264. Carassauga Festival, One of GTA’s Best


African Mask. Copyright ©2012 Ruth Lor Malloy

With 60 countries represented in 26 pavilions at 12 locations across Mississauga, this is a not-to-be missed multicultural event. Festivals in other parts of the GTA have nothing of this quantity and variety. It’s on May 25, 26 and 27.

This festival is so big, you need to do some planning if you want to see everything. Believe me, three days might not be enough but what can you do? If you haven’t been there before, my first question is: do you want to visit as many countries as possible? Or, do you just want to see a few specific ones?

If you want quantity, aim first for the Hershey Centre Main Arena, 5600 Rose Cherry Place (North of Matheson Blvd East, one block east of Kennedy Road.) Then there’s the Tomkin Twin Arenas at 4495 Tomken Road relatively close by, but you need wheels. Other locations host only one country and are spread throughout Mississauga. Maps are on: http://bit.ly/JRtxDs .

Jose Rizal, Philippine National Hero. Carlos V. Francisca, Painter.

An adult can buy a passport at your first stop for $12. (Children 12 and under are free if accompanied by a passport holder.) One passport covers entries to all pavilions for all three days. During the Festival operating hours, passport holders ride free on the Carassauga Shuttle and MiWay, the new Mississauga Transit. The Shuttle takes you to many pavilions.

If you want to be flexible and not be delayed by a bus schedule, it’s best to drive. But you might want to take a good GPS.

The web-site http://bit.ly/KtvkO7 has a list of Pavilions. Besides the location, it will also tell you when the performances are on. Even if you can’t fit a performance into your schedule, you can look at the exhibits, sample the food, and chat with the people there. In addition to entrees and snacks, each pavilion offers an authentic ethnic dish for $2 each to sample. This web-site lists some of the dishes so you can think of what you want ahead of time. Don’t get so full that you won’t have a chance at your favourite. The site also gives telephone numbers if you need help.

Croatian Dancer. Copyright ©2012 Ruth Lor Malloy

If you want to see only one or two specific pavilions, I’ve been told that Hawaii’s is one of the best. I haven’t seen it yet, though. You could ask your Mississauga friends what they like. I hope some of you will tell us what you think is best and why.

The line-up this year is: Africa, Bangladesh, Canada, Caribbean (about 23 countries), China, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Hawaii, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy, Jamaica, Latin America (several countries), Lebanon, Macedonia, Malta, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Turkey & Ukraine.

For our review of Carassauga last year, click on: http://bit.ly/LciVmw

Please tell us about your Carassauga adventures. Our e-mail is: ruthlormalloy@yahoo.com .



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