Calgarians from every corner of the city joined together today to kick off Calgary’s vibrant festival season at the 32nd Lilac Festival.
The event was hosted on 4 Street SW between 12 Avenue and Elbow Drive offering visitors the opportunity to take in live entertainment, artisan vendors and discover the businesses of Calgary.
“The hope is that you come here today and maybe you see a business that you’d like to come back and check out later on another day,” said Jennifer Rempel, event producer of the festival.
The goal of the Lilac Festival is to allow Calgarians the chance to experience Mission and the 4 Street SW business community.
There is a team that works all year round in order to ensure the festival is a success each year.
When it comes to recruiting vendors for the festival, because of its long-standing stature, Rempel said “it’s quite a popular event to attend so it’s not that challenging to find vendors.”
Although the festival has been continuously popular for 32 years, this year was its biggest turnout with approximately 100,000 attendees and nearly 650 vendors, according to the Lilac Festival Instagram.
The name of the Lilac Festival was derived from when the French settled in the neighborhoods of Fourth Street, bringing lilac bushes with them. Lilac bushes typically bloom at this time of year, inspiring the name and time of the festival.
While attending the festival, lilac bushes can be seen throughout the streets and side streets ensuring to carry on the theme of the street festival.
Not only does the event support businesses, but they also provide a space for emerging musicians to perform and showcase their talents. The event hosted over 70 performances on six stages this year.