Sun and Salsa Festival mixes fun and charity

theresa tayler/metro calgary


LEFT: Six-year-old Tess McCormik, right, showcases her best belly-dancing moves at the Sun and Salsa Festival in Kensington yesterday afternoon. The dancers were part of Calgary’s Studio Sublime belly-dancing troupe. RIGHT: Allison Mader of Higher Ground Café serves up her special blend of chili-infused salsa yesterday at the salsa festival.

“Last year, about 75,000 people attended our festival. It was our busiest year. It feels about that busy again this year.”

Not even a blistering sun and near 30 C temperatures could deter tens of thousands of Calgarians from spicing it up in Kensington this weekend for the annual Sun and Salsa Festival.

The street party includes vendors, street buskers, performers and more than 40 different salsa recipes to sample.

“We couldn’t have asked for better weather,” said Doug Boyd, Kensington BRZ treasurer and vice chairman.

“And the success of a festival like this really depends on good weather. Last year, about 75,000 people attended our festival. It was our busiest year. It feels about that busy again this year.”

Since the early ’90s, the Calgary burrow has hosted the weekend party that has local businesses set up stands with salsa samples they have created. Chips are sold for $3 a bag, and festival goers move from one salsa stand to the next sampling as they go.

Proceeds from this year’s chip and water sales will go to two local charities: The LEAD Foundation, which supports children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and related disabilities, and the The Agape hospice.

The two charities are expected to make upwards of $2,500 each in sales.

Mary Hezmalhalch, a representative from The Agape hospice, said there were about 37 volunteers helping out from the hospice yesterday.

“We’re here to sell water, collect bottles, help with garbage and help with set up and tear down,” Hezmalhalch said. “It’s a good community to be in for hospice, it’s very central, has all of the businesses you would ever need.”

Hezmalhalch said the Sun and Salsa Festival is a wonderful fundraising opportunity for the hospice which is always looking for donations.

The annual family event takes place along Kensington Road and 10th St. N.W.

It’s Calgary’s second largest street festival next to the Lilac Festival which takes place along 4th Street and attracts upwards of about 100,000 people throughout the day.

Latest From ...