Sunday’s heat warning did not deter Central Albertans from coming out to the 16th annual Centrefest.
Jan Penney, Centrefest board chair, said crowds grew quickly on Sunday despite the temperature that was forecast to reach 29 C, but many people did walk through the water mister set up to cool down visitors. Others took breaks in the shade of trees and buildings.
She said on Sunday more people have free time to take in the street performances in Red Deer’s downtown.
“Sunday’s a good day. There are a lot of activities in Red Deer on Saturday and Sunday there’s not, so we do seem to have bigger crowds on our Sunday,” Penney said as crowds wandered from show to show.
She said shows didn’t start until after church services were finished so the many families that go to church have an opportunity to catch the shows.
Two street performance areas were set up to ensure there was always a show underway. Another stage was set up where local musicians sang, with chairs for the audience to sit down and relax. Food vendors were also on site to feed the crowd. Children could practise their tightrope walking, unicycle and aerial silk skills in City Hall Park.
Penney said organizers’ biggest fear is bad weather and thankfully the storm predicted for Saturday did not materialize, and according to performers, Saturday’s crowds were also really good, she said.
“Even at the end of the day when the crowds were a little smaller, they commented about how intimate it was to be able perform to small crowds that were still very generous to their hats.”
An estimated 13,000 people came out to Centrefest on Saturday. About 25,000 usually attend by the end of the weekend, Penney said.
Centrefest runs until 6 p.m. Sunday.