It promises to be a bigger and better North Battleford International Street Performer Festival in 2019.
The sixth-annual Festival runs July 26 and 27, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and will occupy an even larger portion of downtown North Battleford than it did last year.
Festival co-chair and programming director Kali Weber said it will cover two and a half city blocks on 100th Street, from 11th Avenue up to the Central Park area, including the park itself.
That will be a change from 2018, when the festival ran one block from 11th up to 12th Ave. due to construction happening north of 12th Avenue.
While the festival has been a familiar downtown attraction throughout its six years, it has frequently had to adjust its location along 101th Street from one year to the next, due either to road construction or the unexpected downtown fire at the Bargain Shop a few years ago.
One location that organizers are happy about returning to is the Central Park area, which has been a popular location for festival activities in the past. This year, there are major plans to make it especially family-friendly with a new festival-within-a-festival feature.
“We’re introducting KidzFest,” said Weber, which will be “an area of the park that will be designated just for children.”
It is set to include live performances as well as games, crafts and other activities geared for kids. Members of the “Flyin’ Bob’s Circus” will also be there to teach acrobatics and tricks.
KidzFest was something that had been on the backburner “for a long time,” said Weber. This year they were finally able financially to create that area in the park.
“We’re very happy to include the park again because it’s a nice green space with lots of shade,” said Weber.
As for performers, Weber said 28 have been confirmed as of Wednesday.
The expectation is that the Street Performer Festival will attract upwards of 6,000 visitors to downtown, with many visitors coming in from outside the community.
“Our goal is to always reach further than our community to draw people to North Battleford because we are the only festival just dedicated to street performers,” said Weber.
“We really believe that we hold a lot of value to our community members in that people wait for it to happen every year, and get excited to learn who’s coming and those types of things.” She pointed to the relationship the gestival has to partner organization, including the city of North Battleford and the Downtown North Battleford BID.
For more information about the NB International Street Performer Festival go to nbstreetfest.com, or to their Facebook page at “NB Street Festival.” Weber said the Facebook page is your best bet for finding out schedules and up-to-date information as it happens.