The 45th Folklorama festival gets underway in Winnipeg Sunday. With more than 43 pavilions and thousands of people expected to visit them, festival organizers are relying on an army of nearly 20,000 volunteers to help make this year’s celebration one of the best ever.
“We have approximately 20,000 volunteers who come together every single year and put in untold hours of work and effort every year to make Folklorama happen,” said Debra Zoerb, executive director of Folklorama.
Zoerb said volunteers working with food get food handling and safety training from the province.
“All of the pavilions receive multiple inspections throughout the week of their operation to make sure everything is being well-maintained,” said Zoerb. “It's something that we pay very, very close attention to.”
Food safety is a priority to the festival after 40 festival-goers got sick from E. coli in 2010.
There are two new pavilions in 2014: The Andean and United Kingdom pavilions. Both run in the second week of the festival.
Folklorama 2014 ends on Aug. 16.