This weekend, Verdun was packed. Everyone was out – families wheeling baby carriages, punks looking grunge-fabulous, lovers arm in arm, older people, younger people… The smell of food was thick in the air. The traditional street fair food was out, of course. The hotdogs (served on baguette instead of bun, with a thick layer of coleslaw and magical mystery sauce) were too large to fit into even the most talented jaw. You had to tilt them and nibble through the delicious monsters, spilling globs of filling all the way down the road. It’s not a street fair if your lipstick isn’t smeared and your hands aren’t sticky.
The puppet shows were all free of charge and suited to all ages. Stages had been erected in the most imaginative places – in an underground parking lot, the garden behind a local church (Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs), the terrace of a local bar (Benelux), the parking lot in front of the Videotron…
The shows were loud, gaudy and delightful. As a fan of all things cheap and cheerful, not to mention a wild puppet fangirl, I was over the moon. From Les Joyeux Bouchers, a dark-n-dirty comedy, to the traditional cartoonish violence of Punch and Judy, there was something for everyone along the Wellington strip. Even the circus aficionados had their fun, as a stage was set up where acrobats and clowns performed ongoing stunts and skits. There were also little parades going down the street, one of which was a pair of Chinese dragons, snapping and stomping at the crowd.
It’s always a wonderful surprise to see the fascinating festivals that Verdun produces, and to see how involved everyone gets. The few technical difficulties encountered were faced with ruddy optimism, and most of the events went off without a hitch. The street fair also gave a chance to our many of our smaller businesses to attract new customers, while larger ones got their publicity through helping with the funding. As far as I’m concerned, the bigger the hot dogs and the cheaper the thrills, the better!