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The Bownesians’ Picnic

Sunday, July 18, noon–6 pm

THE NEWEST KID ON THE BLOCK—if events were kids and your cultural calendar were a block—is the 2nd Annual Bownesians Picnic, Sunday, July 18, at Baker Park, just across the river from Bowness Park.

The Bownesians’ Picnic is a free family event with hours and hours of live music and all the games and activities the City of Calgary’s Community & Neighbourhood Services crew can muster. Food is generously donated by the Bowness Community Association and barbecued by the hard-working Lions Club. Cash donations for burgers and hot dogs go to the Bowness Boys and Girls Club. You’ll want to pack your own lunch; food is limited.

Hosted by our most local of bands, The Bownesians are very pleased to welcome their good friends The Lovebullies to this year’s picnic. Just wait till you see their outfits. The afternoon will also feature the rockabilly stylings of Hurricane Felix and Eve Hell, folk rock and R&B from The Sadlier-Brown Band, the sweet country sounds of Tom Phillips and the Men of Constant Sorrow, some quirky banjo-playing fun from Sydney York, as well as an eclectic mix of other local performers. And, of course, what would a Bownesians’ Picnic be without The Bownesians themselves taking the sun bowl stage.

Between musical sets, enjoy a game of horseshoes, on a pitch in the woods created especially for the occasion. This year’s Bownesians’ Picnic welcomes a larger presence from Bow Cycle, with some of their more unusual bikes on display, as well as the Bowness Historical Society, who will be there to remind us all of the upcoming 100th anniversary of Bowness next year. You may also see some beekeepers, orchardists and maybe even some disc golfers giving demonstrations in the park for picnickers.

The Bownesians’ Picnic was born from a conversation that band members of The Bownesians had with city parks officials and politicians at the Bowness Ice Breaker in the spring of 2009, when drummer Brad Kostynuik exclaimed, “Hey, we should host a music festival in Baker Park.” They went for it, and the rest is recent history.

Coincidentally, the idea to form The Bownesians first came to the band’s three founding members as they stood on the sidewalk together watching the Bowness Stampede Parade go by in 2001. They met the very next Monday with the intention of contributing some live music to the parade with their own float the next year. And indeed The Bownesians made their Bowness debut in the 2002 Bowness Stampede Parade. The Bownesians went on to “open” for April Wine at Bow Cycle’s 50th anniversary celebration, which followed the 2007 Tour de Bowness. (It probably should be noted that the performances were separated by approximately four hours, and The Bownesians played outside while April Wine got the professional indoor stage. But they did both appear on the same date at the same address, right in the heart of downtown Bowness.)

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