After announcing the annual street performers’ festival CentreFest would have to move further out of downtown due to construction, organizers are pleased to confirm the event will run on Ross St. and 49 Ave.
Since 2003, the event, which runs July 30-31, has been held in the heart of downtown on Ross St. and Gaetz Ave.
But because of the Gaetz Avenue Revitalization Project, organizers had been working with the City to determine the best alternative site and had reported last month the festival would move to 48th St. between 47th Ave. and 48th Ave. adjacent to the Recreation Centre and Rotary Recreation Park.
“The downtown core is home to CentreFest. We are pleased to announce that we have come to a workable solution with the City and that the festival is moving back to Ross Street,” said Randy Butler, event coordinator.
CentreFest gets underway with the ATCO Gas Kick-Off BBQ in City Hall Park at noon on July 29. The festival will take place on Ross St. from City Hall to Veterans’ Park and along 49 Ave. on Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
Once again, CentreFest will host street performers from across the globe, with a compelling street market filled with local comedians, actors, face painters, and visual artists. Buskers can be masters of a number of artforms from dancers, mimes, artists, clowns, magicians and musicians to puppeteers, snake charmers, jugglers, acrobats, sword swallowers, tumblers and living statues comedians.
There is also the popular Kids World and Rotary Water World, and the myriad of other amusements available for all ages at CentreFest. Last year, more than 25,000 people dropped by the site.
Performer highlights this year include Fraser Hooper from the UK. Folks of all ages have been long enjoying Hooper’s ‘contemporary brand of clowning’. He uses mime, audience participation, comedy juggling and eccentric dance.
Sublimit of Japan specializes in circus acrobat while Aaron Greg, the ‘stunt superstar’ hails from Victoria. Nigel Blackstorm of New Jersey has been dubbed ‘The Heavy Metal Magician’.
Alakazam, ‘The Human Knot’ comes all the way from Australia presenting incredibly freaky body contortions, ‘cheeky comedy and ridiculous sky-high feats of danger.
Meanwhile, CentreFest is offing a fundraising opportunity for a local organization to undertake.
Each year, an organization becomes the ‘CentreFest Environmental Team’ and helps maintain the cleanliness of the site by helping volunteers keep waste collected and stored in designated areas and by collecting recycling on site.
This requires workers to be on site for the entire festival, a perfect job for energetic groups looking to make a difference in the community, organizers say.
The groups will receive an honourarium as well as get all bottles and cans to recycle.
Over the years, different types of groups take this job, including sports teams, dance groups and not-for-profit organizations.
Interested organizations are asked to contact Randy at 403-340-8696, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers in a number of capacities are also welcome to lend a hand at the event. Check out www.centrefest.ca.