Visit to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village

I'm Ukrainian on both sides (third generation). We eat Ukrainian food often, attend perogy suppers regularly and on occasion listen to the Zabava Ukrainian radio program on CFCW. I was a Ukrainian dancer for five years as a kid. I (used to) know the alphabet and a couple dozen words in Ukrainian (I've forgotten most of that now, but I do remember yabloko = apple and a half dozen others). Right, so that's not really 'intouch with my roots' or anything but not too bad for native Canadians.

I've never been to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village though. Shocking really.

In what has become somewhat of a Canada Day tradition, I went adventuring with a good friend and her son (who holds the title of my-most-favourite-kid-ever). The Village is only about 45 minutes west on the Yellowhead/Trans Canada Highway, and is just past Elk Island Park. Admission is cheap ($8 for adults, kids under 6 free, and then other discounts for seniors and kids or AMA members).

The grounds are mostly filled with original old buildings that have been moved to the site from surrounding local communities, and restored to their original state. Costumed interpreters are available in and around the buildings to answer questions (though are not generally as friendly and welcoming as other interpreters I've met). There's also a gift shop and small (very small) museum area with two exhibits (one was on Ukrainian weddings, and the other on the village in general).

Because it was Canada Day, there were a few special events. There were musical acts, and a drama on the main stage. There was also a collection of classic cars on the lawn, a small bazaar selling preserves, dips, tablecloths, jewelry, blankets, and my favourite - Ukrainian doughnuts (pampushky, which come in poppyseed, apricot, apple and prune flavours, my favourite being prune).

I'm not a food blogger, so forgive me for forgetting to take photos of the food! The pampushky were excellent (moist, if a bit greasy, with lots of prune inside). For lunch there are a couple options: hot dogs, hamburger and fries (but why would you go to the Ukrainian Village for that?!), borscht (with a bun $3.75), a perogy plate ($7.50 for 8 perogies, onions and sour cream and drink), and the Baba's Best plate ($9.50 for 6 perogies, 3 cabbage rolls and a piece of kolbasa and drink). Bacon bits were free, but real bacon cost $1.05, ha ha. The perogies were really good. They were all potato filling, but very tasty and big enough to satisfy a hungry people who had just walked the grounds in the sun. The cabbage rolls were good as well, very sour. I was impressed actually. Eating lunch at the village is definitely a must if you visit.

Here are some photos:




Would I go back? For sure, but not for just a regular weekend. I would go back again on a day when there was a special event going on, like the dance festival in May or music festival in August. (Here is a calendar of events.)

The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village is a great $20 (+gas) day. Definitely check out one of the many events they have throughout the year! And don't forget to have perogies for lunch!!

Comments

  1. You may not write a foody blog but you sure did a good job describing the yummy food. Sounds like a really fun event. Now I'm hungry!

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