Winnipeg Fringe Festival posts record attendance numbers
Festival sees over 10,000 visitors in one day for first time ever
The Winnipeg Fringe Festival is in full swing, and organizers say the fest has broken attendance records this year.
On Saturday, single-day ticket sales exceeded 10,000 for the first time in the festival’s history.
The influx of people to the Exchange District has been a boon for local businesses.
"I think what it does is it gives people an opportunity to kind of come and experience the area without pressure," said Stephanie Scherbain with the Exchange Distric BIZ. "If they see something they like ,they definitely come back in the off-season."
Scherbain said restaurants and other businesses near Old Market Square are doing great.
William Belford works at Natural Cycle, a bike repair co-op on Albert Street.
Belford said during Fringe the business sees a big spike in bicycle rentals. He credits out-of-town performers with the spike in business.
"It’s really nice to just have the area just full of people, and it gives an opportunity to go out and just hand out coupons and say, ‘Hey! We’re right over here!’ and people who lived here their whole life can find out about us," said Belford.
Belford said the fest helps bring people to the area who might not go otherwise.
Winnipeg Lisa Lang has already been to the festival and said she wouldn’t have spent time in the area if it weren’t for the fest.
"It’s just not usually the area I come to. I try to stay away from the downtown area," she said. Lang said she doesn’t like the traffic and lack of parking in the Exchange but was happy to take in a play and then check out what was happening at Old Market Square afterwards.
The Winnipeg Fringe Festival is on until July 28.