If the mayor had his way, he’d expand Hawrelak Park to fit more tents into the annual Heritage Festival on this weekend.

While expansion of the central Edmonton park is unlikely, the festival is ready for another record-breaking year in celebration of its 35 anniversary.

“It’s a very exciting time for the City of Edmonton,” Mayor Stephen Mandel said. “I don’t think there’s an event or festival that is looked more forward to in the city than the Heritage Festival. It celebrates everything we are and what we will be.”

The three-day showcase of Canada’s vibrant multicultural heritage will feature 63 pavilions representing over 85 cultures from around the world.

Over 300,000 visitors are expected to take in the sights, smells, and of course, savoury snacks starting Saturday at noon.

The festival is free but donations to the food bank will be accepted.

“We started with 11, 35 years ago,” said Jack Little, the festival’s executive director. “And now the park is really booming.”

No parking will be available, festival visitors are encouraged to take the bus or ride their bikes.

The Edmonton Heritage Festival’s roots date to 1974, when the Government of Alberta, through then-Minister of Culture, Dr. Horst A. Schmid, declared the first Monday in August an annual holiday for recognizing and celebrating the ethnic heritage of Alberta’s citizens.