Masha Scheele Photo
Lily Madsen during the opening ceremonies of Föhn Fest 2019
Music, dancing, food sampling, and plenty of activities for kids are planned for Hinton’s 13th annual Föhn Festival.
In celebration of Canada Day, Hinton residents will be gathering at Green Square for the all-day family event.
“It’s labelled as Hinton’s signature event of the summer, and it is the only free, all access, community festival that happens within Hinton. It’s really important to us to keep it free and all-access because it speaks to our multicultural vibe, which is something we really want to continue,” said chairperson Morgan Roberts.
The festival is a volunteer run event, annually attracting between 2,000 to 8,000 people, said Roberts. Celebrations start the evening before Canada Day with a fireworks show at the recreation centre. The following day will start with a pancake breakfast facilitated this year by Break-A-Leg, Theatre who are raising funds to create a costume closet.
The opening ceremony officially kicks off the festivities at 10:30 am after the Canada Day parade, followed by activities for the kids, plenty of multicultural food vendors, and a diverse lineup onstage. The on stage music and entertainment lineup include multicultural acts and local artists like Borelias Sky, Mad Jacks, and multiple other bands throughout the day.
“It’s important to us to have local entertainment on stage as well because it’s a real chance for locals to see themselves up on stage and to be inspired and to make sure that we have the future generation coming up feeling that this is an attainable goal and being able to perform surrounded by love,” said Roberts.
“We have such great talent here in Hinton too. It’s marvelous to be able to draw in such a talented community.”
Organizers are looking at setting up a train for the all-day event this year that will go around Green Square.
“We’re just working out some of the final logistics there and I believe that will be free and accessible,” said Roberts.
“Our kids zone is going to be very exciting this year as well. We’ve got bouncy houses coming, we’ve got face painting, we’ve got all kinds of free events and it’s nice because when you have children and you come out to a festival, normally you get costs every time you want to jump on something or play on something. It’s very important to us to keep that all access.”
For the adults, there will be 15 to 20 different multicultural vendors.
“This year we have a number of cultural vendors that are coming, we have a number of small businesses that are coming, we have a number of not-for-profits that are getting involved as well to make out a really well rounded community festival,” said Roberts.
An array of cuisines showcase Hinton’s multiculturalism throughout the festival, including foods from Mexico, the Philippines, Greece and Jamaica.
Due to health and safety, pets won’t be allowed into the festival.
Still up in the air is the yearly crowd-favourite CF-18 Hornets fly-over, which organizers will announce closer to the event when or if they get a green light for the planes.
“We have put in the application just as we have in years past and we are hoping that it does happen. But unfortunately due to so many different conditions we just won’t have an answer until just before,” said Roberts.
Roberts said they are also asking attendees to bring a donation for the Hinton Food Bank if they are able to. Organizers look forward to welcoming new board members and brainstorming new ideas with them for next year’s festival.
Roberts added that volunteers are always welcome and can sign up through fohnfest.com.