Record turnout at Downtown Street Fair

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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Counting at least 7,000 people at Saturday’s 11th Annual Downtown Street Fair, organizers are citing this year’s attendance as one for the record books.

 

“It was a record day for the Farmer’s Market, by far,” Prince Albert Farmer’s Market president Bob Gill said as vendors packed up their booths shortly after 5 p.m.

“There wasn’t one Farmer’s Market person I talked to who didn’t say it was a record day.”

Key organizer Lori Bourne said that a combination of good organizing and co-operative weather drew people to downtown Prince Albert, where Central Avenue was packed with activity from 15th Street to River Street.

“The food vendors had lineups that you wouldn’t believe -- great to see,“ she said. “It was great to see.”

An indicator of the event’s success is the number of families who showed up, Bourne said, noting that opening the main stage to various dance schools was enough to bring them out.

The various activities set up throughout the downtown, from miniature horse rides to face painting and clowning about courtesy of local clown Melbatoest, once they were downtown they stuck around for a while, she summarized.

Her 11th year clowning about the Downtown Street Fair, Melbatoest, also known as Maureen Logue, shared Gill and Bourne’s conclusion -- that it was the busiest yet.

“It was just one fantastic day!” she summarized, noting a greater draw of children to this year’s event.

Although they’re boasting the day’s positives, it wasn’t without its challenges, Bourne said, noting that they had “ a couple little glitches, but they weren’t huge enough that we couldn’t deal with them.”

The food vendors had lineups that you wouldn’t believe -- great to see, Lori Bourne

“We almost had three people hit this morning because (people drove their vehicles) around my barricades,” volunteer co-ordinator Tina Stenske said, calling for greater control of traffic at next year’s event.

“Some of them moved the barricades around -- the others they just drove around.”

However, no one was injured as a result of the reckless drivers and this year’s event is going down as a record, casting the entire day in a positive light -- positivity that is more important now than ever.

The June 1 violent assault of local resident Marlene Darlene Bird, 47, in the city’s downtown area has reignited debate about the safety of the city’s downtown core.

“People who have their negative perception are keeping their negative perception because of something like that,” Bourne said.

It’s hoped that the annual Downtown Street Fair will serve as a reminder of what the city’s downtown core has to offer.

“When you’re down here, I think you can see the officers down here, you can see the volunteers in their T-shirts, you see how many people who are down here,” Bourne said.

“I think that helps, because they know that downtown’s great, and they see that.”

Planning for next year’s Downtown Street Fair will begin as early as January, although Bourne notes that various vendors and musicians have already approached her for spots at next year’s event. 

Geographic location: Prince Albert, Central Avenue, 15th Street River Street

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