Boissevain-Morton Street Fest returns

·4 min read

The second annual Boissevain-Morton Street Fest is shaping up to be “bigger and better” than last year’s rendition, according to event organizers.

The streets of downtown Boissevain will be filled with music, entertainment and activity on Sept. 17, said Melissa Perkins, community development co-ordinator with the Municipality of Boissevain-Morton, located 73 kilometres south of Brandon.

“We’ve got a ton of festivities and activities in the works. We’re very excited,” Perkins said. “We have a really strong business community that’s very supportive and a lot of community groups that are interested and willing to be part of the event, just to all come together and put on this community celebration.”

The inaugural Street Fest, held last year, was a big success, Perkins said, even with COVID-19 pandemic rules in place.

“We ended up having to roll with a lot of punches with the restrictions as things kind of tightened up in the months prior to the event … but it was just really nice to be able to gather again in the street.”

The 2021 event featured a children’s area, buskers, market vendors and more. This year, with so many businesses and community groups wanting to take part again, Perkins said Street Fest is shaping up to have even more to offer residents and visitors.

“We’re planning an even larger perimeter where the street is closed.”

This year’s events, while still in the final planning stages, include a townwide garage sale, sidewalk sales from local businesses, as well as vendor and artisan markets.

Perkins said she is especially excited about the Get Local Arts Show, hosted by the Boissevain-Morton Arts Council at Casey Guenther Designs.

“There’s absolutely so much talent here … in this gem of a small town, and we just want to be able to celebrate all that.”

There will also be an outdoor stage with live entertainment, children’s entertainers, local music and other events, such as a pie-eating contest and auction. The Turtle Mountain Agricultural Society is hosting beer gardens as well.

A free matinee movie will be shown at the Boissevain-Morton Community Theatre and a bingo event is also being put on by Seniors’ Services of the Turtle Mountain Area Inc.

One aspect of the event that Perkins is looking forward to is having food on-site — something that last year’s pandemic restrictions prevented.

“We’re so grateful that we’re in a bit of a better place to be able to have more food right on the site without the public health restrictions,” Perkins said, adding that there will be hot lunch options, an on-site dinner and harvest meals for farmers taking a break for a quick bite to eat.

A children’s carnival will take place from noon to 4 p.m., with a series of games and activities featuring fun prizes.

The festival is free thanks to the recreation department and recreation board, Perkins noted.

Seeing how the community has come together to make the event happen again this year has been a big motivator for Perkins and everyone else who is working hard behind the scenes to make the event a success.

“It’s just incredible … based on the success of last year, you may see this grow to be Boissevain’s signature event,” Perkins said. “It’s currently gaining a lot of steam and momentum along the way.”

Seeing community residents and people from out of town come together to enjoy the event is its own reward, said Lorraine Houston of the Boissevain and District Chamber of Commerce.

“It brings people of all walks of life together and strengthens relationships within the community. It’s a good way for us to keep some old traditions alive while making new ones, and also attracting new visitors to town to show off what we have to offer and what makes our town unique,” Houston said.

The event is also a great opportunity to help out local businesses, which Perkins said were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Houston said she hopes the event will showcase those businesses and what they have to offer.

“If [visitors] feel good about the town, they’re going to come back and visit our businesses … it can help showcase what some of the businesses have to offer. Sometimes, we forget to look in our own backyard at what we do have available.”

Anyone interested in attending the event is encouraged to visit the municipality’s website, which will soon feature a full schedule for this year’s Street Fest.

Miranda Leybourne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brandon Sun