Downtown Prince Albert was alive and well on Saturday afternoon as the first of a series of events began with the Spring Sidewalk Sale.
Co-executive director Rhonda Trusty of the Prince Albert Downtown Business Improvement District (PADBID) explained that the goal was to bring people back downtown.
“We are trying with our Sidewalk Sales to create an atmosphere of live music and art demonstrations and just encourage people to grab a cup of coffee and re-explore our downtown area,” Trusty said.
“With COVID, it has really impacted our business community over the last couple of years.”
Trust explained that downtown has everything from arts and culture to history along with a longstanding business community. She’s hoping these and other events will get people excited about visiting the area.
“Walking downtown and having some live entertainment is a good afternoon,” she said. “(It’s) just to get out of the house and explore the city again.”
The annual Street Fair will be the next event downtown on Father’s Day weekend (June 18). Trusty said the event actually began as a sidewalk sale similar to the one held on Saturday, then blossomed into an annual extravaganza.
PADBID also has sidewalk sales planned for July 23, August 20 and September 24, each from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“I have got a couple of ideas that I am still trying to bounce around, but I can’t do it alone,” Trusty said. “I need the support of the community. People want to be able have family fun, and it’s free to just walk around and explore.”
The Spring Sidewalk Sale ran alongside the first outdoor Farmer’s Market of the season, which began earlier in the day. Trusty saw the benefit of running with the market as a partner, especially once the growing season hits its stride.
“I’m a very collaborative person,” she explained. “I can’t do this alone. For me to be able to work with the Farmer’s Market. I think it is just an added bonus for us to share the space.”
Trusty was happy with how many people showed up by the midpoint of the afternoon. She was especially pleased with the strong turnout for musical guests O’Kraut and The Grassy Blues, who performed in Memorial Square during the event.
The Spring Sidewalk Sale also featured live art demonstrations at On the Avenue by Bonnie Bailey and Rod Peterson, and Cosplayers from Kaze Productions. There was also a food and history tour.
People brought it on themselves to do sidewalk chalk and the success gave Trusty ideas for what might work in the future.
“Next sidewalk sale I think I might bring out the paints and have an art table for kids to play at, just (to have) some different activities,” she said.
The popularity of the music also led her to think more seating might be needed.
Trusty said she there was some room for improvement, and actually holding the event helped give her a few ideas for future sidewalk sales. Overall, however, she was pleased with the result, especially with how many people were back downtown.
“I just encourage people to come on down and check out the sidewalk sales … in the future and just to enjoy the atmosphere that we are trying to create with music and with live art.”