This weekend demonstrated downtown cores of our city are vibrant and alive

Glenada-Riverfest 2012
The Glenada docked at Riverfest 2012
Glenada-Riverfest 2012
The Glenada docked at Riverfest 2012

THUNDER BAY – Several events, Riverfest, the Fort William Fall Street Festival, and the Movie Night at Prince Arthur’s Landing have demonstrated several issues this weekend. This weekend demonstrated that the downtown cores of our city are both vibrant and alive.

First, there is tremendous interest from residents in the city in having activities in the city that are family friendly. In the south core of the city, large numbers of people were circulating, visiting, catching up with each other and enjoying the fellowship all day Saturday. The north core has been alive Friday nights with movies that are averaging over well over 3000 people per night.

Fort William Street Festival - Indian Taco a deal at $8
Fort William Street Festival – Indian Taco a deal at $8

In the downtown Fort William Business District, it is a demonstration that the beauty of the downtown south core is likely an under-utilized resource in our city. The potential for the south core to be more than just the ‘Government Services’ core of Thunder Bay is strong and possible.

The three public events were well supported by people. Friday night’s movie, Back to the Future was well attended. Riverfest appeared to get off to a slower start on Saturday but by afternoon, the under-appreciated Kam River Park was alive with people.

The Fort William Fall Street Festival was a full on success with thousands of people attending.

The numbers were such that the Kettle Corn vender went through about 150 pounds of popcorn. The air around his booth was alive with the aroma of fresh popped popcorn. Some vendors were sold out by the end of the day.

Having live music, entertainment and people in the downtown cores brings our city alive.

Riverfest juggler
Knives and chainsaws were both juggled with skill.

It is a solid opportunity to make our community a better place, and one that reaches over all possible boundaries. From the various food venders, there was a myriad of opportunities to try new foods. It was the booth selling the Bannock, Bannock Burgers and Indian Tacos which sold out – sharing perhaps one of the growing new realities of our community.
Perhaps the Fort William Business Improvement area should consider a Spring Fair, in early June to kick off the summer, it would likely be a perfect compliment to the Fall Festival. The only component missing in the downtown south-core, on Saturday, were events in the Victoriaville Centre. In the case of inclement weather it would be a perfect venue for more action to be happening.

While some wags in the city consider Victoriaville a ‘White Elephant’ coupling the venue with the Street Festival would be a great addition to boost the facility. It is very likely that if the downtown core were a busier place, there would be far more action in, and around Victoriaville.

This weekend demonstrated that the downtown cores of our city are both vibrant and alive.

Fort William Street Fair Kettlecorn
About 150 pounds of popcorn were popped and then enjoyed by people attending the street fair.
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