Tourism Saskatchewan

SaskSecrets Summer Tour 2009



Sour cherries make for some sweet, sweet pie


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Elephant ear with cherry sauceTook in Bruno this weekend. Not that Bruno; Bruno the amazing little Saskatchewan town with the big cherry festival. Zipping out to Bruno from Saskatoon was a breeze on the #5 highway, which is not only in great shape but also features some of the most amazing views.

The land is covered with so many canola crops that the bright golden-yellow hillsides often extend all the way to the horizon on all sides. I stopped and tried, but I am not a good enough photographer to come close to capturing those views. Maybe no one is.

I pulled into Bruno on Saturday, the first of the festival’s two days, just as the parade was ending. As parade watchers headed up the street to the festival grounds, parade participants headed off in several directions, and before you knew it, horse-drawn carriages and vintage fire trucks were everywhere!

Cool Town

Bruno is home to All Citizens Shop, a tiny place that sells art on consignment and serves cappuccinos. Remarkably, given the fact that you could fit all of 20 people in the place at one time, All Citizens has become a renowned live music venue as well. Toronto musician and ex-Blue Rodeo member Bob Wiseman stumbled on the place while visiting nearby, and told some of his musician pals about it. Several singers and bands have stopped in on their way across Canada (Bruno is less than half an hour north off the Yellowhead Highway); Victoria, B.C.’s, The Gruff was playing the weekend I was there. Check back here for more video on All Citizens Shop, and view concert videos on their Facebook page.

Time to Eat

Bruno Cherry FestivalThe Bruno Cherry Festival is held on the grounds of a former convent, and there is a lot going on: wine making demonstrations, orchard tours, author readings, pruning lessons, gardening tips, a wide variety of musical performances, and presumably the world’s only Cherry Idol competition. The marketplace features local artists and crafters, and you can even buy cherry tree seedlings to take home. All of this is great, and everyone is having fun. But seriously, I’m here for one thing and one thing only. It’s time to eat.

Cherry Sausage?

Normally, I am not one who cares for the combining of sugary fruit flavours with what I perceive as more appropriately savoury fare such as chicken, beef or pork. In other words, sweet plus meat does not equal treat. But having seen a few go past my nose while wandering the site, I was powerless to resist the cherry sausage on a bun. The huge demand meant I had to wait five minutes for a fresh batch, but it was worth it. The cherry taste was clearly there, but just perceptible enough to work in excellent harmony with the other sausage ingredients.

For dessert I indulged in a delicious cherry sundae; there is something about the mixture of the sourness of the sour cherries with the sweetness of the cherry sauce and ice cream that was out of this world. My lovely wife Anna allowed me small samples of her items of choice: cherry pie with ice cream and elephant ear with cherry sauce. Frozen pies were available for sale, and two of them wound up in our car for the ride home

Bonus Round

Statue at Mt. CarmelKerri Martin of Humboldt Tourism was manning the HT booth at the Cherry Festival, and gave me a great tip: Mount Carmel Shrine. Located just off the #5 highway between Bruno and Humboldt (there’s a sign), the shrine and accompanying statue are built on the highest point of elevation in the area, and at 1,987 feet above sea level, you can see a long way. The shrine is the scene of an annual thousand-person pilgrimage, and from the hilltop the view is breathtaking. Again, photography does not do justice, but here’s one anyway.

More About Summer Tour 2009:

You know SaskSecrets as Tourism Saskatchewan’s monthly newsletter, full of great Saskatchewan vacation ideas. This summer, SaskSecrets is all that and more, as we hit the road to provide you with a travellers’ eye view of great Saskatchewan travel spots.

Correspondent Les Holmlund will file daily reports from the SaskSecrets Saskatchewan Summer Tour 2009, including blog entriesphotosvideosTwitter updates and Facebook posts. Follow along as SaskSecrets checks out great Saskatchewan events and destinations, including the Festival of Words in Moose Jaw, Back to Batoche Days, the Bruno Cherry Festival and the World Bunnock Championships at Macklin just to name a few.

Check in often - you might win a t-shirt courtesy of Tourism Saskatchewan! 


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Food of the Day: Cherry sausage on a bun, are you kidding me?! I could have eaten three of them, except for all the other cherry stuff I had to eat.

Cleanest bathroom: Crossroads Service Station, Wakaw. Plus nice decor. Seriously.

Oversized Things Spotted: Mega wheat stalk at Rosthern.

Traveller Tip o’ the Day: If you carry two or more devices that require charging or direct access to electricity, you will by now have come to realize that most hotel rooms have practically no easily accessible or conveniently located outlets. Carry an extension cord and power bar, and get juiced up.

Obsession of the Day: Places with golden flowers all the way to the horizon, like east of Mt. Carmel.

"Land of Living Skies" moment: see above.