I can’t wait to see what this year’s New Year’s Eve will be like at Mississauga’s brand new Celebration Square. If this summer’s Mississauga Ribfest is any indication of how great the space is, then we are bound to see some interesting events in the coming months.
Having grown up in Mississauga, I’m happy to see a west-end alternative to Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square or Dundas Square. Featuring a huge open space with a large stage, set up with top-of-the-line speakers and video screens, Celebration Square is perfect for special events such as the Mississauga Ribfest. Free parking is found across the street at Square One’s parking lot (although it gets packed pretty quickly, and the city may need to consider building a parking lot building with several storeys to alleviate any future parking issues with the mall).
I recently had the opportunity to check out Celebration Square for the first time while enjoying Mississauga Rotary Ribfest with a work colleague. Since I work close by to the Square, we decided ribs would make for a perfect Friday afternoon lunch.
And it was the perfect lunch…
The Mississauga Rotary Ribfest, in its eighth year, was expected to draw in more than 100,000 people in the span of four days. With 14 “ribbers” participating, some from as far as Albuquerque, New Mexico (Uncle Sam’s), it’s a rib-lovers dream-come-true festival.
We tried Uncle Sam’s rib for lunch – 1/3 ribs included four meaty pieces at about $9, enough to satisfy for a quick lunch. The sauce was slightly sweet and very zesty – just the way I like it.
Other favourites at Ribfest were the roasted sweet potatoes (or yams, like they were misleadingly called) with a bit of butter and brown sugar. For those with a sweet tooth, you could also find a truck with funnel cakes, jumbo ears, and my new favourite, deep fried Mars bars. A freshly squeezed lemonade was a refreshing addition to the meal.
With all that delicious food, including the sticky ribs, it’s inevitable that you will want to get your hands washed at some point. Dyson had a booth set up that offered a chance to cool off with their new bladeless fans, as to watch your hands in a sink. Fast-drying Dyson hand dryers were also featured. What a smart idea from a marketer’s point of view to be at a festival where people are bound to appreciate a chance to clean up after all that messy food!
The Mississauga Ribfest is free to enter and is worth the visit, despite the crowds and line-ups for food. Great bands, circus entertainers and delicious food make for a must-visit each year.
Celebration Square – Calendar of Events
To see what else is happening at Celebration Square, visit their calendar page. For a taste of what’s on in the next few weeks, here’s a brief list:
TGI-Food (Thank Goodness it’s Food!) – Each Tuesday grab a bite to eat from a different world food vendor each week.
Fresh Air Fitness: Socacize & Yoga – July 20th, 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM – first socasize and then do yoga for free
Bark in the Park – Wednesday evenings, bring along your dog for a free training session, to play fetch or walk around at Celebration Square
ON Screen Movie Night – Thursday, July 21st, 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., screening of Gnomeo and Juliet. Grab a blanket and bring the kids for a late-night FREE movie night, OUTDOORS!
More events available on the calendar page. Mark your calendar for August 12th if you are a Matt Dusk fan – he will be appearing at Celebration Square on August 12th, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
More photos from Ribfest: