It was a brilliant yet scorching Sunday afternoon for a day at the Lilac Festival, a vast community market along the popular 4th Street. “Prepare for arm sweat,” was how my cousin described the popularity of this event, and indeed the streets were packed with bodies, strollers, and dogs. Like any bustling outdoor market there were booths for food, body products, home décor, and trinkets, but the energy was palpable and it was a place where you were likely to run into people you haven’t seen in a while (whether or not you were actually delighted to see them).
Restaurants along the street were bustling with festivalgoers entering for the AC and more food, and our pick was Anju, a Korean tapas restaurant. I had my eye on this place basically since I moved here, and the unanimous winner was “The Manimal” burger. Petite they may be, but those double-patty sliders were intensely flavoured and super juicy!
Our digestive walk took us to tents full of pretty necklaces and terrariums. To mitigate the heat, we helped ourselves to lemonade and Fiasco gelato with “Fig Cheesecake” winning our hearts.
I dabbled into a little competitive game of Mega Jenga with my boo - my cousin and her boo watching on the sides. None of us anticipated the audience the game drew! That match went on for a quite some time, and I was feeling of the nerves of having so many pairs of eyes just watching and mumbling to each other about what they thought the next move should be. We did get applause when the tower finally toppled, and I'm pretty sure he graciously let me win.
Come evening the festival was winding down, but for us it was time to indulge some more - this time with an array of Japanese dishes at the recently opened Ke Charcoal Grill & Sushi. And yes, we were able to pick a winner here as well. I’m not normally into “Special Scallop”, but this one just knocked us off our feet. The scallops were so fresh that you could really feel the buttery texture and taste the delicate sweetness. Pretty sure some of us died and went to heaven that evening.
The Lilac Festival was more than just a local market. It was a place where you could really feel the energy of the community, and pet the many dogs just sauntering through the streets. The jovial atmosphere prompted us to try new foods in near-reckless abandon, and it was just a truly fantastic way to enjoy each other’s company.