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Mayor Clayton hopeful proposed downtown festival becomes annual favourite

Grande Prairie Mayor Jackie Clayton is hopeful a planned summer event becomes an annual tradition, as the city is looks to continue the transformation of the downtown core into a community hub.

The Experience Downtown Street Festival is set to be a two-day event to celebrate, among other things, the completion of the years-long Downtown Rehabilitation Project. Clayton says while they will plan on the 2022 edition of the festival taking place downtown, they’re hoping to make it a city-wide event in the not too distant future.

“In future years it could be in other areas of our city, highlighting either Muskoseepi Park, South Bear Creek Park, maybe up in Crystal Lake where the new bike skills park is,” she says.

“People right now are optimistic about summer, and now that hopefully the last snowfall has come and gone, we can get outside, enjoy that, enjoy each other’s company, and bring people together.”

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Clayton says the summer festival falls in line with council’s strategic priorities, as they look to continue to bolster the quality of life for residents across the municipality. She adds that the downtown rehabilitation work will go a long way in making the area more festival-friendly.

“Events like this really enhance the quality of life, we’ve had, in the past, municipal days… this is going to be some of those elements, but it will be a true festival, in the sense, it’ll have music, food, and other celebrations,”

“That street was designed to be a festival street, where there are no curbs to trip over… we’ve seen it when the farmers market expanded their existing offerings onto that street, and it worked really well,” she adds.

While no dates have been determined, the cost of the festival will be approximately $30,000.

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