- BC Games
Beachfest enjoys record attendance
Welcoming a record 93,500 visitors through the gates, the 31st annual Quality Foods Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition has wrapped up for another year.
The sculptures, created over the July 14-15 contest weekend, were demolished Monday after the successful five-week exhibition that saw the event’s attendance increase by more than 3,000 people over 2012.
Though they didn’t hit the tidy 100,000 mark they hoped for, organizers are “extremely pleased with the results,” said Beachfest Society president Cheryl Dill.
“With the weather on our side and the generosity of our sponsors, we were so fortunate to host such talented sculptors in our community,” she said.
“Our staff and volunteers were prepared to provide visitors and residents with five weeks of entertainment alongside beautiful Parksville Beach and our guest books recorded thousands of positive comments.”
Dropping a poker chip to vote for their favourite sculpture, visitors throughout the five week event chose Brett Stocker’s “Cinderella’s Castle” as the solo People’s Choice and Guy and Melineige Beauregard’s “Cute Power” as the winning duo.
Highlighting Beachfest’s international appeal Stocker is from Los Cabos, Mexico, and the father-daughter Beauregard team is from St. Hippolyte, Quebec.
As the official Canadian qualifying event, last year’s winner David Ducharme from Winlaw, B.C. will attend this year’s World Championships of Sand Sculpting in Atlantic City in November. This year’s winners of the officially judged competition — Peter Vogelar and the Beauregards — will represent Parksville next year.
On top of the Beachfest Society’s mandate to create fun, family-friendly events in the park, they give 25 per cent of the by-donation gate proceeds back to the community groups that help.
They have donated almost $293,000 to non-profit groups and projects since 1999 including construction of the park gazebo and community signs.
This year, they hope to donate another $40,000 to the 16 not-for-profit organizations who acted as “community ambassadors,” greeting visitors at the gate. The Volunteer Community Ambassadors this year were: Errington Therapeutic Riding Association, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Knights of Columbus – Ascension Council 7991, Ladies Auxiliary Royal Canadian Legion #211 Bowser, Lions Club of Parksville, Oceanside Hospice Society, Parksville Curling Club, Parksville Lioness Club, Parksville Qualicum Elks #589, Parksville Qualicum Shrine Club #34, Preceptor Delta Zeta, Rotary Club of Parksville (Noon hour), Rotary Club of Parksville AM, Rotary Club of Qualicum Beach Sunrise, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 49 Ladies Auxiliary, Xi Delta Pi Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi.