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Mission Fest draws in crowds

First Avenue was closed to vehicle traffic almost all day Saturday
Hundreds of people attended Mission Fest Saturday on First Avenue.

Elevated temperatures Saturday did little to stem the tide of people flocking to First Avenue for the second annual Mission Fest.

According to Mission Downtown Business Association spokesperson Ronda Cushnie, the high level of support from residents and local businesses helped make the event a bigger success than last year.

Downtown merchants "really stepped up" and showed they're good neighbours, said Cushnie, explaining that many brought out freezies during the day to help beat the heat, and contributed financially so that most events and activities were free for attendees, including the ever-popular bouncy castle.

Musical entertainment from bands like Kitchen Sync and Ennact lent a true festive air to the event, which saw First Avenue completely closed to vehicle traffic from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Another popular draw was Mission fire department's ladder truck and the new engine, which were on-site for a good portion of the day, said Cushnie.

The show and shine drew 45 vehicles to First Avenue, and winner of best street car was Pierre Beaudoin, with his 1967 Mustang, while Len Gibbons' 1953 MG TD2 took the coolest car trophy, handed out by Mission Mayor Ted Adlem.

Cushnie said Mission Fest will happen in 2013, and organizers will bring in some large tents for shade.

Among the major contributors were block sponsors Fraser Valley Building Supplies, Jodway Law, Rona and Rockin' River Music Festival.

"Even though it was held downtown, it's definitely what I would call a community event," said Cushnie.