Manitoba Sunflower Festival

Sharing Altona culture

The 52nd Manitoba Sunflower Festival brings people together to share their community pride in small town Altona.

Thanks to sponsors, attendees don’t need to worry about bringing their wallets for the music, parade or car show, festival chair Mike Friesen says, although he notes people might want some cash for the grub.

“Food is always a big part of the festival,” Friesen says.

A Mennonite catering company will set up a buffet of perogies, Mennonite noodles and more traditional food, while 14 food trucks will set up outside for the festival, taking place July 22 to 24.

The food trucks aren’t just there to keep festival-goers fuelled; Friesen says there’s a bit of a battle of the food trucks going on as well.

“We do have kind of a fan favourite where people can enter their favourite food truck in a draw,” Friesen says.

The winner will be announced on the main stage Saturday evening before the final musical performances of the night.

This year, Friesen says they’ve worked to expand the multicultural pavilion where people from the community will be showcasing their own culture, including food.

As always, the Manitoba Sunflower Festival will have a sunflower queen pageant.

Altona’s sister city, Emerald, Australia, will send its queen to take part in the Manitoba festivities as well, Friesen says. 

And that’s precisely what the Manitoba Sunflower Festival is all about – showing off a small community and all its diversity.

Published in Volume 70, Number 27 of The Uniter (June 2, 2016)

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