Street fair a hit with newcomers and regulars alike

Photo courtesy Lorraine Brokop.

The 2018 Prince Albert Street Fair is something to build off of and continue creating momentum for the city’s downtown, the new PADBID executive director says.

Carolyn Carleton praised the latest edition of the annual festivities, which, this year, packed in over 100 vendors in the seven blocks between River Street and 15th Street down Central Avenue.

“From everything I’ve been (hearing) I think it was awesome,” Carleton said.

“it was a huge success. We had, I think, a record turnout … thanks to the beautiful weather.”

Carleton is still working on figuring out approximately how many people spent some time on Central Avenue, but she did share some of the feedback she has received since Saturday.

“Many people came for the first time and they’re excited to come back again,” she said. “I think that is a positive direction for us to go in and follow-up with because we have a few more events we’re running throughout the summer; Hopefully, we can get some more people to come down and attend those events.”

On of the big differences this year, Carleton said, was PADBID (Prince Albert Downtown Business Improvement District) tried to spread out the vendors more so people had space to walk around. The plan seemed to work.

“I talked to one family and they got here at about 11 a.m. and stayed until 7 p.m., she said, “Because there were so many things to do. Last year, they said they came and spent only two hours.”

She thanked the sponsors, the volunteers and everyone else who stepped up to help out. Without them, she said, the event wouldn’t have gone as well as it did.

Carleton will use what has been learned this year, as well as her experience helping run events for the Chamber of Commerce, to continue to grow the street fair. While the event was well-supported by the city, downtown businesses and a few other local agencies, she’s trying to get more sponsors to come on board.

“I’m hoping to expand on that so we can bring in more activities, ore things to see and do for different age categories,” she said.

“We have the children’s section, but I know there are other things you can do that would be good for teens or adults. I’d like to get that sponsored rather than having to charge fees for everything.”

For now, though, the immediate focus is on the July 5 art walk, which Carleton said will be like a mini version of the street fair held on the downtown’s sidewalks. While that event takes place on the first Thursday of every month, with the world junior men’s softball championship starting on July 6, downtown vendors want to take advantage.

“We want to give everyone visiting our community something to do,” she said.

“That one is going to be a huge one. I’ve already planned a bunch of stuff for it. If you enjoyed the street fair, come back down on July 5.”