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The arrival of the Labour Day weekend means the unofficial end of summer. It can, however, also be a time to look back at a summertime that featured a full return of happening events in Downtown Lethbridge.
An exciting range of activities have been hosted Downtown for the past several months, many of which had financial support through the City of Lethbridge, Opportunity Lethbridge, with the support of the Heart of Our City Committee (HOCC) through the Re-Imagine Downtown Activation Grant.
In late June, the new Festival Square opened and has already hosted nearly 25 bookings, not including the weekly Downtown Farmers' Market. The hugely successful Patios and Parklets has continued this summer, while the first Whoop-Up Days parade since 2019 returned to the streets of Downtown Lethbridge last week, which highlighted the significant improvements along 3 Avenue.
"We have been thrilled at the overall level of interest and the full return of events has been a great opportunity to continue enhancing and revitalizing Downtown Lethbridge," says Andrew Malcolm, Urban Revitalization Manager.
"Festival Square offers the Downtown and broader community a beautiful place in which to gather and celebrate," says Sarah Amies, Community Director for the Downtown Lethbridge Business Revitalization Zone. "The Lethbridge BRZ is delighted with the activation of and general interest in the space thus far and is busily planning winter season activities for all to enjoy."
Some of the new or returning events in Downtown Lethbridge for 2022 include:
- Arts In The Park
- Centric MusicFest Pop-up Concerts
- Downtown Farmers' Market
- Downtown Roller Jam with Roller Skate Lethbridge
- First Friday Lunch & Listen Concert Series
- Foodie Fest
- The Gate Church's Summer Fam Jam
- Horses in the Park from the Lethbridge Therapeutic Riding Association
- History and Beer Tour
- Lethbridge ArtDays
- Lethbridge Electronic Music Festival
- Lethbridge Jazz Festival
- Lethbridge Pride Festival & Parade
- Outdoor Viewing Party of Amazing Race Canada, in partnership with Tourism Lethbridge
- Outdoor Viewing party for NHL playoffs Battle of Alberta Game 4 in the Core
- Oktoberfest YQL (which, after several years at Exhibition Park, will return to Downtown Lethbridge at Festival Square September 9 and 10)
- Pop Up Yoga
- Shakespeare In The Park
- Street Machine Weekend
- Upside Downtown concert and art series at Rotary Square outside Casa
- Wide Skies Festival
"Presenting events in Downtown Lethbridge has always been very important to The Geomatic Attic," says Mike Spencer, Director of The Geomatic Attic. "Our Wide Skies Music Festival was created in 2017 with one of the main goals being to celebrate and bring people to our beautiful inner core locations. In summer 2022, Wide Skies once again highlighted big talent touring musicians at unique venues, with shows at the top level of the City of Lethbridge Regional Park 'n' Ride Transit Terminal and then at the Sandman Signature Lethbridge Lodge parking lot."
Safety is a top priority for everyone and a concerted effort has been ongoing to add more people and activities to public spaces in Downtown Lethbridge. By having increased numbers of people visible in our public spaces, it discourages negative behaviours and increases the sense of safety and community. The Watch Program, Galt Gardens Security, the Clean Sweep Program and Parks Maintenance all continue to work together to create a safe play space for families.
"All of these events and activities generate extra foot traffic and have a collective positive economic impact for many of the small- and medium-sized businesses who call Downtown home, says Malcolm. "We look forward to more announcements for the winter months and, of course, into summer 2023."
Through the Heart of Our City committee and the Urban Revitalization Department, numerous programs and incentives are available to provide financial assistance that will continue to stimulate growth and development in the Downtown. More information here: https://www.lethbridge.ca/living-here/Downtown/Pages/Incentives-Programs.aspx
More information on Downtown Lethbridge can be found here: https://www.lethbridge.ca/living-here/Downtown/Pages/default.aspx and at https://www.downtownlethbridge.com/