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It was another year of continued growth for the fifth annual Summer in the City festival in Steinbach.
Despite a near-constant threat of rain throughout the festival, the poor weather always seemed to miss Steinbach allowing for mostly good weather over the weekend. Festival Chair Crystal Hildebrandt says they really focused on arts and culture this year, which has always been their mandate from year one. Hildebrandt explains both areas really responded well to the increased focus.
"Cultures in the City was huge. They knocked it out of the park. Eastman Immigrant Services was very involved in putting that area together, they did a fantastic job. From vendors that were displaying clothing and jewellery from their countries to the the food that was there."
Arts in the City was expanded to include a larger courtyard where artists could show off their work and demonstrate their creative abilities to the fair-goers. Hildebrandt explains her favourite highlight never changes from year to year.
"To see the families, to see the smiling kids, their eyes light up when they're on one of the midway rides, or when they're in the children's area and they're doing some crafts. I think that's probably the highlight, just getting to see the community coming together."
She adds the organizers are always looking at what they can improve for next year during the festival, and they all have thick binders full of ideas. Couple the continued growth of the annual festival with the fantastic community support, and Hildebrandt says the future looks very bright for Summer in the City.
"There were a couple of our young volunteers that I would say blew me away. These boys were maybe 12 years old, and they worked a couple of long days and they loved it. They were happy to be there. I think that was enlightening for me to see and I think we're raising a great generation of people that will continue to keep this festival going for many years."
She notes Summer in the City couldn't exist without all the partnerships they have, including the Steinbach Fire Association, Steinbach Chamber of Commerce and the Steinbach Cultural Arts Centre to name just a few. However, Hildebrandt notes they still need funding to be able to continue to host the festival, so they are encouraging people to purchase tickets to see the Friday and Saturday night concerts just once to try it out.
Hildebrandt and the rest of the Summer in the City organizers will be taking the rest of the summer off before beginning to plan next years festival in September.
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