Street Performers Festival to mark Farmers’ Market anniversary

By Morinville News Staff

Morinville – Music, magic and dance will surround the Morinville Farmers’ Market July 27, all part of a special day in recognition of the popular product and produce market’s 10th anniversary in Morinville. The festival will combine the talents of amateur and professional performers from region in a one-day entertainment showcase that has organizers eager to open the gates on the event.

“I’m excited for the Street Performers Festival because I don’t think this town has ever had a Street Performers Festival, said Morinville Farmers’ Market Manager Korien Sampson, adding her goal this year has been to make the market bigger and better with more vendors and more activities. “I think it will be a wonderful summer community event.”

Paul Smith of Fret 17 Productions, co-producer of the Street Performers Festival portion of the event, said the production will combine elements of a street performer or busker’s festival with a standard stage performance. “It will be enhanced with full PA gear more like a performance,” Smith said, adding some acts will perform on the festival stage, others completely surrounded by the audience. “With a mix of music, dance and magic, we think those who come out to the market that day are going to have a great time watching the local and regional acts we have lined up. It is this kind of stuff that we hope will show people in the community how vibrant this community can be.”

Fret 17 has already lined up Elvis tribute artist Rick Johnsen, the Morinville Jazz band and several other familiar and not so familiar acts to perform during the event

As is the case with most street performer festivals, a hat will be passed so the audience can show their appreciation of the acts with their coins and bills. What is different is the hat passing will benefit a local facility.

Sampson said proceeds from the festival will go to the Friends of the Morinville Public Library, the group who run the farmers’ market each year. “They are a non-profit group that raise money specifically for the library,” Sampson explained, noting the group has raised money for library computers, video games, and other pieces of equipment.

But the money could go two ways. Smith said he has talked Morinville News editor Stephen Dafoe into doing his handcuff escape during the festival. “Stephen performed this cool handcuff escape at a few of my student concerts recently, and I’ve convinced him to do it again at the festival,” Smith said, noting there will be financial consequences if he is not fast enough. “We are going to draw one name from those who attend the festival. If he cannot escape within 30 seconds, that person will receive a cheque for $500 from The Morinville News. I’m not certain how he does it, but we will be providing brand new unopened padlocks to increase the odds someone will walk away with that big fat cheque.”

In addition to funds raised via the performers, Sampson is planning an auction and dunk tank as part of the day’s festivities. Proceeds from the two activities will also go to the Friends, who will in turn use the funds to help the Morinville Community Library. Sampson said she is canvasing local businesses for items for the auction, and canvasing local personalities to take their turn in the dunk tank.

The Morinville Farmers’ Market Street Performers Festival takes place (rain or shine) July 27 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. The main show entertainment will run from approximately noon until 1:30 p.m. The Morinville Farmers’ Market is located in the Parish Hall parking lot.

em>Above: Elvis tribute artist Rick Johnsen is one of the acts lined up for the Street Performer’s Festival set to take place during the July 27 Morinville Farmers’ Market. – Morinville News File Photo

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