Vendor registration for airdrieFEST opened May 15, and spots are filling up fast. According to Kim Harris, community developer with the City of Airdrie, 100 of the 180 street festival booths were snapped up within the first week. Although registration runs until Aug. 19, Harris said early registration is recommended before the limited remaining spots are gone. “We have two sides of the registration,” she said. “One is for not-for-profits and one is for for-profits. We’re always looking for new vendors to come and showcase what they have to offer for Airdrie.” Registration costs $55 for not-for-profits and $105 for for-profit businesses. Harris said registering is a fairly simple process online at airdriefest.ca Now entering its ninth year, she said, airdrieFEST continues to grow. Attendance doubled from 2,500 in 2016 to 5,000 in 2017. This year’s festival will feature 40 more booths than last year in anticipation of that growth, she added. “Over the years, we’ve incrementally increased the number of booths available to keep it fresh and keep up with demand,” Harris said. “Last year, I know we had about 120 booths originally, and we ended up opening up more booths twice throughout the registration process.” airdrieFEST will take place Sept. 8 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. outside City Hall. In addition to vendor booths, the festival will feature a petting zoo and entertainment. “Something new for this year that we added, and we’ve talked about for several years, is having music on Main Street and doing a kickoff to airdrieFEST Friday night (Sept. 7),” Harris said. “That’s from 6 p.m to 10 p.m.” Harris said a band for the opening night hasn’t been chosen yet, but the hope is to have a recognizable group play in front of City Hall. According to Harris, the festival provides a great opportunity for businesses and non-profits to meet Airdrie residents face-to-face and promote themselves to the community. She said it is also an important event that gives residents a desire to come and stay in the community. “It provides that social connection that all age groups need,” she said. “It goes back to placemaking, where social connection, events and festivals and beautification of your areas…are drivers of placemaking that people attach themselves to.” Ultimately, Harris is hopeful this year’s festival will be the best yet. “Hopefully, it will increase again and people will come down here and just have fun,” she said.