BY JAMES FW THOMPSON
First it was Action Week.
Then it was the Sydney Harbour Front Festival.
Now, this year, it’s the first annual Sydney Waterfront Festival, and it kicks off on Wednesday, August 2!
The festival will offer traditional favourites, such as the light parade, and of course buskers down on the boardwalk. But, there will also be some new additions to this year’s festival.
“We’ve added a couple new events to make it our own,” says Michelle Wilson, Executive Director of Sydney Waterfront District Association. For example, “we’re really excited to be welcoming home Canadian muralist, Allan Ryan – originally from North Sydney – to paint a mural on Charlotte Street next to the Maple Leaf Restaurant.”
The festival will also include plenty of music including the final instalment of the Sydney Credit Union Makin’ Waves Music Festival with local performers Laurenn Marchand, Curtis Matheson, and Cody Degaust at Wentworth Park on Thursday, August 3. At the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion, there is a series of concerts: Matt Minglewood on Friday, Port Cities on Saturday, and Jordan Musycsyn opens for Ottawa-based River Town Saints kicking off the big finale on Sunday.
There will be plenty for the kids as well. One of the very first events is the annual Teddy Bear Picnic at Wentworth Park, which will include a screening of Finding Dory, face-painting, and entertainment by Vanna White. There will also be Mini Olympics at the Atlantic Street Soccer Field on Friday and on Sunday, Kidspree featuring inflatables, Serpentime, a princess tent, and more!
Of course, the festival will start and end in high fashion. The Thursday night light parade this year has the theme “Celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday.” Just so you don’t miss it, here’s the route: it starts at the army barracks, heads down the Esplanade, onto Townsend, down George, and ends at everyone’s favourite landmark, the Big Fiddle.
The whole thing will come to a close on Sunday night with a concert and, the event with the biggest turn out of the year: the closing fireworks display! They get better every year, and I for one am looking forward to seeing the colourful explosions over Sydney Harbour.
Take all that, and add some yoga, a food-truck round up, local vendors, a whole lot of people wandering around the streets of Sydney, and how could I forget the Tall Ships! It sounds like the start of a pretty great festival to me.
For more details, check out the Sydney Waterfront facebook page. Also, keep an eye out for the brochures floating around the downtown area—they can be tricky to find, but they are super useful once you get one!