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The Hustle and Bustle of the Westfort Street Fair

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The Hustle and Bustle of the Westfort Street Fair

Photos by Ed Maki

Celebrate one of Thunder Bay's historic neighbourhoods

Come join in the fun of what is one gigantic sidewalk sale and block party.

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If you find yourself  in Thunder Bay visiting family and friends in mid-August, you may want to check out the hustle and bustle of what is the Westfort Street Fair. This summer event, held the third Saturday in August each year, celebrates the historic Thunder Bay neighbourhood of Westfort. This year's event is set for Saturday August 19.

The Westfort Village business district runs from James Street to Ford Street, but the festival itself takes place on two blocks of Frederica Street. The street is blocked  off starting from Westfort Foods, the neighbourhood grocery store parking lot and Rollason’s Flower Shop across the street at one end to Swartz Fine Fashions down at Brown Street. 

Businesses in the Westfort Village have been hosting this open street festival for over 30 years, with local merchants welcoming street vendors to join in for what is one gigantic sidewalk sale and block party. You will find close to 100 merchants and vendors selling their wares, so come early in the day to give yourself some time to seek some great deals on new and used items, including treasures from a local collector at Black Cat Antiques.

The Westfort Street Fair has much to entertain you on a Saturday afternoon, with a number of musical and dancing acts performing on a main stage. In addition, there will be vendors selling food and of course, fun activties for the kids.

Kids will thrilled by a vareity of activities including the Shriner train, along with blow-up castles, bouncy tents, clowns, magicians and more. The Thunder Bay Fire Department sets up a display to talk fire safety with the opportunity to tour a fire truck, another big draw for children and their parents. 

And bring cash to scoop up the bargains galore.

Local merchants like JB Evans Fashion and Footwear and Swartz Fine Fashion, two notable Thunder Bay clothiers, will be clearing out their summer merchanidise with racks out in the street.

There will be unique items for sale at various tents set up by other local street vendors, offering deals you won't want to pass up.

The street fair is such a local community event that people through out the Westfort neighbourhood host their own yard sales, to capitalize on all the people coming to check things out.  And if you are feeling lucky, charities will have booths selling tickets that support many local worthwhile projects.

The Westfort Street Fair is an opportunity for locals and visitors alike to connect with this southside Thunder Bay neighbourhood, that grew up around its connection to industries built on the Kam (Kaministiquia) River and the railway. Early business owners built what became their own busy downtown, complete with clothing stores, banks, restaurants, hotels, professional offices, pharmacies and food stores, and it remains a vibrant place to do business today.

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