Summer fun downtown with the Ross Street Patio

What has now become a summer tradition in the downtown core is officially ready for the season.

Ross Street Patio Parties are back for 2016, and Red Deerians were invited to celebrate at the official kick-off event Friday, June 3rd.

Two performances took place for the kick-off, the first by singer-songwriter Randi Boulton followed by an early evening show by The Groove Machine.

During the evening performance interested also had an opportunity to make dreamcatchers from recycled materials with local artist Michael Huyzer.

“The City of Red Deer is proud to continue supporting free, live entertainment on the Ross Street Patio,” said Wendy Meeres, culture community development coordinator for the City of Red Deer. “The relaxed atmosphere makes it a great place to start your weekend and enjoy the warm weather and great music throughout the summer.”

Ross Street Patio entertainment is a partnership between the City of Red Deer and the Downtown Business Association (DBA).

The City hosts three more Patio Parties from 5 – 8 p.m. on July 8th, Aug. 5th and Sept. 2nd while the DBA supports programming on Tuesday and Thursday lunch hours and Wednesday evenings during the ATB Downtown Market. Events are free and open to the public.

The City’s downtown certainly has seen its fair share of changes over the last number of years. The community has made great strides in trying to make downtown more friendly and welcoming and so far, they have done a fine job.

And with the addition of the Ross Street Patio a few years back, City folks are taking advantage of the downtown even more.

The Ross Street Patio offers a trendy spot for Red Deerians to have lunch, grab a coffee and catch up with friends. The area, located in the north lanes of Ross St. adjacent to Veteran’s Park, offers lots of greenery in the form of planters and shrubs and a number of patio tables with umbrellas that offer an inviting feel.

In addition to that, as mentioned, a number of free concerts and performances are set to take place at the space and are planned throughout the summer – inviting even more people to the area.

Of course even with its successes, we still hear from the naysayers and over the years we have heard concerns of loss of parking and slower traffic movement through the area.

But we think the pros definitely outweigh the cons in this case and the Ross Street Patio has already proven its success.

On a hot summer day the patio is packed and people, who maybe otherwise wouldn’t think to ‘hang out’ in the downtown, are there enjoying the sites and sounds.

Of course this is great for the businesses in the area too as many will wander the shops as well. And in recent months we’ve seen a few new businesses pop up in the area which encourage more people to drop by as well.

It’s always important to feed the heart of the City and the Ross Street Patio does just that.

The Patio has also been a welcome addition to street festivals that take place in the area as well including CentreFest and Fiestaval – both of which are upcoming this summer.

It’s great to see the added activity to the downtown core – especially since it’s positive activity. In the past downtown was a deserted area of the City and many stories coming out of the core were that of crime and of a negative nature.

With more positive activity, Red Deerians are hearing the good news stories instead.

The City has done a great job with the redevelopment of the area by adding elements of trendiness while also keeping the historical aspects of the downtown as well – something that the area is really known for.

For more information on Ross Street Patio entertainment, visit www.reddeer.ca/patioparties.

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