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Guests and vendors share their experiences at this year's Sidewalk Days event

Moose Jaw’s downtown was the scene of bustling activity, including the familiar sights, smells, and sounds of the yearly Sidewalk Days festival as thousands packed the streets from July 4 to 6

Moose Jaw’s downtown was the scene of bustling activity, including the familiar sights, smells, and sounds of the yearly Sidewalk Days festival as thousands of visitors packed the streets from July 4 to 6.

The traditional festival helps showcase a few highlights of what Moose Jaw has to offer, including some of the best in local talent, cuisine, and small businesses of every description.

Treena Redman and her friend Caroline Nixon visited Sidewalk Days from Leader, Sask., and the ladies shared a few of their experiences while Redman was receiving a Henna tattoo. They said their hometown has a yearly analogue event but nothing to this scale.

“We’re loving it,” Redman said about Sidewalk Days. “I’ve been to a couple just for an afternoon, but never for the whole three days.”

This all changed this year when the duo decided it would make an exceptional girl’s weekend event.

The ladies easily agreed on the best part of the outing, which Redman said was “the unique vendors… and (the) neat experience trying different things.”

Doug and Maxine Holoien came across the yearly street festival by chance after visiting Moose Jaw from Melfort, Sask. to attend the 60th anniversary celebration of a friend. They were also former Moose Jaw residents for 25 years and previously ran the Mulberry Estates for four of those years.

“It’s a nice event,” Doug said. “I remember when we lived here, we always looked forward to being (at Sidewalk Days) on the weekend.”

The couple agreed about a few of the major draws to the yearly festival.

“It’s just nice to be down in this atmosphere… There’s a lot of great events (going on as well),” he said.

Maxine added that she loves “to see all the people that are taking part in it and all the vendors,” and said it’s “awesome” to experience so much community spirit firsthand.

Presley Fredrickson works as a cashier with Cranberry Consignments, and this was her second year attending Sidewalk Days as a downtown vendor.

“I feel like it’s a little busier this year just because I think there’s more vendors… compared to last year,” she said. “The volume of people I think is pretty much the same – just more spread out.”

This year saw 249 confirmed vendors, which Jacki L'Heureux-Mason with Tourism Moose Jaw said was well above the previous record of 210 vendors.

Fredrickson said the consignment shop has seen good business during Sidewalk Days, which she credited a few additional event-only discounts for and viewed this year’s street festival as a success.

Devin Milligan, the owner of Devos Dogs, and employee Avery Surtees were in attendance as one of several popular food vendors.

“(This year’s Sidewalk Days event) has been really good,” Milligan confirmed. “The weather’s been good, and the public has been great to support local businesses.”

Milligan said this summer marks his sixth year attending the festival and felt the event was “a little bit slower” this year than in his previous experience, but said “it seems to be going very well" regardless.

An official count has not yet been verified, but the Sidewalk Days organizers are tentatively estimating attendance to be in the ballpark of 22,000 visitors.