This year’s CentreFest ‘bigger and better’ than ever

  • Jul. 10, 2013 8:26 p.m.

“Bigger and better than ever,” is how Heidi Hastings, communications and event coordinator at the Downtown Business Association for Centrefest 2013, describes this year’s event.

Red Deer’s 11th annual street performers’ festival, billed as the best silly fest in the west, takes place July 26–28.

This is Hasting’s first CentreFest and she describes it as, “A lot of fun and everyday is a new adventure. Our kick-off launch is on July 26, Friday noon, our Atco BBQ.

“For a $5 donation you can have lunch and a one hour mini-performance with all our entertainers.” The street shows start on July 27 at 11:30 a.m. and goes till 8 p.m. and noon till 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Lots of new performers will be featured this year and one of the headliners will be Jack Dagger, sometimes known as the King of Fling.

While he also cracks whips and makes wisecracks, he is best known for his ability to throw knives within a hair’s breadth of his attractive assistant. His signature stunt is known as the Jack Knife – Cucumber Slice, which he’s performed for Conan O’Brien on the Tonight Show.

“He should be pretty exciting. He’s actually won competitions and is world- renowned. Most of our performers are actually stand-up comedians who do their juggling or whatever routines while they deliver their humour.”

Among the other performers are Bryon from England with “His edgy, hilarious, comedy juggling chain escape show.”

He’s performed with Zack Galifinakis and Colin Mochrie, among others.

James Jordan is a carnival magician from Calgary and Kamikaze Fireflies from California is a two-person ‘vaudeville smack down that will rip you a new laugh hole,’ with giant spinning metal cubes and contortionist backbends. Then there’s Dan Raspyni who’s been performing juggling and balancing shows for 25 years.

Hastings says, “And we have an awesome range of food vendors coming in this year. With food trucks being all the rage right now we have everything from gourmet grilled cheese and pulled pork to shaved ice, doughnuts and ice cream, even empanadas among the new ones we’ve never had before.”

The Red Deer Rebels will have a booth and there’s the popular Kinsman’s Kid’s World.

The festival’s Music World is expanding this year too, to display “Red Deer’s thriving music scene with groups like Oldbury, Ruined Escape Plan and Waskasoo — great local talent.”

Many street performers do a circuit, hitting festivals in Edmonton and Grande Prairie as well as Red Deer and helping the festivals share costs.

However, the street performers are not paid by the festivals, although they do get their transportation and accommodation costs. Busking, performing on the street, and passing the hat at the end of their show is how they earn their money. How much you drop into their hats depends on how much you liked their performance.

“These guys are working hard to get you to laugh and have fun. A toonie would be great, but hey, if you’ve got a fiver, throw that in. (Give) whatever you feel it’s worth.”

Check out for more information.

Just Posted

Women of Excellence Awards introduces ‘Women of Excellence in Construction’

Gala will take place June 19th at the Sheraton Red Deer

Check online to make sure you’re registered to vote in upcoming provincial election

Advance polls open Tuesday, April 9th to Saturday, April 13th

UPDATE: Christy Starling has been found

Red Deer RCMP thank the public for their assistance

Red Deer Legion Pipe Band celebrates National Tartan Day

The band is raising money for their trip to Scotland in 2020

Sharon and Bram head to Red Deer on final tour

The duo is celebrating their 40th anniversary farewell tour

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

New Leger polls suggests federal Liberals lagging Conservatives

Overall, 31 per cent of respondents polled said they would vote for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals

Teen girl accused in plot to attack Kamloops school with weapons out on bail

Judge warned the girl she would be back in jail if she threatened to shoot anyone

Oil prices, Alberta election call cloud Stampede chuckwagon auction expectations

The top money bid last year came from Versatile Energy Services, Ltd.

Lacombe hosts 6th Invasive Species Council Conference at LMC

Council looks to protect native ecological environments in Alberta

Pot industry welcomes decreased edibles tax, but unhappy medical tax remains

Taxes can increase the cost of medical cannabis by as much as 25 per ceny

‘It has to send a message:’ Broncos families await sentencing for truck driver

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving and apologized in court

MPs continue voting marathon as Tories protest shutdown of Wilson-Raybould motion

Multiple MPs have resigned from Trudeau’s Liberal cabinet

Carbon tax, oil and gas investment dominate Day 2 of Alberta campaign

NDP pledges more oil and gas processing, UCP slams provincial and federal governments on carbon tax

Most Read