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A festival packed weekend in Ottawa

It was a packed street for the final day of the Ottawa Asian Fest Night Market with each visitor waiting patiently for a taste of traditional street food.

This is the second year for the festival on Sparks Street. Organizers estimate about 20,000 people stopped in for the three-day festival, with Saturday night being the busiest night.

“It was packed,” organizer Simon Huang said. “But vendors were prepared. I think everyone got what they wanted.”

For Joseph Le, it was all about the mac and cheese waffle from Golden Bubbles.

“Really good; it’s really mac and cheesy crunchy,” Le said. He and his mother made the trip to downtown Ottawa from Orleans for the festival.

The savoury addition is a new option to the menu from owner Annie Chow, based out of Toronto.

“We want to bring our treats to Ottawa,” Chow said. “That’s why we come here.”

Across the city, the Ottawa Lebanese Festival also drawing big crowds.

“We come from Arnprior,” said Donna Albrecht. “I wanted an experience and I dragged Dell out and here we are. When you walk in the smells are amazing, the food. It’s a small little fair and it’s nice.”

Organizers say this year’s event is the largest one yet.

“We had a record 2023,” said George Hanna, the director for the Ottawa Lebanese Festival. “The first four days the crowd has been unbelievable. We’re so happy and so proud of how this festival has grown.”

Back on Spark Street, vendors finish up for the final day and organizers are already planning for next year.

“I hope they had a good time. It was a good time and good energy; we are planning something more special for our 10th anniversary,” Huang said

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