Binny Dhody, a vendor at CentreFest, uses cinderblocks and chairs to hold down a tarp on his table during the event Saturday. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Binny Dhody, a vendor at CentreFest, uses cinderblocks and chairs to hold down a tarp on his table during the event Saturday. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Weather hurts CentreFest on Saturday

Heavy winds and a severe thunderstorm warning had CentreFest attendees running for cover.

After a very busy Taste of Red Deer event Friday night, which was co-hosted by CentreFest at Gary W. Harris Celebration Plaza, central Alberta’s largest street performer festival hit a snag when the weather worsened around 1 p.m. Saturday.

“It started out as a great day, but unfortunately we got this wind,” said event director Janice Shimek.

READ MORE: Severe thunderstorm warning in effect for Red Deer, central Alberta

Shimek said some of the vendors’ tents were damaged by the wind, but event staff acted quickly and ensured everyone was safe.

“We have protocol for what to do in a situation like this. We made sure all the banners went down, then we helped all the vendors and lowered those flags so no one would get hit with them,” she said.

This year’s performers are “really entertaining,” so it’s disappointing the weather cancelled some performances, Shimek added.

“It’s heartbreaking in a lot of ways because we work so hard to put this together. It’s not just something that we lead up to, we work on this all year.”

This is the first year Taste of Red Deer was part of CentreFest – traditionally the event, featuring 15 central Alberta food vendors, has been part of the Festival of Trees in the winter.

“We had record crowds – the plaza was absolutely plugged with people. We learned a lot, every time you do something new you learn and have some takeaways,” she said.

“There were a couple restaurants that sold out within an hour. They had no idea they were going to sell so much, so fast. The circus shows were crowded and … all we would have to do is show a few crowd pictures to people and they’d wonder why they weren’t here last night.”

Money raised at Taste of Red Deer goes toward purchasing equipment for the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.

READ MORE: Centrefest is set to dazzle — despite some financial fizzle

Shimek said there is still some uncertainty regarding the future of CentreFest.

“We have a lot of money we have to raise and I think we are going to have a shortfall this year, so we’re going to have to look at how we’re going to make up that money in the fall.

“If we’re successful with grants and if sponsors step up then we should be good to go next year.”

The event continues Sunday. For more information visit www.centrefest.ca.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Some CentreFest attendees stuck through the initial heavy winds to watch street performers Saturday. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Some CentreFest attendees stuck through the initial heavy winds to watch street performers Saturday. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Tyler Adin and Mandy Hewitt, both of Red Deer, eat poutine during CentreFest Saturday. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Tyler Adin and Mandy Hewitt, both of Red Deer, eat poutine during CentreFest Saturday. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Just Posted

A recent investigation by the RCMP Central Alberta District Crime Reduction Unit led to the arrests of 24 people. (Contributed photo)
24 people arrested following RCMP investigation in central Alberta

Twenty-four people are facing a combined 235 charges following an investigation by… Continue reading

Alberta’s Chief Medicial Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the 500 deaths from COVID-19 in the province are a tragice milestone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta hits ‘tragic milestone’ with more COVID-19 deaths

Province up to 500 COVID-19 deaths, adds 1,265 cases

Photo from Town of Sylvan Lake Facebook page
Sylvan Lake communities band together on development plan

Sylvan Lake Intermunicipal Development Plan expected to be approved next spring

Tribe restaurant owner Paul Harris, left, consults with manager Brandon Bouchard about how to proceed under pandemic rules that make it hard for eateries to be profitable. (Contributed photo).
New pandemic rules deemed workable for Red Deer retailers

Stricter COVID-19 reduction measures introduced in lead-up to Christmas

Quentin Lee Strawberry
Man accused in 2019 Red Deer murder will stay behind bars

Quentin Strawberry going to trial next year on second-degree murder charge

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at B.C. campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Heidi Illingworth, federal ombudsman for victims of crime, takes part in an interview at her office in Ottawa on January 10, 2019. Canada's watchdog for crime victims is calling on Parliament to overhaul the victims' bill of rights, saying the five-year-old legislation has fallen "far short" of delivering on its promise. Federal ombudsman Heidi Illingworth says in a report that rules meant to amplify victims' voices in the justice system have failed to make them heard following "sporadic" implementation of a regime that needs more teeth, clarity and public awareness. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Federal watchdog says victims-rights regime needs overhaul after falling ‘far short’

Federal watchdog says victims-rights regime needs overhaul after falling ‘far short’

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. His department would likely take the lead in creating a federally funded child-care system. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals to unveil first step on child-care plan in economic update, sources say

Liberals to unveil first step on child-care plan in economic update, sources say

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Around 1,300 national exemptions to COVID-19 border restrictions given out: officials

Around 1,300 national exemptions to COVID-19 border restrictions given out: officials

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet asks a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. Blanchet is blasting the prime minister's response to the pandemic, saying Justin Trudeau's pledge that vaccines will start to arrive in the coming months is 'unacceptable.' THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada can make vaccines, just not the ones leading the COVID-19 race

Canada can make vaccines, just not the ones leading the COVID-19 race

Covid-19 Rapid Test Device kits at Humber River Hospital in Toronto on Tuesday November 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Tam urges collective effort, Ontarians told to celebrate holidays at home

Tam urges collective effort, Ontarians told to celebrate holidays at home

The Alberta government passed new, stricter COVID-19 measures across the province on Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Here’s a list of Alberta’s new COVID rules

The Alberta government has provided a list of new COVID-19 measures to… Continue reading

Most Read