By Rizwana Shaikh, Federation of Calgary Communities
With the sunshine brightening everyone’s mood on June 24, 2018, Deer Run saw the fourth annual “In Your Neck of the Woods” festival.
The five community associations of Deer Run, Deer Ridge, Queensland, Parkland and Lake Bonavista came together for this annual festival. It featured live music, artisans, local business, children’s activities, a bouncy castle, face painting, and let’s not forget the mounds of fun.
The festival is organized by Sylvia Johnston, the owner of Cornerstone Music Café, whose passion for music and a desire for a stronger sense of community inspired her to bridge surrounding communities together.
“It warms my heart to know that we have such a wide variety of people in the community and they can all come together,” said Johnston.
The festival brought out nearly 60 volunteers and 50 vendors this year, to liven up the plaza parking lot. Families enjoyed the live music performances by all local artists and Kickin it Country Dancing even had people up and moving with some line dancing.
Susan Mitchell, Treasurer at the Deer Run Community Association said people had a good time mingling and enjoying the friendly atmosphere.
All five community associations had a table set up to raise awareness about their organizations and their available programs and upcoming events. They also incorporated children’s activities into their set up, catering to the little residents’ essential entertainment needs.
Dawn Wallace, president of the Deer Ridge Community Association, said the five communities are unique with different events throughout the year, and they hardly get a chance to come together, so this festival encourages them to connect with each other.
“It’s one spot where all of the local communities can come and have fun.”
Local businesses from the plaza also came out to support the festival, with a snack table from No Frills and popsicles to keep everyone cool.
Johnston’s future goal for the festival is to bring together more communities for a chance to engage more residents in a fun way, with an even bigger festival. All five community associations are excited to continue supporting the festival in its growth.