Last year, trying to escape the extreme heat of late August, the Union Centre Merchants Association decided to take control of its signature summertime festival at the Square at Union Centre and move it to mid-October.
Mother Nature didn’t like the change.
Storms, blustery winds and cold weather killed beverage sales and hurt attendance.
“Last year would have been wonderful if Mother Nature had just worked with us a little better,” Union Centre Boulevard Merchants Association President Pam Shrout said.
“It was the first year that we put on the event, entirely by ourselves and everything was lined up to go, but due to storms coming through, the blustery wind and the late date of the festival … that is why we are doing it at the end of September.”
This year’s event, to be held Sept. 28-29, will look very similar, maybe minus the bad weather, to the event held last October. Again, the festival will feature free admission, numerous bands and food from local restaurants.
- Union Centre Music and Food Festival band lineup
- Union Centre Music and Food Festival directions
- Union Centre Music and Food Festival full schedule
If you are accustomed to the summertime festival, formerly referred to the Union Centre Boulevard Bash (and Blast in 2010), the event will feature a more localized group of food vendors and has decided to do way with amusement rides and games.
Last year, many of the rides and games were absent from the festival due to the association’s desire to focus on two of the more popular items every year at the event – the food and the music. In addition to that, last year’s weather also required festival volunteers to shut down the few rides that were there.
The rides were never the biggest draw, anyways, as many of the people who braved the weather in 2011 came out to see the bands.
“The bands were wonderful. People came out to see them and I think this year’s band lineup is a lot stronger than last year,” Shrout said. “The Beatles tribute band, BritBeat, is the most awesome band. They were here last year and we got them back. Overall, the whole band lineup is phenomenal.
“I truly think it will be a great event.”
This year, any proceeds leftover from the festival will benefit the Cheering for Charity Foundation, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting awareness and raising funds to support and educate the thousands of families living with Alzheimer’s.
The festival will take place from 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 28 and from 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 29.