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Mariposa's downtown stage 'gets better every year'

Folk festival has had downtown presence since 2013

The Mariposa Folk Festival spilled into the streets of downtown Orillia this weekend for the seventh year.

Bands performed Friday and Saturday on the downtown stage on Mississaga Street, between Peter and Matchedash streets, providing entertainment to both festival ticket holders and anyone else who wanted to take in the tunes.

“It gets better every year,” said Lisa Thomson-Roop, manager of the Downtown Orillia Management Board. “The economic spinoff is worth it.”

The downtown stage opened Friday before the main event at Tudhope Park, which gave those who arrived early something to do until the gates opened.

“We see a lot of people who get settled in at their campsites and come downtown,” Thomson-Roop said.

The artists enjoyed playing on the downtown stage, and that includes Orillia’s VK and Legends of the Deep.

“It’s such a good vibe down here,” said Steve Van Kessel, who heads up the band with his wife, Marni. “It’s a really fun crowd to play for.”

They have performed at the Mariposa Folk Festival before, but this year is their first time being featured on the bill.

“To be on the lineup is very special to us. We’re devout patrons. It’s probably one of the most special things we’ve done,” Van Kessel said. “Everyone who’s inspired me to play has played Mariposa.”

VK and Legends of the Deep have two more performances this weekend, both on Sunday. Catch them on the Estelle Klein stage at 3:50 p.m., before they close out the pub stage at 10:45 p.m.