ESTEVAN - Over 1,000 people gathered in downtown Estevan Saturday night for the Downtown Business Association's Street Dance 2022.
With the entertainment provided by Saskatchewan's Brock Andrews and Brody Siebert, and beer gardens serving the revelers out of the Tower Café's parking lot, the community had a lot of fun dancing to the music on a warm July night.
The dance occupied the 1100-block of Fourth Street, which was closed to traffic from 9 a.m. Saturday-9 a.m. Sunday.
The Mercury spoke to Melissa Deitz and Robert Godfrey with Lemon Wedge Marketing, who are a part of the DBA and worked a lot to organize the dance.
"It was a fantastic evening. We were so excited to see all the people that came out and enjoyed the party with us. The two performers, Brock Andrews and Brody Siebert, put on a spectacular show. And it was just really great to see everyone having so much fun," Godfrey said.
Great performers and a unique opportunity to enjoy the street dance were a combination that became the real attraction.
"Performers really, really enjoyed themselves, and the following day, they let us know that they really enjoyed being at the venue, they thought the crowd was amazing. They thought it was extremely well-organized, and they were happy with the sound and lighting. So from their perspective, they were really, really happy to be a part of this event and have asked to come back. They said it was one of the best places that they performed," Deitz shared.
"And I also think that folks came out just to socialize and party together … We heard lots of compliments about the bands afterwards because they are local Saskatchewan artists, but they also play a lot of cover music and a little bit of everything. So it was very entertaining. And they were very great to deal with."
The DBA sold about 750 tickets in advance through Henders Drugs, and a few more hundred tickets were sold at the doors. Deitz said a collaboration with the Saskota Baseball League’s Harbourne Memorial Tournament and the Estevan Motor Speedway worked out really well, as many spectators and participants from the ball games and races joined the dance to wrap up their Saturday night.
"The partnership [with the Harbourne tournament], we had discussed it with them several months ago. And then we're hoping to do that again next year. And we also had a discussion with Brad Pearson at the Estevan Motor Speedway and did a bit of a collaboration with them as well. So it worked out. We wanted people to attend the races and stop at the street dance right after. Sometimes it takes a group effort to get everybody out," Deitz said.
She added that it was a big community effort to put the dance together, and the joint effort worked out well.
"We're very grateful for all the sponsors and the folks that helped make this a great and safe venue," Deitz said.
Dozens of volunteers, including members of the Estevan Rotary and Knights of Columbus clubs, Estevan Bike and Brew, the Estevan Humane Society, Fresh Air Fitness, the DBA and the community made the event a great success. The crowd also did their best to ensure that the event was a joy for everyone.
"We had a really well-behaved crowd. We actually had zero incidents for the entire night. We had compliments from both our security and the Estevan Police Service who helped, with them saying how well everything went on their site as well. So we're really thankful to the community for staying well behaved," Godfrey said.
"And we're grateful for the City of Estevan and all their support, as well as the chief of police, the Estevan city police. And we had many volunteers," Deitz added. "Security was great, there were no issues. Everybody was really well behaved. The community just came out and had a really great time."
The street dance was a fundraiser for the DBA. The money they raised will be put back into community projects and the beautification of Estevan.
"That goes towards a lot of our initiatives throughout the year, including promotional activities for organization. Also, things that the DBA can do to help beautify our downtown area, that is a big part of what we do. It helps things like supporting the Garden on Fourth,” said Godfrey. And we actually just did a donation to them recently to help with their irrigation system.
"And at Christmas time, we had some new decorations that we added to the downtown; it also helps fund our Miracle on Fourth Street Christmas event. So it is an important part of the DBA and continuing to improve the culture of downtown Estevan."
They didn't have the total at the time of the interview, but Godfrey said the DBA is really happy with the money they were able to raise through the street dance.
With the success of this year's event, the association is already talking about plans for the next year and hopefully years to come.
"We're planning this week to have a discussion and book it for next year … It is an event that we want to bring back to the community," Deitz said.
The organizers thanked everyone involved for helping them have a great night out for Estevan.
"It's a really neat thing to see how different organizations, whether they're non-profits or associations, always come together with volunteers and with support of each other in order to run these types of events or fundraisers," Deitz said.
"We just want to send out a huge thank you to all of the businesses and volunteers that helped us. We couldn't put this event on without the support of all those people. And of course, a big shout out to everyone who came out and enjoyed themselves. We're very hopeful that we can bring this event back for many years to come," Godfrey added.