SEASON START – City crews are in the process of setting up the Ross Street Patio for the summer season. Pictured here is last year’s patio.

Ross Street Patio almost ready for the season

With overwhelming success in previous years, the Ross Street Patio will be back again with a kick-off celebration on June 5th.

The patio will host numerous events beginning in June that will run through until September. These events include live musical performances from local artists, as well as a new artisan wares sale portion.

“The kick off is a little bit different from what we do for the rest of the patio season. We do it quite casually, and don’t bring in the big stage yet or anything like that. Randi Boulton will play her music from just before 12 to just after 1 p.m.,” said Special Events Coordinator for the City of Red Deer Peter McGee.

“From 4-6, St. Groove will perform and they are a funk/jazz kind of band. At the same time, we will have a magician by the name of Kyle Key, so he will go around and do different things for the kids.”

All of the patio events have been designed in coordination between the City and the Downtown Business Association. This year, events have been scheduled to run Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Wednesday evenings from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and on the first Friday of every month.

The Wednesday evening events run in accordance with the Downtown Market that runs from 4 to 7 p.m. It begins on June 3rd. The Friday events complement the many art galleries that host events downtown on Fridays, such as the First Friday gallery showing events.

“The whole goal of everything that’s going on downtown right now is to make it more welcoming and to attract more people down there and in turn, help the businesses down there,” McGee said.

“We’re trying to make it so that people aren’t coming down just for a specific show – that they are coming down simply because it’s a nice place to be. There’s always some sort of entertainment going on and they are usually local artists, so the patio provides us a way to reach out to those local artists.”

Last year, the Downtown Business Association (DBA) took over the programming for the Wednesday evening events, allowing the City to create the opportunity for events on both Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Tyler Bowman of the DBA said this year, the patio would incorporate some spaces for local artisans to sell wares. Other than that, the format will be very close to previous years with the addition of the Tuesday events.

“It’s continuously creating a destination for people to go and be a part of the community, and to get that sense of community. It gets them out on the streets and interacting with one another,” Bowman said.

“Red Deer is quite a vibrant cultural community – there’s always events going on. The patio just continues to allow people a space to get out of their offices for a day and go and have lunch outside while supporting local businesses and merchants downtown. They can enjoy the weather, the entertainment and the atmosphere.”

kmendonsa@reddeerexpress.com

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