - the street which quickly takes you south to highway 2 and on to Calgary (from city limits to city limits it's a 2.5 hour drive).

I live in Edmonton would be pleased to answer any questions that you may have about our fair city.

Borealis is offline  
Mar 10th, 2004, 11:31 AM
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Borealis,

Thanks for the info.

We were going to stay at the Emonton House Suite Hotel (good rate) on 100 avenue. I hadn't realized how bad parking would be in the area.

I just made a reservation at the Met for 2 nights...eliminates the parking problem.

Anything else I should know?

Thanks
Dick is offline  
Mar 10th, 2004, 02:45 PM
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>>>>>>The street performers' festival takes place in the area of Edmonton known as Old Strathcona, not "a community a little to the east of Edmonton proper". Old Strathcona is what we call the area along Whyte Ave. on the south side, and the nearby streets. It is an area full of funky, eclectic shops and some really great restaurants, with the nearest hotels (aside from the ones that rely on bar/blues clubs for their main revenue) further south.<<<<<<

Thanks for setting me straight, Luna. I like Whyte Avenue, but strangely enough I didn't know that area was called Old Strathcona. Funnily enough, when I looked up the website about the festival and saw it was in Old Strathcona, I thought to myself, "Wouldn't it be nice if they had it along Whyte Avenue?"
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Mar 10th, 2004, 03:10 PM
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We were there a few summers ago. It was fun. Muscians played; actors mimed.
Various opportunities for theater and concerts, although some of the music was not great. I found it to be interesting.
Travel Alberta can fill you in I hope.
They did me.
bob_brown is offline  
Mar 10th, 2004, 05:20 PM
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Well, color me dumb, Judy - I assumed (dangerous word, that) everyone knew the Whyte Ave. area was called Old Strathcona. *blush* *sheepish*
luna is offline  
Mar 10th, 2004, 05:24 PM
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Hello again Dick,
More information about Edmonton? - what would you like to know??. . . . weather should be very nice in July (sunny and warm). Perhaps these websites will help when making your plans:
(& will you please write a trip report when you get home??)

http://www.discoveredmonton.com/

http://www.whereedmonton.com/

http://www.edmontontourism.ca/

http://www1.travelalberta.com/featur...tractions.html

http://www.edmonton.com/portal.asp?page=1

http://www.edmonton.ca/portal/server.pt


By the way Judy - Old Strathcona shares its name with the County of Strathcona, which in fact is an area adjacent to the city of Edmonton, and just east of it (total population of about 76000 people with the majority of them living in the bedroom community of Sherwood Park; the County of Strathcona is "home" to 60% of Canada's petrochemical industry, which makes you wonder why gas is more expensive in Edmonton than it is in Calgary :-? ).

So anyway - your mistake is understandable.

Many many years ago when the west was being settled, Edmonton used to be somewhat like Budapest - it had different names north and south of the river (the North Saskatchewan) - Strathcona was south and Fort Edmonton was north of the river. That's why Whyte Avenue has the look of a small town main street, and why it is referred to as "Old Strathcona".

By the way, Edmonton has continuous festivals starting in May/June and running through September, including the Jazz festival, the Works (art), the Folk Festival, Heritage Days (ethnic festival), a classical music festival (Symphony under the Sky) and of course The Fringe (the largest alternative theatre festival in North America).
Borealis is offline  
Mar 11th, 2004, 07:54 AM
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>>>>>>Many many years ago when the west was being settled, Edmonton used to be somewhat like Budapest - it had different names north and south of the river (the North Saskatchewan) - Strathcona was south and Fort Edmonton was north of the river. That's why Whyte Avenue has the look of a small town main street, and why it is referred to as "Old Strathcona".<<<<<<

That's interesting. I didn't know there used to be separate towns on either side of the river, but I guess it stands to reason. The valley that the North Saskatchewan has carved out is rather wide (and correspondingly attractive).
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
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