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Resort Drive party expanded this year in Parksville

Rip Tide Lagoon owner Rob Hill and Party on the Drive planner Carrie Powell-Davidson have been busy prepping for the giant street party taking place Sept. 7.  - BRENDA GOUGH PHOTO
Rip Tide Lagoon owner Rob Hill and Party on the Drive planner Carrie Powell-Davidson have been busy prepping for the giant street party taking place Sept. 7.
— image credit: BRENDA GOUGH PHOTO

Parksville's Resort Drive businesses have been busy hosting visitors to the area but next month they are welcoming the locals to discover what the tourists appreciate and will keep the summer fun going a little longer at their annual street party.

The third annual Party on the Drive is a fun, free, family event that keeps getting bigger and better and will be buzzing with activities from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sept. 7.

What started out as a way to bring some exposure to the resorts in the south end of Parksville has turned into  Vancouver Island's largest street party.

With the tremendous success of the inaugural event in 2012, which had more than 2,000 people in attendance,  that number blossomed to 4,500 last year and organizers are now expecting up to 7,000 people.

Event planner Carrie Powell-Davidson said with that many people expected, Citizens on Patrol will be managing the parking.

"We are putting a lot of work into ensuring the parking is better organized.  We will have parking attendants and the resorts have parking so people can drive in, park at one of the designated parking spots and walk all over Parksville's Resort Drive community," she said.

Powell-Davidson said they have added even more activities to this year's street fair and there will be something going on the entire length of Resort Drive.

"We are growing leaps and bounds with events all over the resorts inside and out.  There will be a lot more emphasis on spreading it out and having activities from one end to the other."

She said at Oceanside Village Resort they are closing the parking lot and filling the space with activities.

"We are building Oceanside Village Resort this year because a lot of people think all of the action is at Tigh-Na-Mara.  We want them to check out the entire party.  We are putting in a huge slide—probably the world's largest inflatable slide.  As well the area around Rip Tide Lagoon will have two stages, tattoo and glitter artists, and the Texas BBQ."

She said Jump Around Promotions will be bringing several bouncy castles and other giant inflatable fortresses to ensure everyone has plenty of fun.

"For example at Ocean Sands on their property overlooking the ocean there will be the zorb balls, a big pirate inflatable, plus they are going to open up their pool to the public so people can take their family down there and spend some time and have fun."

While the event is free, some attractions will have a small fee and Powell-Davison said people will be able to purchase a book of tickets for $10 to use throughout the area.

This year there will be six stages, all running musical acts throughout the entire festival.

Powell-Davidson said they have assembled a broad range of talented musicians including Dave Marco, Exit 51 and the upbeat Calypso and African music of Kumbana Marimba.

There will be a new a dancers stage set up at the tennis court at Ocean Trails hosting dancers including the Rainbow Stew Cloggers and Ramona Passarello who will put on a belly dance show and be teaching the audience some of her moves.

She said there will also be more artists, more food vendors and non-profit groups. The North Island Wildlife Recovery Association will bring a few of their popular raptors and a group from the McMillan Arts Centre will do a music jam that people can participate in.

An eclectic collection of some of Vancouver Island's finest artists will have their creations for sale and there will be a new category of vendors that augment the artists selling fancy frames, and more.

Davidson said there are only a few more artisan spots open so anyone interested should sign up as soon as possible and she is particularly interested in getting some potters on board.

For more details visit www.resort-drive-events.ca.

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