Ross Street Patio heating up for summer

Ross Street Patio performances will be back for the summer after the official kick-off celebrations on June 6.

“It’s a space in the summertime that we really bring alive in the downtown core,” said Wendy Meeres, culture community development coordinator for the City.

“We see lots of people spending their lunchtimes down there, as well as in the evening.”

The patio was constructed as an outdoor space where buskers, street performers and artists can perform in front of the relaxed crowds in the summer. Live music, hands-on art projects and good eats are awaiting the City to kick-start the celebrations this year.

“It’s so nice on the patio in summertime. It just brings so much life to downtown,” said Meeres. “We’re starting the kick-off with some activities at lunchtime. From 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., there is a band coming called Soulful Noize and a green art project, which will be quite different. It is something that we’ve done before and found it was very attractive for people,” she added.

The patio will officially open with a performance by Red Deer raised artist Marla Torgerson. She describes her music as varied from 70s rock music to folk and soul.

“It’s exciting for me. Performing in Red Deer is easy for me because the people here seem to have a pallet for live music. They seem to be able to appreciate it. People here are down to earth,” she said. “This is great. I get to be kind of the one that sets it off with a good energy and gets everyone excited. I’m going to try and keep it a little more up beat because I think that’s better for how we want to get things started out.”

She will be previewing her upcoming album, set to be out late summer or early fall. Her performance will move from piano to up beat guitar rhythms as the noon hour grows.

Red Deer band Soulful Noize is looking forward to hitting the stage. What makes this band unique is that all of the members of this band struggle with different forms of disabilities, either mental or physical. They came together over a love of music and happily share their energy around Red Deer, including The Hub.

Along with the musical entertainers, ‘green’ artist Micheal Huyzer will be creating art with recycled materials. For this event, they will be demonstrating how to create new art with old vinyl records. After his demonstration, bystanders and diners can join in and create something for themselves.

Those wishing to participate in the art event are encouraged to bring old vinyl albums due to an approximate availability of 60 records.

Special Event Programmer for cultural services Peter McGee also added for audiences to “Be on the look-out for something flashy”. Last year, the patio kick-off surprised audiences with a singing flash mob.

McGee gives his word that this isn’t “Just another dancing flash mob.” He said he is sure he hasn’t seen anything like it before. “This has been a great event for the last couple of years and it’s exciting to back at it.”