From August 4 to 17 we’ll be celebrating Folklorama 50!
Imagine that - the fiftieth Folklorama!
Folklorama was intended to be a one-time celebration of Manitoba’s centennial in 1970.
It was originally in downtown Winnipeg on King Street, all within walking distance.
Well that was easy - it only had 21 pavilions.
Folklorama proved so popular that it came back the next, and every summer, since.
For the longest time it was a one-week celebration.
The pavilions were in different neighbourhoods, many not in walking distance.
When Paul and I first arrived here in 1975 we really got into all the festivals in Manitoba, and that included the full, one-week, Folklorama experience.
We felt it was our duty as new Manitobans to take part in each and every event.
We were 25.
We had more energy than sense.
We were dumb.
We had our reasons.
We'd grown up in New York, to be exact, Queens.
Manhattanites knew we weren’t real New Yorkers.
Folks in Queens had the attitude I live here, I don’t have to see it.
‘It’ being Manhattan and all the tourist attractions in it.
Then we moved to British Columbia.
We’d always meant to see places like the Butchart Gardens, but we never got around to them during the two years we lived there.
Well… we weren't going to make that mistake again.
We were going to see everything we could in Manitoba - in one year.
I sort of remember lots of embroidery.
I do remember the time we were stopped by a cop on Main Street.
We weren't drunk.
Paul had been driving and, while I waved the Folklorama passport, Paul explained to the officer that we were looking for Poland and we hadn't noticed that we'd gone past a three-way intersection.
Cops hear it all during Folklorama.
Over the years Folklorama has gone through a few changes.
It’s grown to 45 pavilions which now are spread out over two weeks.
Some of the original pavilions have stopped putting on a show.
The volunteers had gotten old and the kids weren't interested.
There are plenty of folks from other countries happy to set up pavilions.
Some countries are represented by more than one pavilion.
I still have a program from the 1980 Folklorama.
There was a bit of information from each of the 37 pavilions.
What made this program special was that 34 countries also posted recipes.
The Chilean, Chinese, and Mennonite Pavilions had nice write-ups, but no recipes.
The Scotland Pavilion, at the Heather Curling Club, had posted Scottish Shortbread.
The Mug Pug Pavilion, representing England, was set up in the University of Manitoba.
They had full meals from every corner of the British Isles served in a British pub atmosphere with entertainment and plenty of drinks.
They shared the recipe for the Bakewell Tart which originated when, many years ago, a customer at the Rutland Arms in Bakewell, Derbyshire, ordered some strawberry tarts, and the cook mistakenly put the egg mixture on top of the jam.
It wasn’t the first time a simple mistake led to a new - and good - recipe.
This year, in addition to the United Kingdom Pavilion, there is a Pavilion of Scotland.
There are two Chile Pavilions: the Chile Lindo Pavilion and the Chilean Pavilion.
You can substitute 12 ounces of flour and 4 ounces of rice flour for the flour in the Shortbread recipe.
Line a sandwich tin with
6 ounces short crust pastry
Over the pastry spread
2 Tablespoons jam
Place in a medium mixing bowl
4 ounces shortening
4 ounces castor sugar
Cream well and add
few drops almond extract
Beat well together, add
2 ounces ground almonds (or sponge cake crumbs)
Spread the mixture on top of the jam.
Bake at 375º F for 50 minutes.
Grease a large cookie pan.
Combine in a large bowl
16 ounces flour
4 ounces fine sugar
Place on a board
8 ounces butter
Work in the dry ingredients, kneading well.
After all ingredients are worked together, knead and then shape into a round cake or into fingers about 1/2 inch thick.
Place on prepared land and prick with a fork.
Bake at 325º F - 45 minutes for the fingers, 60 minutes if baking a cake.
Leave on the pan for a short time before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.