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South Slave Friendship Festival co-ordinator Vanessa Baron tacks up a poster downtown. She was in Yellowknife to promote the festival and recruit bands last weekend.

Festival season ain't over yet

Daron Letts
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (July 22/05) - Folk on the Rocks is behind us for another year, but that doesn't mean festival season is over.

The 17th annual South Slave Friendship Festival takes over Fort Smith from Aug. 18 to 21.

Festival co-ordinator Vanessa Baron visited Yellowknife last week to promote the event and sign up some Yellowknife musicians to play.

Dozens of performers are expected, including Yellowknife's Edzo, Mandeville Drive, Rick Poltaruk and Ceilidh Friends.

Fort Simpson's Randy Sibbeston, North Country Rock and plenty of other talent from Fort Smith will play as well.

"Musicians are everywhere in Fort Smith," Baron said. "Half the town plays. Lots of people are starting up bands and getting involved in this year's festival."

Venues are spread around town, including at Conibear Park, the Northern Life Museum, Aurora College and some local bars. A flat-bed truck will serve as a stage for a skate jam, featuring Yellowknife's Something Hopeless and other hardcore bands.

"There's a lot of partying all weekend but it's about the music," Baron said. "The music never stops."

The Super Shaker is the big Saturday night event. Held at the Fort Smith Centennial Arena, it showcases the biggest acts from the festival as they rock out until 3 a.m.

It's important to festival organizers that the whole town gets to enjoy the festivities, she said. Balloons, face-painting and other children's entertainment are planned. There will even be an open mike for children to express themselves on stage.

Fort Smith's special care home brings in guitarists and singers to play for residents who can't make it out to downtown venues.

Organizers are recruiting Yellowknife performers until Aug. 2.