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Buskers take over downtown streets

Downtown Okotoks will once again be a destination for budding musicians and street performers during for the fourth annual BuskerFest on June 25.

The event is an opportunity for emerging artists to showcase their talents.

“These are young, up-and-coming street performers that have taken the craft of performing and are looking for venues and audiences to perform to,” said Mark Doherty, Okotoks community events co-ordinator. “It’s an opportunity for them to get their name out there.”

The streets of the Olde Towne Okotoks area will be bustling as buskers of all types will line the sidewalks for the second annual competition.

Doherty estimates as many as 1,000 people walked the streets in the downtown last year to take in 40 different and musical groups and performers in the Olde Towne area.

“All those who attend are very generous,” Doherty said, adding that many performers walk away with about $200. “I remember there was a little fiddle player, and she was the cutest little thing with freckles, and I told her to open her case up and put some money in there and her eyes just lit up like ‘I get money for this?’ and by the end of the day she must have had $300-400.”

The day will conclude with the judge’s selection of the top performers for the day, handing out cash prizes for the first, second and third place acts. As well, the top three performers will also receive an invitation to return to future events in town to play on the main stage. This event will also include a peoples choice award, which is a new feature this year.

BuskersFest will also offer people a chance to support local business at the Market Square, a popular feature that includes over 100 participating artisans, artists, and food and business vendors showcasing their wares.

There is no cost of the buskers to register and can do so on the day of the event. The event runs from 10am to 3 p.m. The event is free to enter and pre-registration starts at 9 a.m. at the Olde Towne Plaza stage and winners will be announced at 3:30 p.m.

Watch for more information.

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