The Cicada Festival bringing locals together through a shared love of art and music

A festival that has been in the works since 2007, St. Catharines’ very own Cicada Music and Arts Festival is here, and you do not want to miss it.

Although the Cicada Festival brings locals together through a love of entertainment to raise money, it deems itself as first and foremost a music festival that celebrates the best talent our country has to offer.

This year is no different, with the approaching event offering a captivating and comprehensive lineup of artists, such as the Tokyo Police Club, Dizzy, The Sadies, Begonia and perhaps most notably The Strumbellas. 

Among the many artists performing, The Strumbellas are a Canadian-born band, based in Lindsay, Ontario. The acclaimed group has released various songs adored by the nation, with their hit “Spirits” being especially popular.

Amongst the highly anticipated performances, the festival also offers various food and drink options from a carefully selected assortment of vendors. Being an arts festival as well as a music festival, the Cicada Fest will also feature a makers market made up of some of the most prominent small businesses in the region.

In addition to the festival’s events and activities, they also aim to give back to their region. This year, they have partnered with The Pathstone Foundation, a group committed to raising funds in order to support services dedicated to mental health in Niagara. Proceeds from the event will subsequently be donated to the foundation.

Although the Cicada Music and Arts Festival has been established in Niagara since 2007, the festival has seen its fair share of ups and downs since its debut. 

Before its formation as the festival that locals recognize today, the event began as a simple yard party shared between Thom Lepp and his friends. Years later, in 2007, the official Cicada Fest was established at the Serbia Picnic Grounds in Niagara Falls, then moving to Club LaSalle in 2008 and 2009, and finally the Henley Island in Port Dalhousie in 2010, where the festival is held today.

After battling a prostate cancer diagnosis since 2012, Thom passed away in 2017, leaving the festival in the hands of his sons Malcolm and Evan along with their family friend, Ben Goerzen. Since then, the festival has continued on in Thom’s memory, with the three boys deciding that the festival would raise awareness for men’s health, with Thom’s son Malcolm having raised approximately $30,000 through the support of Movember.

This year, the festival’s partnership with The Pathstone Foundation expands its raising awareness while continuing Thom’s legacy.

In addition to its partnership, the festival also works with various sponsors, such as Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers, Collective Arts, CAA, Allstate and many more. To join in getting involved, either as a sponsor, volunteer, or vendor, you can sign up here.

Similar to prior years, the Cicada Music and Arts Festival will be one to remember, bringing individuals together through a shared love of music and art.

Tickets for Saturday, Oct. 1 are $60 and can be purchased on the Cicada Festival website here. Youth tickets for children between the ages of 10 and 16 are $30 and can also be purchased on the site. The event will begin at 11:30 a.m and will last until 11 p.m.

For more information on the festival, its cause, and other groups participating in its lineup, be sure to check out the official website here.

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