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Nuit Blanche winter carnival taking place Feb. 20th

Downtown Red Deer will be lit up with various artists and artwork

The Nuit Blanche winter carnival is fast approaching.

With lots to see and do, the carnival takes place Feb. 20th from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

A few things are different this year. There will not be a large outdoor vendor’s village or beer gardens, because of the weather and lack of funding.

“The other reason is that we want everybody down there to support all of those downtown businesses,” said Landon Radcliffe, organizing committee member with Nuit Blanche.

Taking place primarily near downtown Red Deer, City Hall Park will be the area where all the kids activities will take place. Some include a kids obstacle course by Kerry Wood Nature Centre, chalkboards to draw on, two or three giant puzzles and some mini ping pong.

“There’s also going to be stilt walkers in City Hall Park,” said Radcliffe.

As for art installations, there will be a bunch on Little Gaetz Ave.

Radcliffe said they also have their host locations this year that will be taking part in the carnival. Chronicles Comics and Cafe will be doing a spoken word event, which will see people coming in to read poetry, a story, freestyle rap, etc.

Other host sites include LV’s Vinyl Cafe, who will have some acoustic musicians playing there throughout the night, Red Stag Barbershop who will have hair tattoos and an artist painting in there and Dose Coffee having a live painter and paintings for sale.

“The City has put a lot of effort into activating the downtown core, so there’s a bunch of stuff going on that plays right into Nuit Blanche that we’re just incorporating for the night,” said Radcliffe.

He added that there are at least seven or eight storefronts which will have art displays on the route of Ross St. and Little Gaetz for people to see.

“There is chainsaw carving going on at Little Gaetz from 5 to 6 p.m. that the City is putting on as part of their regular programming, but it will be a part of Nuit Blanche for the night.”

And because the carnival is during the 2019 Canada Winter Games, Radcliffe said they are hoping for a bigger turnout as it has been a couple of years since Nuit Blanche took place.

Nuit Blanche was originally launched in Red Deer in the summer of 2013, with the last local rendition of it taking place in 2016.

“We hope people haven’t forgotten about us and what we’re trying to do!”