Memories on the Midway


I got an email invitation from Ron Cantiveros of the Filipino Journal to check out some of the new food offerings at the Red River Ex this week.  I’ve done this before, and it always makes for a good afternoon. Exhibitions are places of childhood memories. They are places where families go to have a good time together.

It was raining when I first got to the Ex, so rather than heading out to get something to eat right away, I hit the Exhibition Hall. Among the first things that caught my attention was a model railway set up. I went over and started watching the trains go around. As I did I found myself thinking about my dad.

Red River trains
Part of the train set up at the Red River Ex.
Red river train and train track
The train exhibit with a train on the trains. Model trains were one of my dad’s favourite hobbies and they always make me think of him, and miss him.

Sunday is Father’s Day. It’s been close to six years since my dad died. Trains always held a great fascination for my dad. Especially model trains. He possessed many different models over the years. In his last years his train set was a Z Gauge unit that fit into a small wooden suitcase. Even as children, if we ever got separated from dad and there were trains around, we’d know where we could find him.  It was nice recalling some pleasant memories of my dad while enjoying the model railway setup.

Red River Ex stage
One of the outdoor stages at the Red Rive Ex

When I was a child though, there weren’t a lot of food offerings at the Ex. I spent my elementary school days in Prince Albert Sask, and that was where my first exhibition memories were formed. These two also involved my dad. He was a member of the Kiwanis Club that ran a small Candy Floss stand every year. Candy Floss was one of those things, that like the Ex only came around once a year.

Even when I moved to Winnipeg in my high school days, the Midway food seemed to be all Fries, Candy Floss, and Mini Donuts. I think if I could sum up my memories of the food in those days it would largely be sugar and more sugar, with a side of sugar.

When it come to food, just remember you might want to eat after the riding the Mega Drop rather than before.

Thanks for the Memories, but…

While I think back fondly on those days, I do find that my tastes have changed, and I’m grateful for the new food options that are available. I really like finding things that I didn’t get to try the previous year.

A new truck at the Red River Ex this year is Northern Snow. They could best be described as having an Asian fusion style. I tried there Dragon Balls, served on a skewer with a roasted cherry tomato, along with homemade BBQ sauce and Sweet Chili sauce. Quite tasty. They also carried something I found a little surprising. Cream of Chicken and vegetable soup. As the day was a little damp and cool this made for a nice little warmup.

Red River Chicken soup.
Cream of chicken and vegetable soup from the Northern Snow truck.

I wandered the midway for a little while. Given the weather it was not all that busy. However, it actually helped make the afternoon very pleasant and relaxing.

When I was in the mood for a little more to eat, I stop by Wok this Way. I can’t help, but I can’t say the name without mentally singing it in Steve Tyler’s voice. This time I stopped and had the fried noodles. This order was noodles with bits of cabbage in it. I really enjoyed the flavour and texture of the noodles. I also piled on the Sriracha sauce to give them some kick.

Red River truck menu
Menu from Wok this Way truck at the Red River Ex.

Beyond the rides and the games there are many other attractions to visit. After the trains my favourite was Meet the Breeds. Various dog owners and breeders bring their dogs with them to the Ex. You can go into the little booth and ask questions about the various breeds of dogs and of course, pet them, if they’re in the mood. There’s nothing like having a dog around to pet to relax you even more on a relaxed, casual day.

Red River Ex noodle order
An order of noodles from the Red River Ex – Wok this way truck

As I was winding up my day I decided I wanted something a little sweet, so I stopped by Slushie King. Slushie King is a new truck from Derek Collins owner of Poutine King. There are six flavours available. I made a mix and match of Orange, Lemonade, and Blue Raspberry. Which as you can see from the picture below actually turned out quite attractive looking as well as good tasting. One thing I like about these slushies is that there is plenty of flavour from the first sip to the last.

Red River Ex Slushie
Three flavoured slushie from the Slushie King, a new truck from the owner of The Poutine King.

The Red River Ex is in it’s final weekend. Today or tomorrow would be a great opportunity to go and create some new memories. Since it’s Father’s Day tomorrow, if you have a dad around, you can go with him and make some lasting memories.

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