Shake the Lake draws thousands

Shake the Lake solidified once again music and action sports are a good mix.

A small but appreciative audience listens to the Edmonton based band Yes Nice as they perform at the Shake at the Lake Festival in Sylvan Lake on Sunday afternoon.

Shake the Lake solidified once again music and action sports are a good mix.

Thousands flocked to Shake the Lake for the tunes, the thrilling action and the family fun activities.

Organizers say the three-day festival in Sylvan Lake’s recreational hub (48th Street and 48th Avenue) was a smashing success. As of Sunday afternoon, the attendance tally was on track to beat last year’s record of 9,035 festival-goers.

Festival co-ordinator Sean McIntyre said the annual festival featuring bands, skateboarding and BMX-ing started in 2008 because there was a need for a festival for everyone.

There is no charge for admission.

“We have seen festivals in the past that were a little more exclusive nature and with beer gardens,” said McIntyre.

“They will charge a lot of money and not everyone can enjoy them. We wanted to put on something that everybody can enjoy.”

Fast forward to the fifth annual show where 30 bands were featured including Half Chance Heroes, the Classic Crime and Rococode over the three days. And 240 athletes competed in skateboarding and BMX-ing competitions A family fun zone featuring bouncy castles, face painting, mini-golf and other fun activities was hopping with the young and old.

McIntyre credits the growing success of the community festival to the 150 or so volunteers who help each year. There is no charge and community members donate their time and skills to put on the festival. Bands must sign a contract agreeing not to preach or to swear.

Next year, the organizers hope to move the festival to the downtown core.

“We are looking now to get out of the residential area,” he said. “These residents have been putting up with our noise for five years. They’ve been really gracious and we’re ready now to get out of their hair and go somewhere else.”

Tom Smith and his wife, Tina, of Red Deer took in two days of concerts during the festival. Smith said it’s really great to have this type of festival that everyone in the family can enjoy.

“We are liking the bands today,” said Smith. “Our grandchildren like the games. It’s great that this is provided at no cost to families and individuals.”

The festival kicked off on Friday afternoon and wrapped up on Sunday afternoon.

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