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Shop til you drop at downtown street fair

During the heat wave downtown Oshawa is keeping it cool.

Oshawa’s Fantastic Street Fair and Sidewalk Sale started yesterday morning and will be wrapping up Saturday evening. Shops and eateries kept prices low while children and adults shopped til they dropped and some even had their faces painted.

Vendors and artists braved the heat to participate. “They asked me to come and I said, ‘OK!’,” said Heather Brennan-Carson, who had a balloon, face painting and temporary tattoo tent set up at the corner in the downtown hub. Carson posted on the Fantastic Street Fair Facebook page on Wednesday, breaking the sad news that she wouldn’t be continuing her work the next day because of Thursday’s high temperatures, but would be returning for Friday and Saturday.

Heather Brennan-Carson's magical face painting transformed visitors to the Fantastic Street Fair.

Lost Anchor’s Ryan Howe was found painting on King Street. Paintings were being created on site and then were put up for sale, with prices starting at $20. He began the same day as the festival, but hopes to continue this instant art show twice a week as part of the Powderkeg Art Collective.

Ryan Howe hard at work, creating and selling his work.

Art will continue to be found elsewhere throughout the rest of the Fantastic Street Fair.

Mad Café, a popular eatery next to Regent Theatre, will have glass art and up-cycled jewelry. Murphy’s Pub showed off up-cycled shelving and custom-made magnets. Coco and Joe’s, Beanz and other locations will also be promoting the arts.

For those who enjoy the more theatrical side of the arts, Saturday’s events won’t disappoint. Bola will host a spoken word performance and Queen’s Market Square will have Professor Snape, a magician, entertaining crowds. On Saturday night, Hairy Holler’s Party Gras will be taking over The Bodega on Celina Street in true New Orleans style. Costumes and masks are encouraged at this pay-what-you-can event.

The Fantastic Street Fair and Sidewalk sale attracted all sorts of artistic expression.

But this fair isn’t only for the creative types. On Friday and Saturday, the Faculty of Education at UOIT will be running a science station. And for those looking to quench their thirst during their search for a sale, Garden Grove Juice Bar is serving their fresh watermelon lemondade outside Bola from noon until 5 p.m. on Friday for $3.

This collaborative effort means this is the perfect way to discover and sample what downtown Oshawa has for newcomers and for long-time residents to rediscover what there hometown has to offer.

“This event benefits the downtown businesses because it draws more people to the downtown,” said Angela Mittoni with the Downtown Oshawa Business Improvement Area, board of management. “Some people will seek out hand crafted items and this event will draw these people to the downtown where they then get a chance to see the varied and quality of the merchandise available in our growing downtown.”

“The live entertainment, including actors, musicians, and visual artists are a great draw for families,” she continued.

There is hope for and efforts being made to ensure that this will be an annual affair.

Story and images by Hillary Di Menna

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