With the hot and humid weather hovering over southwestern Ontario, many eager Londoners are already finding time to get to Sunfest.
The popular festival, now in its 22nd year, officially kicks off Thursday though the live entertainment doesn’t start until Thursday evening, and ramps up Friday and Saturday.
Despite temperatures in the low 30s and a humidex reading of nearly 40, many Londoners could be found taking a lunch break at Victoria Park.
More than 300 craft and food vendors will operate and over 30 performers from all over the world will entertain thousands of festivalgoers over the course of the weekend.
One Londoner, Mark, explained why he thinks Londoners keep coming back.
“Well it’s got a great reputation, I think. It’s been going on for years. Great music, the weather always seems to be great, good food; there’s no reason not to come.”
Mike Laidlow added there’s something for everyone.
“It’s not my genre of music necessarily, but it’s good music. I’m more folk-oriented or blues-oriented, but the international music that is played here is pretty good too.”
Londoner Ryan Zammit said he attends for the music and because it’s close to home.
“It’s very unique and it’s the music. Everywhere else has a little bit of music, but here you can come and go stage to stage and you see all the different bands from all over,” he said. “We don’t live far so we can come by and come for an hour and then go home, but the heat is going to play a factor.”
Forecasters are predicting a 70 per cent chance of showers or a thunderstorm on Friday which will push the warm weather and humidity out of the region. Saturday’s high is 21 while Sunday has a high of 26 degrees.
This year’s festival will have an African theme. Dubbed Afrikalia, the event will feature a number of musicians coming from countries such as Mali, Algeria, Nigeria, and Ethiopia.
Meanwhile, festival favourites Five Alarm Funk will perform three times over the course of the weekend.
Opening ceremonies are set to begin at 6:45 p.m. Thursday.
Admission to Sunfest is free though festival volunteers will be accepting donations.
The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. until Sunday.
A full schedule for the weekend can be found here.