Lethbridge’s new Festival Square will open downtown next week with three days of events, including performances, a farmers market and a ribbon cutting ceremony.
“I would just invite everybody in Lethbridge to come on down, check out the new festival square — it’s been a long time coming,” said Sarah Amies, community director at the Lethbridge downtown Business Revitalization office (BRZ). “This is a result of some very generous funding through the province and we are very very excited about reactivating our downtown.”
The $1.71 million Festival Square Market Plaza is entirely funded through the province of Alberta’s Provincial Municipal Stimulus Program and will be a versatile, active and engaging public space for people and the local businesses in the area, according to the city. “The main draw will be its offering as a permanent market space with supporting infrastructure to support local producers, artisans and craftspeople a place to sell their wares year-round,” reads a city news release. “The project includes an interactive stage, entry signs, decorative column lighting, programmable lighting and site furniture, as well as water/wastewater servicing and lane rehab.”
The opening will kick off on June 22 at 11 a.m., with events running until 9 p.m. Amies pointed out there is better weather expected for next week’s events. The city said the section of 6 St between 3 Ave and 4 Ave will be fully closed to traffic on Wednesday for the event.
Day one will include the ribbon cutting, a free lunch sponsored by the Lethbridge BRZ and performances from Blackfoot artists. There will be music, dance and theatre throughout the day and a beer garden will be open from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Performers on Wednesday include Shakespeare in the Park, Kristy Bruised Head/White Buffalo and Patrick Bad Eagle/Northstone.
More events will start at 11 a.m. on Thursday and the day will include a farmers’ market, which will become a permanent fixture on Wednesdays through the summer, according to Amies. The day will feature more performances, including Conservatory of Music /Theatre Outré, Last Minute Let Downs and Rudy Strangling Wolf.
Friday will start a bit later at noon and will include pop up yoga classes and more performers. “Friday is definitely a focus on families and so we got lots of family fun festival activities in the square,” Aimies said.
The lineup for the final day includes Blackfoot Games, music from Makiisma and Sheldon Day Chief and Dancers.
All three days will be free to attend. “We are hoping that most of our events in festival square will be free of charge to encourage folks to come on back downtown,” Amies said.
The city said parking will be limited near Festival Square during the kickoff events and suggested residents plan ahead by taking public transit, riding a bike, walking, or taking an e-bike or e-scooter.