By Tourism Richmond
End August with a joyous and delicious bang during the fourth annual Richmond World Festival. Last year’s two-day festival attracted over 40,000 people (per day!), and this year promises to be bigger and better. The highly-anticipated event takes place August 31 (4pm to 10pm) and September 1, 2018 (11am to 10pm), at Minoru Park in Richmond, and offers an abundance of top-notch entertainment, family-friendly activities, and exciting international eating opportunities.
The two-day festival, headlined by Canadian music stars Lights and Magic!, celebrates the diversity of Richmond through globally-themed programming, pavilions, and displays. Attendees can look forward to an artisan market selling unique cultural crafts, as well as a Global Village area with an Indigenous dance workshop, a roster of other cultural performances, and fun “how to” craft workshops (e.g. Japanese bookbinding). Meanwhile, the Bamboo Theatre will wow audiences with Chinese opera displays and demos, while the Africa Zone will feature vibrant artists and vendors. And, those who get hot can find a cool escape at the Antarctica Zone in Minoru Arena.
Younger attendees will love Kids World, with face painting and zany balloon making, while adults will be engaged by the media art displays that are part of “Your Digital Carnival.” Words will also play a prominent role in the festival with readings at the World of Poetry, and the Imagination Stage at the Richmond Public Library. Plus, performers, such as Desi Sub Culture, Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine, and Kimmortal, will be appearing on the Main and Minoru Stages to get the crowds energized and dancing.
With all this activity, attendees are bound to work up an appetite for global eats. A particular highlight is the event’s food program that really showcases the impressive cultural breadth of Richmond’s culinary landscape. The eating begins with the FEASTival of Flavours, a bringing together of over fifty local food trucks promising to be a huge and delicious draw. The festival within the larger festival offers a list of food that is mouth-watering and spans the globe, from Belgium waffles (Beljam’s Waffles) to west coast sockeye salmon burgers (Wheelhouse Seafoods).
Some trucks to look out for are It’s All About Grill, a Richmond Night Market favourite, with their barbecued meat skewers, like juicy lamb shoulder and garlic chicken; Jamaican Mi Juicy with their spicy Jamaican jerk chicken caesar wraps and refreshing tropical smoothies; and Kampong, a family-run business that lovingly prepares Malaysian dishes (eg chicken satays and chicken curry) like their grandmother used to make them. Other food trucks reflect a melding of culinary traditions, such as El Cartel with their Korean/Latin American/Tex-Mex menu that features bulgogi short rib tacos and bulgogi short rib fries, and, of course, the ever popular Japadog, with their Eastern spins on a North American classic. Quintessential comfort food can be found at trucks like Reel Mac and Cheese, Russet Shack, and Wings.
The copious eating can be washed down with refreshing drinks from food vendors like Benny’s Tea, Lenny’s Lemonade, and Juicy Green Express (bubble tea). Sweets from trucks like Cannoli King and Slavic Rolls will be the perfect finish to the delectable gorging. FEASTival will be a multicultural chowing down zone, with other food trucks in attendance including the Original Hurricane Potato, Sajetarian (Middle Eastern), Brazilian Roots, and Mr. Bannock.
Once guests are done at FEASTival, they can wander (or waddle) to the Culinary Stage, presented by Tourism Richmond, where top local chefs will be demonstrating their craft. Chefs with Richmond connections include Betty Hung (August 31, 6:45pm-7:15pm), a resident of the city, soon-to-be cookbook author (French Pastry 101), and co-owner of Beaucoup Bakery, where she began as an intern before ascending to head pastry chef. She bought the business with her brother Jacky Hung from Jackie Kai Ellis in 2017.
The dynamic duo Dominique and Cindy Duby (September 1, 5:45pm-6:25pm) from Richmond’s Wild Sweets will also be taking to the stage, demonstrating the extraordinary talent and science behind their chocolate and confection making. This couple is not to be missed, as they are masters at what they do, winning numerous accolades, including being ranked as one of the “25 Best Chocolatiers in the World.”
Richmond’s Banh Mi Tres Bon has generated substantial buzz for their innovative and high quality renditions of Vietnamese culinary staples. Chef and owner Lan Do (August 31, 5:30pm-6:10pm), will be demonstrating her knowledge regarding the technique, ingredients, and evolution of Vietnamese cuisine.
Chef Mike Manlulu (September 1, 4:45pm-5:25pm) from Steveston’s Britannia Brewing Co. will be talking about and showing attendees how to create west coast dishes that incorporates local produce and seafood. He’ll be part of a roster of well-known chefs presenting that includes Mark Singson, runner-up on Top Chef Season 6, Gurj Dhaliwal winner of the 2007 Superstar Chef Challenge on Food Network Canada, and Drew Munro from Drew’s Catering & Events.
These culinary demos, along with the other programming, promise to make 2018’s Richmond World Festival a massive hit. For two jam-packed days, Minoru Park will be the site of plenty of good eating, cultural sharing, and star-studded musical performances. In short, Richmond offers the ultimate global staycation for the upcoming long weekend!