Fifth annual ‘Shake The Lake’ is ready to roll

  • Aug. 8, 2012 3:19 p.m.

Organizers are busy putting the finishing touches on this year’s rendition of Shake The Lake, set to run Aug. 10-12.

There is no charge to attend the action sports and music festival which is held at 4803 — 48th St.

Some 30 bands will be hitting the main stage representing genres from rock and hip-hop to folk, electronica and ska.

“Every year, our goal is to increase the caliber of the bands,” said Sean McIntyre, festival coordinator. This year, bands are coming from as far east as Ontario to another from Seattle and all points in between. This year, the organizing committee had 630 bands apply to play at Shake The Lake.

“Music is at the heart of Shake The Lake.”

Also, about 120 athletes will be competing for $5,000 in cash and prizes.

Every year skaters from across western Canada flock to the custom park at Shake The Lake. The 1664 BMX Bonesaw Jam runs Aug. 11.

The Family Zone at Shake The Lake is a hit for kids and parents as well. Highlights include bounce castles, clowns, face painters, games and entertainment that lasts all day.

“The first year, me and a couple of buddies just thought it was time to put on a festival that everybody could enjoy,” he said of the event’s beginnings.

“Over 1,000 people showed up, and it blew our minds. We had no idea how it would be received. But we kept getting comments from parents and people in the community saying ‘This is exactly what we need.”

There’s been consistent growth ever since, he said. Last year, just over 9,000 people showed up.

“Our goal has been to make it bigger and better every year and keep it free of charge,” he said. “This year, our goal is 15,000 people. I also think that Central Albertans have come to expect that every year will be better than the last. That’s our goal, we want to make that happen.”

Festival hours are Aug. 10 from noon to 10 p.m.; Aug. 11 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Aug. 12 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Meanwhile, there is still a need for volunteer help on a number of fronts. There is also room for more sponsors to come onboard as well.

“It’s always been our goal that everyone could attend the festival no matter what their financial situation is. But we do receive donations onsite,” he said.

“Every year, we go around to local businesses and national businesses that operate in the area and say this is a way that you can give back to your community.” Gifts in kind are also appreciated, he said.

“We really need volunteers and sponsors — the budget is always a concern.”

McIntyre said planning for Shake The Lake begins as soon as the previous year’s event wraps up. “It’s become so big that it takes all year to plan and organize. We are planning for 2013 now, before this year’s festival has even happened.”

Shake The Lake is organized and operated by a team of volunteers who work through Sylvan Lake Community Partners Association.

For McIntyre and his team, all the hard work that goes into the details of organizing it certainly pay off.

“We look back at it and see the families that had fun, the memories that were made and that everyone could afford to come. That’s what gives us fuel for the next year.”

For more information including sponsorship opportunities and ways to help out by volunteering, check out www.shakethelake.ca.

editor@reddeerexpress.com

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