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TRUE Festival makes its return to Amherstburg

Phoenix Black performs for the large crowd
Phoenix Black performs for the large crowd

Billed as a free disco dance party, the town's downtown core was the site of nighttime entertainment last weekend.

The third annual TRUE Festival encouraged people to come to Dalhousie and Richmond St. for an evening of entertainment and more. The outdoor winter event was designed by the town's tourism department to promote “creativity, community spirit and a celebration of artistic expression.”

“Fire and glow” performances were part of the night's events, with a fire show, drag queens, illuminated cornhole, toasting marshmallows, a spin-to-win game by The House Youth Centre's “Embrace” group and hot chocolate and apple cider being sold by the Rotary Club of Amherstburg making up the attractions.

The latter two were held in inflatable igloos that were set up in the Open Air Weekends footprint.

A press release leading into the festival advertised it as a way to “indulge your taste buds at our drink and snack stations while you take in the fun downtown.

TRUE Fest aims to create an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere where everyone can let loose and celebrate. The event is an experience that brings together the community for a night of joy and laughter.”

“TRUE Fest is a testament to the creativity and passion that define our town,” says Mayor Michael Prue. “This event not only celebrates artists and our community members, but it adds to the vibrant culture that makes Amherstburg special.”

“We've had lines out of the igloo,” said Morghan Shearon, program director with The House.

Major prizes being raffled off by The House were gone within 20 minutes, she said.

For Fina St. Denis and Andrea Fevreau of Amherstburg, both were having a good time Saturday night.

“I came last year and it was a lot of fun,” said St. Denis.

“I didn't come last year but (St. Denis) told me to come this year,” added Fevreau, with a laugh.

St. Denis said she would like to make it an annual outing.

“I love everyone on the streets having a good time together,” said St. Denis. “I definitely will be coming back.”

Lisa Chiandussi, Pam Berdusco and Annette Langshaw of Amherstburg wanted to get out and enjoy the night, even in the middle of winter.

“It's great to have some entertainment,” said Chiandussi. “I think it's good.”

Langshaw said they didn't get a chance to come last year, but wanted to make it this year.

“It's pretty cool,” she said.

Berdusco added while she enjoyed having the some of the River Lights displays still illuminated, she suggested adding Valentine's Day lights next year. She added it was a good way to get out of the house and enjoy and evening of fun.

Krista Rann came in from Kingsville for the event. She said they come to Amherstburg for several festivals throughout the year, adding she loves the “positive vibes” from the TRUE Festival.

“We came last year to the winter and summer (drag queen) shows. We love it,” she said. “Everyone has a good time. It seems to be a good family event.”

By Ron Giofu

TRUE Festival makes its return to Amherstburg

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