On Saturday, June 1, Barton Village Festival celebrated its fifth year, and we can't believe how much this little festival has grown! This year's fest drew the biggest crowd yet, in a shorter time than ever since sadly we were forced to shut down early due to thunderstorms. We were gutted to have to cancel the headlining performance from Hamilton critical darlings Ellevator on the main stage, but we're so happy that we'll get another chance to catch them at Supercrawl this year!
Although the weather didn't quite hold out, most of the day was absolutely gorgeous, with sunny skies and not-too-hot temps, perfect for the Community Cup soccer tournament in Woodlands Park brought to you by our awesome community partners Empowerment Squared.
Parks were the theme of the day: in addition to the all-day activities at Woodlands, our friends at Green Street Challenge and Green Venture gave us beautiful pop-up green spaces to gather, play, and rest on Barton Street. We also had a mobile skate park and an on-street basketball court -- just a few of the community interventions we hosted as a hub for 100 in 1 Day, an international day of action celebrating active citizenship, community, and sustainability.
This year we had more vendors than ever (over 80!), a mix of local makers and independent businesses, community service providers, green initiatives, amazing food trucks, and more. But our favourite part of the festival was how many of our BIA members got involved. We felt the love from the very start, with Rumor's Safety handing out gloves to workers laying sod for the pop-up park, Diamantino's staff helping vendors set up their tents, and Helping Hands handing out coffee and cookies. Stores and restaurants hosted outdoor barbecues, pop-up patios, performers, artists, vendors, activities, and more! Duarte's smartly made more homemade burgers for their on-street barbecue this year after selling out last year, O Cantinho served up their famous chicken, Fragoso hosted a barbecue, and newcomers Tasco Da Chico roasted a whole pig!
We loved the pop-up shops and performances at Hello Baked, Lotus and the Bee, Stir It Up, Sage and Sapling, and Emerald Coffee; the perfect patios at Crumbled and Mosaic; the karaoke booth that new tattoo shop Smokey Bandits set up for their grand opening; Suru Studio leading free on-street yoga; the fill-a-food-truck drive at St. Matthew's House; sidewalk sales at St. Vincent De Paul Value Store, Rumor's, Canadian Variety, InterTech Electronics, DL Salon and more. And most of all we loved to see Barton businesses lending a hand, collaborating with each other and other local creatives to bring so much love and community to the festival!
We had three stages of music and activities all day, with free fitness classes and workshops, incredible performances from Earth Wind & Choir, Hammer City Samba, Jacob Moon, Mimi O'Bonsawin, The Beelays, Shanika Maria and more, and a stilt walker parade from the amazingly talented Hamilton Aerial Group!
We're so thankful to all of the sponsors, community partners, volunteers, BIA members, and festival-goers who make Barton Village Festival such a great event. We're already gearing up for next year's festival, so stay tuned (and drop us a line if you want to get involved!)