What could be better than watermelon in 30 C heat?
Well, according to the President of the Swift Current Mennonite Heritage Village, Arnold Wiebe, "rollkuchen" is a pretty good contender.
That's what he claimed during the annual Watermelon Festival being held at the Mennonite Heritage Village at Kinetic Park yesterday. The festival is a fundraising event the
Mennonite Heritage Village holds every year to raise funds to keep the village going with upkeep and money for events.
People in attendance could pay $15 if they were over the age of 10 for admittance, or just $10 if they were 10 and under. They would then be given a plate full of rollkuchen and watermelon, as well as access to the shade of the big trees in the yard, where they could go and take a seat to escape the heat while they enjoyed their food.
Rollkuchen, a traditional type of fried pastry, is a delicious, light snack traditionally eaten during a mid-day break on Mennonite farms. Made by frying dough in oil, it's light and fluffy, and delectable even without powdered sugar or syrup.
Although, Wiebe thinks that there is always room for additional sweetness.
"I even cheat sometimes," admitted Wiebe. "I use Rogers Syrup on them and wow, I mean that's great. I do not mind the watermelon, but my personal preference is the rollkuchen."
Indeed, there were many people eager to get their hands on the watermelon and pastry plates, with a crowd gathering quickly as soon as the plates were ready.
"Yes, we opened up here at 2:00 p.m. and I think by 2:15 p.m. we had over 40 people already," recounted Wiebe.
And all the work that goes into the cooking and organizing of the event is done by volunteers who take time out of their Sunday to come out and put this on for the people of Swift Current. As early as 9:30 a.m. women are beginning the process of making the dough, stretching and cutting it for the fryer, and then cooking it in the canola oil that helps to add that wonderful golden and light texture. Altogether, they make roughly 80 dozen before the day is through.
"It's our major fundraiser for the year," said Wiebe. "We're all volunteers and it takes a lot of volunteers to run it."
With the hotter weather, maybe this year more people were eager to try out the watermelon, while others were excited to try out the rollkuchen for the first time. Needless to say, the event was a great turnout, with people in the shade enjoying the live music and all the familiar company from around Swift Current and the area.
Altogether, the event is expected to raise a few thousand dollars, though there was no final tally available the day of.