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Springtime alive in Ottawa on a warm, humid Saturday


Ottawa has come alive for the May long weekend as festivals and markets bring out thousands of visitors out for some springtime fun.

It was a picture-perfect Saturday at Clarke Fields Park in Barrhaven, where Ribfest made its return. While performer Nimkeehns Wemigwans serenaded the crowd with acoustic covers of some classic hits, hungry visitors lined up for some award-winning grub.

For Carson Martineau and Hunter Duchesne, it was a good excuse to grab some friends and grab a bite.

"I mean, it's food, right? Who doesn't like food," said Carson Martineau. "It’s a very nice day out, it’s warm and there’s live music."

"We're very excited for some fine dining, that's for sure," said Hunter Duchesne.

Barrhaven Ribfest also runs Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Monday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Grayson Evans enjoys some award-winning food at Barrhaven Ribfest. May 18, 2024 (Sam Houpt/CTV News)

Over at Lansdowne, many were searching for the perfect deal at the 613flea Market. Handmade crafts, vintage clothing, and antiques filled the Aberdeen Pavilion.

"I got a great leather jacket for $45," said Susan Cassolato. "It's such a great vibe and it's such a beautiful day - everybody should be here."

Regulars Chelsea Cowan and Shane Vanier-Grant say they look forward to the market each time it comes around.

"It's a great place to support local vendors and see what Ottawa has to offer," said Cowan.

"It’s way better than a mall," added Vanier-Grant.

The 613flea Market returns on June 8 and June 15 at the Aberdeen Pavilion.

Visitors browse one of the many vendors at the 613flea Market on May 18, 2024 (Sam Houpt/CTV News)

While Saturday may have felt like summer, visitors were out enjoying the beauty of spring over at the Canadian Tulip Festival. The national event continues to draw thousands in its 70th year of operation.

"If you really do want to experience what Ottawa has to offer, you come to the tulip festival," said regular Gavin Mosley.

The festival has been an annual family tradition for the Mosley’s. Gavin, with his daughter Clarissa on his shoulders, says he is looking forward to passing it to the next generation.

"We loved it as kids, so we want to pass this tradition along to them."

Saturday marked three years in a row Clarissa has visited the festival, with no signs the event is losing its lustre.

"I love it - we see all the beautiful flowers," she said.

The Canadian Tulip Festival is holding its closing ceremony at 8:30 p.m. Sunday and will feature a drone show over Dow’s Lake. Top Stories

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