Free concerts downtown and at Bower Ponds

Red Deer’s Best Summer Ever continues in the City’s two hottest spots, with a free concert downtown on the Ross Street Patio from 5 to 8 p.m. on July 5 featuring Oldbury and Half Chance Heroes, followed by a second free concert from 2 to 4 p.m. on July 7 at Bower Ponds featuring Fred Penner.

“Rockers Oldbury and pop punk band Half Chance Heroes are a great way to kick off the weekend,” said Peter McGee, special events programmer for the City of Red Deer. “Whether people bring lawn chairs or their dancing shoes, we’ll be rocking the downtown on Friday after work.”

The City is pleased to bookend the weekend with popular children’s entertainer Fred Penner.

“Whether people remember Fred Penner from their childhoods or are discovering him now through their own children, he continues to offer simple, powerful and positive messages to kids,” said Kristina Öberg, culture superintendent for the City. “Fred Penner is a family favourite.”

The Oldbury and Half Chance Heroes concert is the first in a series of three patio parties that will take place this summer on the Ross Street Patio.

Penner is the second in a series of four Summer Sunday Concerts at Bower Ponds. More fun can be found downtown all summer, as the City also organizes weekly cultural performances at the Wednesday night downtown market and again at lunchtime every Thursday on the Ross Street Patio.

Beyond this weekend, on July 10-11, the Ross Street Patio features Alecia Aichelle.

The Wednesday performance runs from 4:15 to 6:30 p.m. and the Thursday one begins at 11:45 a.m.

Master of all traditional Andean instruments, Nuna’y performs on the Ross Street Patio on July 17-18.

One July 24-25 local blues rocker Charlie Jacobson will be featured as well.

The Ross Street Patio concept was first introduced last summer, with events running into the early fall.

Crews temporarily eliminated 17 parking stalls and one partial lane of traffic of the City core’s main street to make way for residents to pull up a chair, enjoy a coffee under the sun, and chat with their fellow citizens.

More than two dozen events, including concerts and comedy, took place on the patio.

Meanwhile, future highlights at Bower Ponds include ‘Bard on Bower’ – the return of the Shakespeare festival. It runs from July 18 to Aug. 4.

Featured plays include As You Like It and Romeo and Juliet. For more information on exact times and performance dates visit

And of course, wrapping up July is the annual downtown international street festival CentreFest. It’s slated to run July 26-28. CentreFest 2013 is the eleventh year of Central Alberta’s largest outdoor festival of it’s kind, officials say. Performers from around the world are featured at the event, and this year, organizers are anticipating the biggest and best one to date.

CentreFest 2013 will see downtown Red Deer come alive with outrageous acts of wonder and amazement, as contortionists, jugglers, magicians, and many other street performers showcase their diverse talents.

Other highlights include local comedians, actors, face painters, visual artists, Kids World and Rotary Water World. There is also a need for volunteers to help out on a number of fronts.

CentreFest runs 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information about CentreFest or volunteer opportunities, check out