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Harvest Festival to be first Black Diamond event since COVID-19

Buskers and vendors are needed for the Saturday market on Sept. 26 to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of the Foothills.
Black diamond downtown
The Town of Black Diamond and Boys and Girls Club of the Foothills have partnered to host the Harvest Festival, which will include a market in downtown Black Diamond on Sept. 26. (Wheel File Photo)

Buskers and vendors are needed for Black Diamond’s first festival since provincial guidelines surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the closure of large-scale community gatherings.

In celebration of Alberta Culture Days, the Boys and Girls Club of the Foothills is hosting a Harvest Festival Sept. 25 and 26, with support from the Town of Black Diamond, which will include entertainment, a market and children’s activities.

“The whole intent behind it is residents missed out on our other events this year so we wanted to find a way to do something that people could still participate in while following the provincial guidelines,” said Shelley Broadley, Black Diamond planning and economic development assistant. “The parade, Canada Day and car show – there’s been a whole bunch of events that have been cancelled and people really need a boost.”

While planning is still in the works, Broadley said the Town is putting a call out to vendors and buskers to set up booths in public spaces and between businesses along Government Road and Centre Avenue on Sept. 26. They can include home-based businesses, makers, bakers, artists and crafters.

Kim Reichert, volunteer co-ordinator with the Boys and Girls Club of the Foothills, said she’s excited to see the community come together in the first major outdoor event in Black Diamond since COVID-19.

“I’m hoping it’s well received and that we get lots of people out – a safe amount anyway,” she said. “We want to bring some fun, joy and life to the town.”

The $25 fee charged to vendors will be donated to the club.

Shirley Puttock, the club’s chief executive officer, said the club is facing higher costs and lower revenues after having to limit enrolment for its before and after school programs in Black Diamond, High River, Nanton and the Crowsnest Pass, and the after school program in Eden Valley.

“We can only have cohorts of 30, including staff, so we’re full and in the process of hiring more staff so we can have a second cohort at pretty much all locations,” she said.

To meet Alberta Health guidelines, the club has also hired extra staff to clean, take temperatures and fill out assessments at the door, said Puttock. She said it’s difficult to host fundraisers because of the regulations surrounding COVID-19.

“We have to be really creative,” she said. “We’re really grateful for the Town of Black Diamond for partnering with us on this.”

Anyone interested in being a vendor or busker for the Harvest Festival can fill out an application form by clicking here. For more details call Shelley Broadley at 403-933-4348.

Tammy Rollie, OkotoksToday.ca

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Tammy Rollie

About the Author: Tammy Rollie

Tammy Rollie is a staff reporter at OkotoksToday.ca and the Western Wheel newspaper, focusing on Wheel's West, local arts and culture and entertainment. For story tips contact trollie@okotoks.greatwest.ca
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