Cobourg’s First Poutine Festival

Filling the gap left by the no longer operating Shelter Valley Folk Festival, Cobourg’s first Poutine Festival is happening this weekend – Thursday to Sunday in Victoria Park. It was not well advertised so attendance was a little below expectations when I visited on Friday at around noon.  There was also no beer tent and the only “entertainment” that I saw was recorded music and a bean bag toss game.  But those who were there seemed to be enjoying their icecreams and other food – presumably including Poutine.  I spoke with one of the vendors who was involved in organizing the event and he said that they were working with the Town and the Lions club and assuming traffic picked up as expected later Friday and through the weekend, that next year there would be more publicity (e.g. via Social Media) and probably a beer tent.  They might even move the date to coincide with the sandcastle festival.

Poutine Festival
Poutine Festival

But the good news this year is that there is no fence and no admission fee and the weather is good.

The announcement of the event (as shown on the Cobourg Internet Calendar here), was upbeat and informative:

We’ll have the tunes bumpin’, games for the whole family, tasty treats and many amazing poutines to try! Join us August 29th to September 1st for a great weekend at Victoria Park!
Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options will be available.
Poutine Contest on Sunday!
To be a judge or volunteer for the weekend, please send us a message!
No admission fees.
This season we are encouraging everyone to bring their own reusable forks and/or straws to help reduce the use of plastic waste.
Poutine Vendors: The Upper Deck, BBQ Babes, Fat Les’s Chip Stand, Smokin’ R&R’s, Herberts Fries
Dessert Vendors: Mrs. Mini Donuts, Mr. Swirl, Miss Ellie’s Lemonade
Other: Herberts Hot Dogs
Sponsored by St-Albert Cheese Factory!
Thursday, Aug 29 11am – 9pm
Friday, Aug 30 11am – 9pm
Saturday, Aug 31 11am – 9pm
Sunday, Sep 1 11am – 7pm
Web site

A couple more photos

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Jason Beatty
3 September 2019 1:45 pm

Unrelated, but curious… There was no pub crawl in Cobourg this past August. Did it not have the numbers? I enjoyed the Winter brews event earlier this year and visited a couple establishments I’ve never been to before.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Jason Beatty
3 September 2019 2:39 pm

It was paired with the Art Walk event initially scheduled for Aug 24 last. It was advertised in Northumberland News on August 22, and appeared on the Town web site as an event for Aug 24. I went to the DBIA office and was told that it was rescheduled for Sept 28. There was another event cancelled the previous month. The DBIA is having some teething problems lately.

Jason Beatty
Reply to  Wally Keeler
3 September 2019 2:53 pm

Thanks Wally, I appreciate your help!

Jason Beatty
Reply to  Jason Beatty
3 September 2019 2:55 pm

Looks like it’s now Saturday October 19

Tracey Gainforth
Reply to  Jason Beatty
9 September 2019 2:10 pm

Hi Jason,
I can assure you that the October Pub Crawl is October 19th as planned from the beginning. More information to come in the next few weeks. Art Walk was postponed and will become part of Harvest Festival September 28th! Lots of exciting things coming so stay tuned!

2 September 2019 10:05 am

Yum! Checked-out the Poutinefest yesterday and even with the rain it was a good time. I am from Cobourg but live in another city now and find it impressive that Cobourg is able to offer events like this, Ribfest, and the Waterfront festival that are on par or often exceed those in much bigger cities. Lining this new Poutinefest up with the Sand Castle Festival would be a nice pairing. I also like the idea others put forward of a VegFest but a VegFest in addition to all the other great offerings Cobourg has, not instead of.

Deborah O'Connor
1 September 2019 7:25 pm

Not worth the $9 it cost.

1 September 2019 3:44 pm

Breaking news!! A number of the vendors were asked whether their fries were fresh potatoes or frozen fries. Answer: Frozen. UGH – isn’t that grounds for disqualification? Anyway, shared in the party and people seemed happy being there and enjoying the poutine even if ‘diminished’.

Reply to  gerinator
2 September 2019 11:50 am

As one of the vendors at this festival, I can assure you, no one had frozen fries. They were all fresh cut never frozen fries

31 August 2019 2:02 pm

Nice to see this instead of the glorified death fest that is “ribfest”. Can’t wait to see the day barbaric events such as that start to disappear. Poutine Festival is a nice start.

Reply to  Durka
31 August 2019 2:05 pm

I’d think most of the people with moral objections to the farming involved in generating ribs would be just as upset by the farming involved in generating cheese and beef gravy.

Reply to  Dan
31 August 2019 2:28 pm

Indeed, and I would be one of those also, but it’s still a stepping stone in the right direction.

Does anyone know what the vegan options are at this festival?

Reply to  Durka
1 September 2019 8:07 am

There are 2 vendors offering vegan poutine. I believe they are Fat Les’s and Smokin R&R. I tried the one from Smokin R&R and it was ok but very salty.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Durka
31 August 2019 5:24 pm
Reply to  Durka
1 September 2019 8:30 am

If it’s Trans Fats you are concerned with…Poutine & BBQ Ribs are both excellent sources…but once in-a-while won’t kill ‘ya…it’s called “entertainment”.

Reply to  cornbread
1 September 2019 1:29 pm

Imagine if Ribfest was dog ribs. The hypocrisy of it is ridiculous. Dogs get worshipped like they are Gods and the others….well. There ain’t no difference folks!

Reply to  Becka
1 September 2019 3:10 pm

It’s funny that people in the West use “You’d eat a cow but would you eat a dog?!” as an attempt to shock while in cultures that aren’t ours they would say “You’d eat a dog but would you eat a cow?!” for the same intended effect.

Reply to  Dan
1 September 2019 5:27 pm

Are you agreeing or disagreeing with me? Fact is they are all pretty much the same. If you couldn’t bring yourself to eat a dog you shouldn’t be eating pigs and cows, etc. They are all the same thing, sentinent mammals just like you and I. I understand for most of human history we had no choice but we do now. These animals do not need to be killed anymore.

Reply to  Becka
2 September 2019 5:13 pm

I choose pork & beef versus canine & feline…most people do.