Five communities share a recipe for friendship

On August 1, 2018 by Rebecca Dakin

By Rizwana Shaikh, Federation of Calgary Communities

In Your Neck of The Woods festival 2018

With the sunshine brightening everyone’s mood on Sunday, June 24, 2018, Deer Run saw the fourth annual “In Your Neck of the Woods” festival.

The five community associations of Deer Run, Deer Ridge, Queensland, Parkland and Lake Bonavista came together for this annual festival. It featured live music, artisans, local business, children’s activities, bouncy castle, face painting, and let’s not forget the mounds of fun.

The festival is organized by Sylvia Johnston, the owner of Cornerstone Music Café, who’s passion for music and a desire for a stronger sense of community inspired her to bridge surrounding communities together.

“It warms my heart to know that we have such a wide variety of people in the community and they can all come together,” says Johnston.

The festival brought out nearly 60 volunteers and 50 vendors this year, to liven up the plaza parking lot. Families enjoyed the live music performances by all local artist and Kickin it Country Dancing even had people up and moving with some line dancing.

Susan Mitchell, Treasurer at the Deer Run Community Association says people had a good time mingling and enjoying the friendly atmosphere.

“It was a nice way to spend a Sunday, sitting in the sun listening to music, and talking to people from the communities,” Mitchell says.

In Your Neck of the Woods festival vendors

All five community associations had a table set up to raise awareness about their organizations and their available programs and upcoming events. They also incorporated children’s activities into their set up, catering to the little residents’ essential entertainment needs.

Dawn Wallace, president of the Deer Ridge Community Association, says the five communities are unique with different events throughout the year, and they hardly get a chance to come together, so this festival encourages them to connect with each other.

“It’s one spot where all of the local communities can come and have fun.”

She believes the festival is gaining popularity and growing each year with more people stopping by to soak up some vitamin D and take home a smile.

Local businesses from the plaza also came out to support the festival, with a snack table from No Frills and popsicles to keep everyone cool. There was also a cotton candy table, because no festival is complete without a sugar rush.

Johnston’s future goal for the festival is to bring together more communities for a chance to engage more residents in a fun way, with an even bigger festival. She wants to include more businesses and bring the festival out of the parking lot, and into the street, something like Lilac Festival. All five community associations are excited to continue supporting the festival in its growth.