The Oliver Street Market got a leg up last Saturday, Sept. 24, by hosting a Harvest Festival of Awesome during the day, then an after party feast and celebration in the evening.
Vendors dressed up in costume for the occasion, then together with The Stew Magazine the market hosted a beef stew cook-off, with three teams vying for prizes and bragging rights.
Various musicians entertained during the day, then in the evening at Beeotcheese, Soupbone and DJ Jordan Holmes offered blues and dance tunes, while the Williams Lake Players Club staged an improv performance of a play they had written that day.
The delicious meal, utilizing locally grown vegetables, beef and salmon, was prepared by Beeotcheese staff.
Three teams lined up for the stew cook off, utilizing locally grown ingredients, and providing their own spice and secret recipes in an attempt to claim the coveted Master Stew Maker recognition.
The three-generation team of Bernie Casler, Trina Casler and Elizabeth Casler wowed the judges by adding roasted garlic to their home-made buns.
The Soupbone team of Dean Fulton and April Gerwing had a few tricks up their sleeves, using smoked beef soaked in Guinness beer for their tasty presentation.
Mary Forbes and Audrey Dye won the tummy-hearts of the judges. They offered two stews for their entree, one of beef and the other of lamb. That might have swayed the judges, or maybe it was the added garnish of freshly chopped mint for their lamb dish that pushed them over the top and into the winner’s circle.
Once the judges took their tastes, the public also got a chance to sample the presentations. All three were scrumptious. The people’s choice gave the nod to Fulton and Gerwing. The improv play conjured up during the day featured Michael Hodgson, Todd Sullivan and Gerwing as three construction workers taking a lunch break perched 50 stories up on a New York highrise. The dialogue was witty and hilarious, and Gerwing’s New Joisy accent was quite convincing.
Soupbone considered changing their band’s name to Stew Bone for the evening to fit into the theme of the day. By any other name their bluesy renditions were very danceable and enjoyable.
Kudos to the Oliver Street Market for giving us all a good excuse to celebrate.
The market will continue a few more weeks into October, with several vendors planning bulk sales of some of their produce for winter storage.