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Photos by Mariah Wilson

Farmers’ market, cycling highlight Sled Island community

By Mariah Wilson, June 29 2017 —

Sled Island is known for its showcase of unconventional music that spans genres from indie rock to death metal, but it also offers a wide array of other events, such as community markets and art gallery exhibitions. Wanting to try a little bit of everything, I set out to experience the Hillhurst Sunnyside Market and the evening performances at the Palomino.

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The Hillhurst Sunnyside Market is free to the public and provides an aesthetically pleasing prelude to concerts. I loved seeing a community come together through the vibrancy of this event. Once there, visitors were greeted with fresh produce, the sounds of kids laughing and the smell of a food truck firing up its oven to make fresh pizza.  

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I was drawn in by a musician whose voice was reminiscent of older country and western singers but with a folksy element. He often played the harmonica during songs, adding a soulful touch to his music.

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What I love most about Sled Island is the ease of getting to venues without the use of a vehicle. The weather was nice enough during the festival that many attendees took their bikes out for a spin, which Sled Island accommodated by setting up extra bicycle racks outside of each venue.

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Stepping into The Palomino is like visiting the set of an old saloon from a classic spaghetti western. The venue offers a museum of eclectic relics from the past, ranging from black and white photos of famous country and western stars to newspaper clippings from bygone eras to a wall mural on exposed brick that features a classic pin-up model. It’s also interesting that the LRT is almost on the front step of the Palomino. Its rumble creates a clashing atmosphere to the lively conversation inside of the bar.

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Island Eyes, the first group to perform, gave everyone summer feels with their easy beach-style beats. Originally from Victoria, it’s easy to tell that their hometown influences their music. The band fit right in with the exposed brick walls, intimate stage and chill atmosphere.

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