We spent 15 absolutely brilliant years in Saskatoon and Martensville, Saskatchewan. We made many, many friends in our time, including a whole bunch of the lifetime variety. We love heading back to “the scene of the crime” at every opportunity. Saskatchewan, and Saskatoon are among the best kept secrets in North America. I can, with startling accuracy, tell if a person is from Saskatchewan as they have a certain way about them, and I hope some of it rubbed off on us.
The tale I am telling here is a visit we made with our young cousin Lauren, from merry old Englandland. She was here for a 6 week visit and one of things we did with her was take a trip to Saskatoon to both show her where we had spent some time living and to visit the Sasktel Jazz Festival.
First treat for Lauren was the drive, 6 and a half hours from Calgary to Saskatoon. They just don’t understand these distances in England, or sitting in a car for that long. It turned out she enjoyed the drive and was surprised at how not boring it was.
Once arrived we did some touring around. After all, I own this town.
We took a walk up 21st St towards the Midtown Mall area. They take the Jazz Festival very seriously in Saskatoon. The downtown turns into one giant stage with music everywhere. The streets are even renamed for the duration. It was one of the best things about living in downtown Saskatoon when we lived there.
As we continue down 21st, we turn and look at one of the coolest hotels I have ever stayed in, or seen, the Bessborough Hotel. An old railroad hotel, it was built in the 1930’s and has a palatial air about it. The Jazz Festival main stage is in the Garden at the rear along the South Saskatchewan River. One of the best places I have ever been to listen to great live music. We have seen Divine Brown, Jacksoul, Little Richard, Carlos Del Junca, Colin James, Jack Semple, Kool and the Gang amongst others at this venue and loved every one of them.
We used to sit across the street from the hotel at the Spadina Free House, on their deck, on Saturday afternoons and count brides. Our record was 7. The hotel, the river park and the bandstand are favourite locations for wedding pictures. Nothing better that a cold brew on a hot day with that building as a backdrop. Its architecture is so unique that it actually cause a hazard at times during the year.
By this time in the day, the girls were getting kind of bored of shopping and found something interesting that they could do while doing that female bonding thing.
And finally, the music. Not a great video, but hey it’s just a post. Kool and the gang performing live.
We completely enjoyed this trip and especially liked being tourists in our old home town. Great place, great summers, great music. If you have a chance, see Saskatoon during the Jazz Festival.
- Listening to Jordan Cook (joebeans2002.wordpress.com)
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