Discover Burlington Ontario

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The Sound of Music Festival

by TourismBurlington
The Sound of AWESOME Festival, More Like.

A violinist in a cowboy hat. Onion Blooms. Tiger-faced babies. A breathtaking view complete with sailboats, waterfowl and buskers that would take away the breath of even the most cynically cynical cynisist. One might ask, “What do these seemingly unconnected phrases have in common, other than being sentence fragments that sound like the ramblings of an incoherent drunkard?” The answer, my esteemed colleagues in Burlingtonian-ness, can be summed up in 3 words. Nay, 3 letters. S.O.M.

Nowhere else is there an event that allows you such visual, auditory and taste-related stimulation. That’s just science.  My own personal 2011 experience started with Bedouin Soundclash on Thursday night and LET ME TELL YOU, they were amazing. To be fair, I am a tad biased as I attend Queen’s University (their Alma Matter), and so consider it to be my duty to pledge my allegiance to the band. Of course, their outspoken support for the recently annihilated (yes, I know that’s harsh but it’s also completely accurate) Vancouver Canucks voiced on stage in the middle of the set was NOT appreciated by the hockey fans in the crowd (myself included!), but their performance was so impressive that it more than made up for their Vancouverness. 

Friday night was similarly joy-evoking: I had a couple of buds in from out of town to see Emerson Drive, who were so wonderful that a regular word is merely does not suffice, and so I am forced to make one up: fabulisciosome. Yes. The band was fabulisciosome. Also, not too hard on the eyes. In fact, my Oakville buddy who was visiting said that the show was the best concert she’d ever seen. Pretty high praise, fellas! Following the set we met the band and, after facing the harsh realization that they all had wedding rings on, recovered our zeal and headed through the park for a walk around the rides, mourning the fact that as students we’re far too poor to avoid even a spinny strawberry ride. Good times.

Saturday night was the capper, as I attended a balcony party downtown and got to see the action from a bird’s eye view. While I was very disappointed that a fight did not break out in front of the beer store when it closed at 10 (and believe me,the other spectators and I expected it!), I suppose it does attest to the inspirationally peaceful downtown atmosphere (wink wink plug plug). However, my disappointment was subdued when—suddenly—the sweet lusciousness of Otis Redding’s ‘Sittin on the Dock of the Bay’ wafted (as much as sound can ‘waft’) into my ears. Of course, it wasn’t the real Otis, but the cover band truly did the man proud.  The night was full of mooching about the vendors, getting together with old friends and new, and seriously appreciating the street festivities. All in all an amazing weekend. Great music, vendors and atmosphere: a complete success!

We walked along the waterfront, thinking “what could possibly make this weekend of music, rides, sunglass shopping and Lugano’s pizza any better?”.  And then we stumbled upon the answer.  Cupcakes.  In a truck.  Now I know what you’re thinking.  Cupcakes can’t drive.  But that’s not important.  What you need to know is that the cookies and cream cupcake I had was absolutely fantastic and a perfect end to the night.  Be sure to check out the Cupcake Diner while you’re at the festival!

Here at Tourism Burlington, the majority of us Summer Travel Counselors go to McMaster University. I, however, representing the minority, attend Queen’s University. So on Thursday night I decided it would be excellent to support the talented band Bedouin Soundclash who forged their friendship at Queen’s University around a decade ago. They made Queen’s proud as lead singer, Ja
y Malinowski, belted out hit songs such as “Walls Fall Down” and “When the Night Feels my Song”. The pressing question many of you may be asking is “is Jay as good looking in person as he is on TV?” The answer: even better looking in person (yes, it is possible).

Now, although the tourism staff enjoyed the festival, we also actually did some work there.  You know – that stuff we get paid to do. Not that we don’t enjoy working at tourism, it’s a pretty sweet gig actually. And I didn’t get paid to say that! Unless you count the fact that I’m blogging during my work day. So technically, I did get paid to say that, but I would also have been paid had I said something else.

Anyhoo, we travel counsellors donned our official Sound of Music shirts and settled into our lakeside information tent. It was a gorgeous weekend, and we were lucky enough to be helping very happy people, while being treated to free music all day.  Most common occurrence: people asking for a schedule/map. Least common occurrence: dog walking on its two hind legs. No joke. Two thumbs up for working at Sound of Music.

Also, in response to Ellen’s University of Queens thing, I would just like to point out that our SOM shirts were not only maroon (McMaster colours WHAT), but were also adorned with the Mohawk college logo, an institution which has several joint programs with Mac.  WHAT YOU GONNA DO?

I’m sure you are wondering what sort of shenanigans some of the Tourism girls got up to this Saturday during the Sound of Music Festival!

… no? Well now that you know shenanigans were had maybe I have piqued your interest.

During the day, we spent most of our time down at the Waterfront in front of Discovery Landing and boy was it hot out! That didn’t stop those determined music lovers and shoppers though because Spencer Smith Park was packed! Everyone seemed to be having a great time, especially the children at the splash pad.

You might be surprised that while the Sound of Music is an event most Burlingtonians wait all year for, there are people from everywhere coming to experience this amazing event! We even met a couple from Germany!

After we finished work we decided to FINALLY go and visit the festival we have been talking about! But we just finished work so obviously dinner was the first priority.
Since we were downtown already we decided to go to arguably the BEST pizza place in Burlington, Lugano’s (Kat seems to think that Mount Royal Pizza at the north end of Burlington is the best). We ordered two medium pizzas and only had to pay 18 dollars! Delicious and price savvy. The best combo.

After the pizza and a little wandering around the shops (we will get back to those later), we took our place in the crowd to see Hollerado. Admittedly, Natalie and I were quite tired so we took our place among the “Sitters” in the park while the more energetic Kat took her place with the “Standers” by the stage. The band was amazing and so much fun to watch! They played one of my favorite songs, Juliette, and even started crowd-surfing! After the show we were even able to go behind the stage and meet them. One of our friends, Dave, was able to get his CD signed by them. He was very excited about that.

Now that we had no place in a crowd to save we were able to walk through all of the vendors and see what they had to offer. First off we bought some coffee (for the slowly fading Amy who survives only because of coffee) from the Tim Horton’s booth and some cotton candy, clearly a staple for an event such as this. There were so many shops for us to look through ranging all the way from electronics to didgeridoos.

Sadly the weekend had to end. We all had to leave but there is always next year!

Also, in response to my Queensian colleague Ellen,

Oilthigh na Banrighinn a’ Bhanrighinn gu bràth!
I feel ya, sister.

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