Rock the ‘Walk 4

On July 19 – from noon till 5 pm ­– we’re cranking it all the way up to 4. Rock the ‘Walk 4, that is.

Ever since RiverWalk™ celebrated its grand opening with the first ever Rock the ‘Walk in 2011, Calgarians have embraced East Village’s liveliest, sunniest, tastiest riverside party with great gusto. And no wonder. Who doesn’t love free live music, food trucks and unique offerings by local artisans? All happening on an award-winning riverside promenade, no less?

This year’s musical lineup of Beaver Squadron, along with Rock the ‘Walk alumni Meisha and the Spanks and the HighKicks, will keep the high-octane energy flowing on RiverWalk Plaza from noon right through until 5 pm this Saturday, July 19. With free live music, a cavalcade of food trucks and twenty artisans offering their wares, the stunning river view won’t be the only thing to take your breath away.

Rock the ’Walk has been a success from the very first instalment, and what began as the grand opening party for the first phase of RiverWalk (then, a four block stretch from 3rd Street to the edge of Fort Calgary) has become one of Calgary’s best-loved blasts by the banks of the Bow. The inaugural Rock the ‘Walk set the bar for a sun-soaked day to celebrate urban riverside fun. And so far it’s worked, with each subsequent Rock the ‘Walk being more gloriously radiant than the last.

Curious Calgarians flocked to RiverWalk Plaza for the first ever Rock the ‘Walk in 2011, to see for themselves just what all the fuss was about. The “oohs” and “aahs” were audible, as intrigued explorers surveyed the flowing Bow from new observation decks and rested on brand-new benches and loungers. Three beloved Calgary bands rocked the Plaza stage for four solid hours at that first Rock the ‘Walk: Meisha and the Spanks, Samantha Savage Smith, and Kris Demeanor and his Crack Band. A dozen vendors from Market Collective enticed savvy shoppers with an intriguing selection of crafty wares. Fiasco Gelato cooled off dancers and over-heated shoppers alike with some sweet treats.

As RiverWalk has grown, so has the party. By the summer of 2012, three phases of RiverWalk (from Centre Street bridge, around Fort Calgary and to 9th Avenue) were fully complete, making even more room for ‘Walk rocking. Under brilliant blue skies, crowds of urban explorers flocked to the banks of the Bow, absorbing the music and the party atmosphere along with the rays. Rock the ‘Walk 2 took the tasty factor up a notch with five of Calgary’s finest food trucks ready to show hungry villagers some love. Twenty Market Collective vendors offered near-endless shopping opportunities and Bike Calgary took curious walkers on free old-timey bicycle rides. Hello Moth, Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk, and Reuben and the Dark kept tunes ringing and toes tapping through the afternoon.

By Rock the ‘Walk 3 in 2013, everybody knew the drill. Sun: check; smiles: check; awesome party by the river: check. Cool shades and hot dance moves were the fashion accessories of the day as music lovers, shoppers and food truck aficionados strolled RiverWalk beneath cloudless skies. A village of vendors under white tents transformed RiverWalk Plaza into a shopping mecca; food trucks offered up mouth-watering fare; and Mark Mills, Eve Hell & the Razors, and the HighKicks had the rhythmically-inclined bobbing their heads and shaking their hips. The high-octane tunes proved hard to resist; even a few Maker Faire robotic chairs got down and funky.

On July 19, hop on your bike, board or the bus, or simply lace up your sneakers and stroll over to RiverWalk Plaza from noon to 5 pm for East Village’s signature summer celebration. And don’t forget to save room for gelato.