Two volunteers hold up Sharon from Canada as she juggles flaming batons during one of her performances at CentreFest Saturday afternoon. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Day one of CentreFest a hit

CentreFest is living up to its title as Central Alberta’s biggest street performer festival.

The streets of downtown Red Deer were busy with families and performers taking in the action on the the first day of the event.

Red Deer’s Dave Martin and his three-year-old daughter Emery were at the face-painting station. Emery was getting a butterfly painted on her face. They love coming to CentreFest every year, Martin said.

“There’s so much for the kids to do here. There’s face-painting, mini-donuts and a whole bunch more. We always like to see Spandy Andy too,” Martin said.

Kelly O’Brien and her eight-year-old son Aaron were visiting Circus World, where people could walk tightropes, balance on a rolling plank and more.

“We kind of do everything Red Deer has to offer,” O’Brien said. “So far this has been great.”

Dan Capicio and his four-year-old daughter Danika were taking a break from the hot sun by sitting in the shade and enjoying an ice cream cone. This was the first time they had really been to CentreFest, other than a quick 10-minute visit.

“It’s really nice here. I’m glad the weather’s holding up. I should’ve checked the event schedule because I did miss a couple shows I wanted to see, but I think they’re on tomorrow,” Capicio said.

The weather couldn’t have been any better for day one of the festival, said CentreFest chair Jan Penney.

“We had a great start. The sun was shining and for us not to see a cloud in the sky is one of our dreams come true,” she said.

The circle shows were running at opposite ends of 50th Street downtown, while roving performers could be found with people in between.

“The streets are full and we couldn’t be happier with that. Everyone is moving from circle to circle, you can see a flow on the streets,” Penney said.

With all the laughter, smiling and happy faces, Penney said it’s an excellent start to the two-day event.

“The smiles are why we do it. It’s what makes us come back year after year to put this festival on.”

Day two of CentreFest starts at noon on Sunday. For a list of times performers are on, visit


Three-year-old Emery Martin gets a butterfly painted on her face at CentreFest Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

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