Toronto's Greektown neighbourhood is gearing up for their 25th annual Taste of the Danforth festival, which kicks off tonight at 8:00 PM. But, in the wake of the horrific Danforth mass shooting on July 22nd, the festival will have an uncharacteristically sombre tone this year.
Tonight's opening ceremony will begin with a moment of silence for 18-year-old Reese Fallon and 10-year-old Julianna Kozis, who tragically lost their lives in the senseless violence. First responders and the 13 injured victims will also be honoured in the ceremony, Global News reports.
Over one million people will flock to Greektown this weekend for the festival's 25th anniversary, and to pay respect to the victims. The makeshift memorials have been temporarily transferred to one location for the duration of the festival - St. Barnabas Church at 361 Danforth Avenue.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be in attendance, and will reportedly give a speech. The festival's organizer says that this year will be a "celebration of life," and an opportunity for the entire city to come together.
"We've got to show that we are Danforth Strong," he told the CBC, "It is going to bring more of a crowd out and we are all going to get through this together. We are going to celebrate life. Every day is a new day."
The Taste of Danforth is ramping up their lineup of food, attractions and entertainment to celebrate their 25th anniversary. All taster menus are $6 or less, and there will be dozens of Greek cultural performances, dance lessons and activities for kids all weekend long.