Oakville street festival cancelled after 40 years


Published April 20, 2023 at 2:49 pm

A long-time favourite festival for many Oakville residents won’t be happening this year.

Midnight Madness, which traditionally attracts tens of thousands of visitors into downtown Oakville for a night each summer, won’t be taking place as the merchants that host the event switch direction and focus on other activities.

“In terms of Midnight Madness, in years past this event took up the majority of the BIA summer budget being spent on a single night, whereas the events and activation strategy in place brings events weekly throughout the entire summer, to ensure consistent on-going traffic to downtown,” said Adrienne Gordon, executive director of the Downtown Oakville Business Improvement Association (BIA) told halton.insauga.com.

She said the decision was approved by the membership of the BIA earlier this year during budget discussions.

Held most years since 1977, Midnight Madness usually started around 6 p.m. on a Friday evening in July and officially wrapped up around midnight although some revellers used the opportunity to party long into Saturday morning.

The event would close Lakeshore Rd. through most of the downtown area and businesses would stay open for shoppers. Live music, dancers, and other street performers would be stationed along the route to entertain the crowds

According to Gordon, the BIA still plans to be very active during the summer months with events that should continue to draw crowds into the downtown area. She said activities are planned every weekend from the beginning of June until the end of August this year.

“We have a very busy summer of events including the return of the much-loved TD Summer Music Series which brings live music to downtown every weekend from July through August for people to enjoy,” she said. “Versus years past, Downtown Oakville now hosts over 15 events and more than 85 days of marketing activations and events throughout the year that drive traffic, support community spirit and charitable giving.”

She added the BIA continually works to develop marketing programs meant to attract people into the area.

Gordon didn’t rule out the possibility of Midnight Madness returning in years to come. She said if a sponsor came forward to financially support the event it would be something the merchants of downtown Oakville would gladly consider.

A list of upcoming activities in downtown Oakville can be found here.


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