There’s a lot of festivals to attend in the summertime – that’s one of the things I love most about Edmonton summers! It feels like there’s not a weekend that goes by without a multitude of choices on what to do, where to go, and usually (most importantly) what to eat!
Taste of Edmonton and Heritage Festival are the more obvious food festivals (and I love them), but there’s one just north of Edmonton that I’ve really started looking forward to each August: the Sturgeon County Bounty Culinary Cookout!
The Sturgeon County Bounty is a series of programs and events that highlight local producers and chefs, and promotes agriculture and rural tourism in the St. Albert, Morinville, Bon Accord, and Gibbons area. The Bounty Culinary Cookout is the culmination of the event, where there is live music, the Morinville Farmers’ Market (featuring 20+ vendors), and lots of tasty, local food for you to try!
A bunch of really great Sturgeon County restaurants/food trucks dish out food using farm fresh ingredients from local producers. The event has been around since 2010 but I only discovered it a year ago (I’ve seriously been missing out!)
This year’s Sturgeon County Bounty featured nine producers Gold Forest Grains, Peas on Earth, Manawan Farms, Berry Ridge Orchard, Lazy RT Beef, Prairie Gardens, Country Quality Meats, Coronado U-Pick Farm, and Jeff Nonay Beef and ten food vendors DaVinci Gelato, Funky Mango, Go Nuts for Donuts, Jack’s Burger Shack, The New Deli, XIX Nineteen, Prairie Gardens, Saviours Cafe & Bistro, Streetside Catering, and Urbano Pizza.
I attended the super family-friendly Sturgeon County Bounty with my mom, dad, and Olive, and my friend Diane and her sister and we had so much fun! At the Bounty, similar to Taste of Edmonton and Heritage Festival, you buy food tickets ($1 = 1 ticket) and exchange the tickets for delicious food samples.
We tried a pretty wide range of dishes among the five us, including pizza from Urbano, smokies, pulled pork sliders and chicken and rice from Streetside Catering, bacon cheddar sliders from Funky Mango, a standard burger from Jack’s Burger Shack, mini donuts with powdered sugar from Go Nuts for Donuts, slow braised short rib sliders and albacore tuna poke from XIX Nineteen, Ethiopian beef stew from Saviours Cafe & Bistro, Dilly garlic roasted fresh dug potatoes with sour cream and lemon verbena posset with strawberry rhubarb and Saskatoon berries from Prairie Gardens, and were happy with all of the dishes!
There were definitely some stand-outs too. For me, those stands-outs included: the beef stew from the Ethiopian restaurant Saviours Cafe & Bistro (just packed with a ton of flavour!).
The spicy albacore tuna poke bowl from XIX Nineteen (and one of my favourite chefs, Chef Andrew Fung!)
The pulled pork sliders and slaw from Streetside Catering.
And refreshing gelato from DaVinci Gelato!
The food samples you get at the Sturgeon County Bounty are really well-portioned (you know, the portion-size is almost as important as the taste! lol), and there were hardly any line-ups at all (despite it being a really full festival site!) The weather was perfect, and the free concert was so entertaining. If you’ve got kids, they have kids activity areas and kids cooking classes too.
The Sturgeon County Bounty has easily become one of my favourite summer food festivals and I think despite it being around for so many years, it’s still not as known to the Edmonton crowd. It takes about 40 minutes to drive from Edmonton to Cardiff Park where the event takes place, which really – its like driving from Sherwood Park to west Edmonton. It’s really not that far, and it’s so worth it!
This event has introduced me to some great food vendors I wouldn’t normally get to try, and just has such a lovely quality to it. The atmosphere is fantastic. It feels less chaotic than Taste and Heritage Festival. You feel good about the portion sizes and the quality and taste of the food (as well as the price – $1/1 ticket). And there’s just something about that country air that you can’t help but especially enjoy in our beautiful summertime.
It’s also dog-friendly! Which is really awesome.
Thanks to the Sturgeon County Bounty for inviting me to come check out their festival (and providing some free food samples). I’m thrilled my parents’ schedule worked out so they could come too.
— Linda Hoang ? (@lindork) August 12, 2017
Mark your calendar for early August next year – you’ve got to check out the Sturgeon County Bounty for yourself! It’s a really fantastic event and definitely one of my favourite food festivals to attend each summer.
Disclaimer: I will always provide my 100% honest opinion on this blog. The Sturgeon County Bounty sent me some food tickets for the event. This does not impact the opinions stated in this post.