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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
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    Annual celebration of local natural phenomena in your area?

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    Several wks. ago I enjoyed the cherry blossom trees and Japanese magnolia flowering trees across the city in Vancouver. Some photos, etc. Vancouver celebrates the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. It gets bigger every year. International haiku competition, blossom walks/maps, a bike ride, outdoor painting, garden displays, dance, etc. Against the local mountains, it would be different from..ie. Washington DC. In my personal opinion, with a high Asian-based population, it adds another dimension but with Canadian twists that involve aboriginal groups, pan-Asian performances, etc.

    In early fall, there are some salmon festivals in Vancovuer area in celebration of the Pacific salmon runs swimming inland..if there's enough each yr. I do believe British Columbians have much higher sense of protecting their environment. And it starts with appreciating nature locally.

    In contrast here in Alberta, in the city where I live, there isn't a true annual festival that celebrates a local natural phenomena. Wish there was...I think it raises a higher level consciousness among locals of nature worth admiring, worth protecting. Environmental protection must lst inspire people for its beauty, what the land/water /air gives to local.
    The closest thing in Alberta, is the Canadian Rocky Mtns., but prairie people seem to see it as "other" not the true place where they live unless they are wealthy enough to own a 2nd home in the mountains. Besides many of these areas are national and provincial parks, already protected.

    In the Toronto area, the annual fiery autumn tree colour in parks is much appreciated and rural areas nearby. I'm certain like northeastern U.S., there are driving/cycling maps to see best of nature's colour show.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 04-29-2016 at 04:06 PM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
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    681
    Quite a few of he smaller towns in our north woods celebrate Earth Day with fairs and shows on sustainability. (I recently played music at one). A few also host birding festivals. Winter sports such as cross country skiing and snowshoeing are also very big. This is a very outdoor and environmentally aware area. It's why so many of us have moved up here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
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    Probably the closest to me is the Arbor Day celebration tomorrow at the arboretum. In September, within an hour or two's drive, we have a honey festival and a pawpaw festival - both of which have stayed true to their founding principles instead of turning into tacky flea markets as so many local festivals do. I've never been to the tomato festival (in the purported birthplace of tomato cultivation) or the blueberry festival. The one time I went to the violet festival years ago it was nothing but flea market, not surprising since I don't think there's any more commercial violet agriculture in Pickerington, though they've announced some better known musical acts for this year. Then obviously there are the county fairs and state fair. But as far as phenomena, rather than agriculture/horticulture/husbandry, around here it's institutions that put on events, not political subdivisions. So like the observatory has open telescope nights now and then, and special viewing events for things like comets or eclipses, or various lodges might have fall color events, etc.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
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    What is a pawpaw festival?

    We don't even have a local bison festival...bison is native to Alberta. I know it sounds carnivorous but remember it was part of the diet and culture of the Plains Indians across the prairies in Canada and US. Yes, the biggest protected herd of bison (900 head) is in national park 400 km. north of us. But it is easily raised on ranchland across Alberta compared to other parts of Canada.

    We have chinook wind phenomena which are strong winds which bring in warm air that suddenly melt snow..and they can blow strong that causes very rapid temperature rise 15 - 20 degree C within 1 day. It can be nuts because of so much clothing to carry around while biking. So how does one celebrate chinook wind? OUr location is one of only 3 places in the world that experience this type of wind (partially comes off from nearby mountains). Well here's a manhole cover.

    We don't celebrate the tiny prairie gophers that whistle, run around and noticeable in hilly ridges, to an ex-Ontarian/British Columbian like myself.

    Though we get snowy winters (except for this year) we don't have an annual winter festival. I think we prefer to celebrate it in pure mountain lush deep white pure snow in the Rockies 100 km. north of us. East, Quebec City has Winterlude which seems to me, a slightly Quebecois flavour and bonhomie.

    Sure we have a Lilac Weekend more as a retail business weekend rather than celebrating lilacs....which by the way, are rare in our City/prairies. There are swaths of lilac bushes and trees in southern Ontario along roads and in neighbourhoods.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 04-29-2016 at 06:07 PM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    13,144
    New England has to be the queen of places with these types of festivals. They are put on by every small town and cities, celebrating all kinds of things. We have lilac festivals, strawberry festivals, blueberry festivals, oyster festivals, harvest festivals, and festivals celebrating various historic time periods. There is a colonial type festival that I remembered going to as a child, at the Old Grist Mill in Sudbury (I've posted pictures of this place). About 11-12 years ago, I was out riding with my friend and we happened on this same festival, in September. So, many of these things have been going on for years.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Uncanny Valley
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    Quote Originally Posted by shootingstar View Post
    What is a pawpaw?
    Pawpaw (Wikipedia)

    It's the largest and most common fruit tree native to North America, grows wild all over the place, east of the Mississippi (and in the western Mississippi valley) from southern Canada to Florida. It's absolutely delicious, and easy to eat (a spoon makes it easier to dig out the flesh around the large seeds). And yet ... in less than 100 years since people started buying rather than foraging or growing most of their food, a fruit that has a relatively short ripeness window and travels very poorly due to thin skin and soft flesh, has become virtually unknown.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  7. #7
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    I've never seen pawpaw as a local thing in southern Ontario and southern B.C., where I've lived for quite a number of years. They are the warmest regions of Canada. And I've eaten a broad range of things.

    Saskatoon berry is native to some Canadian prairie provinces. But even though it's grown locally here, it still is abit more expensive than blueberries (from British Columbia. Blueberries don't grow in the prairies nor blackberries.). So having a festival for Saskatoon berry may not be financially sustainable and it's not harvested in huge volumes like other temperate climate berries. But we treasure it here, for pies ...and for home, when we make a lovely red wine Saskatoon berry sauce for seared bison. It's delicious, elegant....and local. Sometimes gourmet local ice creams use it for unique ice cream. To me, it's local and special-exotic still, because it's done so infrequently....like lichee gelato.

    I understand for marketing purposes it's renamed as juneberry in Minnesota, etc. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskat...-u-s-1.2744433

    What I'm trying to say...that sometimes locals who have lived for 2-3 generations in the same region, take for granted too much of their local uniqueness and local natural food abundance, that it becomes ho-hum unless they have lived elsewhere in the world for several yrs.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 04-30-2016 at 11:27 AM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2007
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    Yeah I don't think pawpaw grow in BC. Or, as I said, much west of the Mississippi (or the northern extension of that river into Canada and Minnesota) at all.

    Marketing? I knew them as Juneberries in the 1970s and I've never, ever heard of anyone selling them! Or cultivating, either, only foraging. That seems to be what the article you linked to said, that to the extent people in the US know them at all, they know them as Juneberries. But it certainly rolls off the tongue better, too.

    And, it seems to me the opposite. That food has become so homogenized that no one eats anything any more that can't be harvested at least two to three weeks before consumption and transported long distances - whether or not it's grown seasonally where those people happen to live. Like smilingcat was saying about the guy who was looking for out-of-season fruit from her farm, and couldn't understand why she can't just pick one each of whatever the grocery store has. It's really what the slow food movement is about - that people have become so alienated from their local foodsheds. It's funny how as kids, we all heard that song from the Disney Jungle Book that references pawpaws, and we probably sang "Where oh where is dear little Susie? / ... Way down yonder in the pawpaw patch," without ever wondering what a pawpaw was.

    And nuts ... hickories and butternuts, delicious but so difficult to eat. Even black walnuts, which are really just too strong flavored for me, are way more popular than hickories. I've got a woodlot full of both and don't eat any of them - the black walnuts because I don't care for them, and the hickories because an 8# sledge is just too much work for a little bit of nutmeat, no matter how good it is!
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 04-30-2016 at 12:39 PM.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Columbus, IN
    Posts
    221
    A small town near my hometown celebrates the Persimmon Festival every year (complete with Persimmon pudding contests and the Persimmon Queen). Persimmons are tree fruit. We have a Blueberry festival at a town in Northern Indiana. My hometown has the Limestone Festival (although I'm not quite sure that's what you're talking about -- Limestone is one of the largest natural resources in the area but they're celebrating the mining of it which isn't necessarily celebrating the environment?) Brown County has a "Spring Blossoms Art Festival" every spring -- but its a very touristy place and they have at least one festival a month :-)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    northern Virginia
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    Hmm let's see. Besides the obvious cherry blossom mania in DC (the park rangers who work the National Mall call it March Madness)... there was an apple blossom festival in Winchester VA this past weekend. There's a strawberry festival in St Mary's County, MD in two weeks. There's plenty of agriculture in Virginia and Maryland so I expect there are various other festivals that I haven't heard of. Probably a crab festival in Maryland, too.

    We have pawpaws here, though I only know about them from reading info from a local wildlife sanctuary.

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