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Temperatures are warming, snow has melted, fresh buds on the street trees bloom, patio chairs have been placed outside cafes, and sidewalk activity is picking up. Spring in our Downtown is here.
Spring also signals the start of the always exciting event and festival season in our Downtown. The great variety of activities and events attract critical animation, vibrancy, and overall positive awareness of Lethbridge Downtown as people from across the entire city and region make their way downtown on a regular basis to takes in the sights, sounds, and tastes of the amazing festival season.
Many events receive funding through the Heart of Our City Committee’s Activity Grant program which provides City of Lethbridge funds to help local organizations host festivals and cultural or community events within the downtown core. In 2018, 23 events were provided grant funding which resulted in 115 days of additional event based activation of the downtown drawing approximately 65,000 visitors into the Downtown.
The 2019 Heart of Our City Activity Grant lineup looks to be one of the most exciting years with a variety of music, arts and cultural festivals occuring over 114 days with an anticipated draw of over 60,000 people. This year will see new events funded including: 6th Street Best of the Best Festival, CariBridge Caribbean Carnival, Farmers Market Cartoonist in Residence, Festival of Lights/Dance, Hootenanny Outdoor Children’s Play, and Shelter Me in the Park. This is in addition to some of the reoccurring events that residents have come to love including: Arts Days , Feel the Beat, Jazz at the Park, Pridefest, Lethbridge Electronic Music Festival, Centric Musicfest, Shakespeare in the Park, Word on the Street and Wide Skies Music & Arts Festival.
In addition to the Heart of Our City Festivals there are many other events and festivals that take place in the Downtown core including Celebrate Downtown (this Thursday!), First Fridays, Street Wheelers Show and Shine, Downtown BRZ Farmers Market, Taste of Downtown, and much much more!
To stay on top of the 2019 events and festival schedule including dates, times, and additional information make sure to regularly check the downtown event calendar at www.downtownlethbridge.com.I challenge every resident to help Our Downtown to be the best it can be. With our partners on the Downtown BRZ and the Heart of Our City Committee, we encourage you to contribute to the content of this column with us on Twitter (@DowntownLeth) using the hashtag #ourdowntownwith yourcomments, questions, ideas, and suggestions .