Festival Square Market Plaza officially opens in downtown Lethbridge

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Festival Square Market Plaza officially opens in downtown Lethbridge
A new community gathering space is now complete in downtown Lethbridge. As Quinn Campbell reports, local businesses are hopeful the new space will bring in more business – Jun 22, 2022

With the snip of some oversized scissors and a big red ribbon, Festival Square is officially ready to host some downtown events.

Lighting Up Festival Square is the first event on the list. It’s a three-day event celebrating its completion.

Mayor Blaine Hyggen said it’s been a long time coming.

“It’s like, finally,” laughed Hyggen. “We are finally here, we’ve got this opening, we’ve heard about it for so long.

“There was so much infrastructure work that needed to be done as well, stuff that we don’t see, so all that needed to be done prior to what you see when out and about.”

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The $1.71-million plaza was entirely funded through the province of Alberta’s Provincial Municipal Stimulus Program.

Andrew Malcom with the city said tackling the project during COVID-19 restrictions did bring added challenges.

“Construction through a pandemic, which was definitely not easy, both in terms of the project team, but obviously as well as all the businesses that had to deal with the construction complication issues as well as changing restrictions and what they had to do with their business.”

Even though construction didn’t make things easy, for the owners of Analog Books, it was worth the wait.

“It was one of the biggest reasons we chose to open on 6 Street and since we opened during the pandemic, we knew that coming out of it, we would have this to look forward to and it’s been an awesome experience for us,” said Penny Warris, co-owner of the store.

With the square now open, Warris added she is excited to see what it brings to an already buzzing street.

“I really believe that when people come downtown they are going to be like, ‘Wow, this has changed so much.’ They might have a perception that things went down during the pandemic, but on this street alone, six new businesses have opened up,” Warris said.

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The plaza includes an interactive stage, entry signs and site furniture.

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