Plans are quickly taking shape for this year’s version of CentreFest, set for July 31 and Aug. 1 in downtown Red Deer.
Heading into its eighth year, the festival features an array of stellar street performers from around the world from dancers and magicians to comics and contortionists. Shows run from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
The core of the action unfolds in the heart of downtown Red Deer – the intersection of Gaetz Ave. and Ross St.
Throughout the festival site buskers and musicians will also be ready to entertain. There are also vendors selling crafts, food, drinks and many other items to check out.
Attendance to CentreFest is free of charge although people are asked to ‘reward’ those performers they particularly enjoy. Street performers earn their living by passing the hat.
A kick-off barbecue runs July 30 at noon at City Hall Park.
“This year’s line-up of Circle Show Artists at CentreFest will be eclectic and eccentric,” said Bob Palmer, talent curator.
“Our performers are all masters of their art and very unique people to boot. Expect the unexpected, prepare to be amazed.”
Featured artists include Alex Elixier, a juggler, musician, acrobat and all-around funny guy who hails from Victoria.
Along with being one of the most experienced Street Performers in Canada, he is constantly working on new material which has taken him to over a dozen countries from Europe to the Middle East.
New Zealand’s ‘Basketball Jones’ (Sean Dwen) has been dribbling balls since a very young age. He can juggle five regulation basketballs and skillfully ride a unicycle.
Gustavo the Impossiblist of Calgary turns the possible into the impossible right before the audience’s eyes. This skilled clown can turn the unexpected into hilarity with his stunts such as the ‘Flaming Stilt Escape of Very Real Danger.’
Starting from the streets of London, Herbie Treehead is internationally recognized with his interactive clowning act. He brings an act full of surprises and large scale theatre in a travelling suitcase.
For more than 30 years, Ron Pearson has been traveling across the continent with his high audience-involvement comedy shows. And finally, the Street Circus Show, a duo from Winnipeg, have melded all the best aspects of a circus into one daredevil stunt show complete with stunning acrobatics and loads of comedy.
Meanwhile, organizers on the lookout for volunteers and sponsors to come onboard for the event.
Last year, about 20,000 people took in CentreFest. Favourite highlights of event also include Kids’ World, the Rotary Water World and a street market.
New this year is Arts Alley, which will feature galleries showcasing work from local artists.
For more information about CentreFest or how to help out at the event, check out www.centrefest.ca or call 403-340-8696.
Volunteer application forms can be downloaded at the web site as well.