Steinbach’s premiere festival, Summer in the City, is back and organizers couldn’t be more excited about this year’s offering.
The festival takes place June 17-19 on Main Street, and is once again a celebration of arts, culture and summer.
Festival Operations chair Graham Pollock said this is the first return to normalcy since the 2019 event. Summer in the City was cancelled in 2020 and was run at a much smaller scale as part of Fall on the Farm at the Mennonite Heritage Village in fall of 2021.
"I think it’s been a long two years, not just for the festival but for everybody," Pollock said.
The festival returns to its roots, offering performing and visual arts as well as cultural programming.
"It’s an opportunity for us to showcase the talent that is in the Southeast here, not just the performing arts but the visual arts component as well," he said.
While tickets must be purchased for headliner acts Absolute Queen and the Hunter Brothers on Friday and Saturday night, the rest of the festival is free.
The Main stage features a variety of entertainment beginning at noon on Friday and running to late afternoon Sunday. Almost 30 acts will grace the stage during the three day event. It’s an important part of the festival, not just for attendees but for the acts themselves. "It allows us to allow people that have many talents in this area to showcase their talents," Pollock said.
The Cultures stage will also be busy throughout the event featuring dancing styles and music reflecting Irish, Metis, First Nations, Jamaican, the Pacific Islands, Mennonite, East Indian, Scandinavian, Filipino, West African, French, Korean, Latin music, Ukrainian, and Iranian cultures.
Pollock said there’s incredible cultural diversity in Southeast Manitoba, something they can tap into for the event.
This year for the first time the Manitoba Metis Federation will also have a place. They will host the Tom Dutiaume Band, and jigger Dean Davis on Sunday.
"I think moving forward it’s an area we can really grow as well because the Metis culture is a huge part of our culture in the Southeast as well," Pollock said.
The Artists in the City component includes an oil still life party for adults with Aleks Klemm, paint parties for kids with Amber Van Ma’iingan, paint parties for 16+ and adults with Rachel Cholet, beading for kids with Amber Van Ma’iingan, and a Father’s Day Lego sculpture competition.
Street arts include a skateboarding competition, rap battle, and a Boss Dance Academy Showcase.
This year there’s plenty for children to do as well. Kids in the City runs all three days and includes bouncers, bubble labs, a foam party, a visit by Prairie Exotics, face painting, crafts, balloon animals and mini golf.
The midway is also open for kids of all ages.
Sunday will include the traditional community worship service and will feature music and entertainment throughout the day.
"There’s something for everyone here," Pollock said.
The festival also offers a car show, sports in the city at the TG Smith Centre, a Seniors in the City spot and plenty of vendors.
In fact, from the time the festival kicks off at 7 a.m. on Friday with the Steinbach Credit Union pancake breakfast, to the time it closes with the final act of Acorns & Armchairs on the main stage beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, close to 100 different acts and activities will have taken place.
Close to 160 volunteers will work the festival in different aspects, and Pollock said there’s still time to take part.
To volunteer, purchase tickets or see the full schedule go to www.summerinthecity.ca. Tickets for the headliners can also be purchased at the information booth or at SAC.