New to this year’s airdrieFEST is an artisan market featuring local bakers, makers, growers, and creators. The festival is scheduled in September and hosts are looking for more vendors to register.

City of Airdrie employees are busy preparing for airdrieFEST 2022 and still have spaces available for vendors to register booths to promote their business, not-for-profit groups, or community organizations.

The family street festival takes place on Sept. 10 and is running from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. outside of City Hall.

New to the festival this year is an artisan market featuring local bakers, makers, growers, and creators, according to Kim Harris, a community developer with the City.

“We want you to have the opportunity to showcase what you have [available],” Harris said. “People love that stuff, they’re always looking for new creative things and ideas and little gifts and whatnot that they can get for their families and friends.”

AirdrieFest started in 2010, taking over the Showcase event where local groups had an opportunity for registrations and showcased what Airdrie had to offer.

The Showcase event wasn’t doing well and City staff decided to change it up with a festival-type event where groups could still gain registrations but local businesses and not-for-profit groups could also promote themselves alongside fun activities and the family-friendly entertainment of a festival.

“We could have activities and have some children’s activities and other things like music and artists to have that festival feel,” Harris said.

Harris noted the festival is a great way for not-for-profit groups and businesses to have face-to-face interactions with not only residents of Airdrie but also the surrounding communities. 

“You could be a large business, you could be a commercial business within Airdrie with a storefront, or if you’re a home-based business you could come down and have face-to face interactions with Airdrie,” she said.

Harris said having an attractive booth and staff to interact with the public will draw in more people to see what each vendor has to offer.

“We’ve had many booths talking to literally hundreds of people in a four- or five-hour period of time,” she said.

Despite COVID-19 still hindering many social activities during last year’s event, airdrieFEST boasted a great attendance in 2021.

Harris credited the strong showing to everyone missing the socialization aspect, and seeing airdrieFEST as a great reason to get out and get involved in the community again. She hopes to see anywhere between 5,000 and 7,500 people flocking to the event this year. 

“I think what makes it special is the opportunity for any business and not-for-profit that serves our community that doesn’t have a storefront to talk directly and have face-to-face time with residents of Airdrie and surrounding communities,” Harris said. “This event is really led by the City, but the activities and entertainment pieces are really driven by a community committee that we work with.

“We do that so we really have a good feel for what type of entertainment and activities our residents are looking for.”

Entertainment at the festival will include group demonstrations like karate, judo, or Zumba, and also musical artists who are showcased throughout the day, and possibly some Indigenous content.

For more information or to register as a vendor, go to airdriefest.ca. This year, 187 vendor booths will be available for a price of $150 for for-profit businesses, $75 for non-profit groups and $250 for food trucks, according to a City press release.

Harris said they had 97 vendors registered as of July 14.

AirdrieFEST is organized by a committee of community partners including: Airdrie Public Library, Airdrie Chamber of Commerce, Airdrie Mainstreet Square, Big Brothers Big Sisters, BGC Airdrie, Community Links, Volunteer Airdrie and the City of Airdrie.

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