City gears up for downtown patio season

  • May. 30, 2012 3:20 p.m.

It started off as an experiment last year, and now City of Red Deer officials are excited to bring the Ross Street patio back for the entire summer.

One lane of Ross St. between 49 Ave. and Little Gaetz will transform into a lively outdoor patio for Red Deerians to enjoy a great space downtown.

“It started as a pilot, but we’re making the Ross Street patio a bit more permanent,” said Charity Dyke, downtown coordinator. “Whether you want to enjoy your lunch outside, explore some of the shops downtown or stop in for one of our lunchtime events this will make Ross Street your street.”

Construction started this week on Ross St. and if the weather holds, the patio will be open June 1. The patio will be home to benches, picnic tables, flowers, trees and the community street piano will be there, too.

So if folks want to tickle the ivories, relax with friends over lunch, or take in one of the concerts that are being put on this summer, here’s the chance to get outside and enjoy patio season, said Dyke. And while down there, visitors can also walk around the corner to Little Gaetz where the downtown market will be every Wednesday in the summer.

“The feedback we got from businesses and Red Deerians last year was great,” said Dyke. “So we’ve taken the idea and built on it to bring more people and events downtown to make this the best summer ever.”

For more information on programs and schedules, check out www.reddeer.ca/bestsummer.

Meanwhile, the City of Red Deer is also offering a series of free concerts and special events from June through September in the downtown and at Bower Ponds.

The celebration of summer kicks off June 1 with the opening of the aforementioned Ross Street patio and some community-organized musical entertainment featuring the Ross Street piano. And that’s just the beginning of a summer filled with weekly concerts and events, all free to the public.

“It’s going to be an amazing summer,” said Kristina Öberg, acting recreation, parks and culture manager. “Red Deer and area is home to world-class artists and entertainers, and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate our thriving cultural scene than with a summer-long celebration at two of the community’s most beloved gathering places, the downtown and Bower Ponds.”

Öberg said there will be two streams to the summer events; Tim Hortons presents Summer Sundays at Bower Ponds which is a four-concert afternoon series that runs June 24, July 8, Aug. 12 and Sept. 2 from 2 to 4 p.m.

In the downtown, the City and the Downtown Business Association are also organizing weekly cultural performances and demonstrations at the Wednesday night downtown market and again at lunchtime every Thursday in Veterans’ Park.

These events will be book-ended by a June 15 concert featuring Porter and Randi Boulton and a final downtown concert on Sept. 7.

“These concerts and events will add to the vitality created each summer by the Wednesday night and Saturday outdoor markets and special events such as the Mayor’s Garden Party, Canada Day, CentreFest and Fiestaval,” added Dyke.

“We’re excited about it – Red Deer will be alive with sounds and activity all summer long.”

For details, visit www.reddeer.ca/bestsummer.

-Weber

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