“There are so many things happening and 99 per cent of them are free,” said Jamie Hayes, executive director of the Mission Downtown Business Association.
But in order for the activities to be free, sponsors are needed and while local support is high, the festival received a financial blow this year.
“We’re very lucky because we have many generous sponsors. However, we lost a major provincial sponsor as the sponsorship criteria changed.”
Hayes said they are currently looking for new sponsors of all levels to help fill the financial void.
Despite needing more support, this year’s MissionFest is shaping up to be the largest ever.
“There are two reasons why we hold MissionFest. The first is so Missionites can come down and get to know their downtown businesses.”
Hayes said it’s a chance for local businesses to “put their best foot forward” and to show residents what they have to offer.
The second reason is to provide free family fun for the kids in Mission.
The event takes place Saturday, Aug. 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout the downtown core and is broken into specific areas for people to enjoy.
“There will be no stage this year. Instead, we have buskers performing,”said Hayes.
There will also be a 4×4 vehicle display for motor enthusiasts, a section for non-profit community groups to showcase their programs, Mission RCMP and firefighters on hand, extended hours for the Mission Farmers’ Market, a logging sports show and the always-popular children’s section filled with games, bouncy castles, activities and more.
New this year is a special addition to the vendors’ block: a zipline. Visitors can ride the zipline along a city block. The zipline is 300 feet in length and three blocks high.
“It’s the first time anything of its kind has been featured,” said Hayes, adding that there is a charge for the ride.
Also new this year is the adults-only craft beer celebration, from 2 to 6 p.m.
The event takes place behind the Mission post office.
“It’s not a beer garden,” said Hayes. Instead, people pay to enter and are able to sample beers from breweries throughout the Fraser Valley. The Dewdney Pub blues band will be performing at the venue.
“We’re hoping everyone will come downtown and experience MissionFest and all that downtown has to offer.”
For further information or to ask about sponsorship or vendor opportunities, email firstname.lastname@example.org.