From left, Wendy Sears, Jim Hoffman and director Cheryl Dill of the Parksville Beach Festival Society brainstorm before the Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce dinner and meeting at Community Park Thursday, June 8, 2017. — J.R. Rardon photo

Parksville Beachfest targets 150,000 visitors

Committee speaks during chamber of commerce meeting

With Parksville’s annual Beachfest — and its wildly popular sandcastle carving competition — just a month away, the Beachfest committee has come out of the shadows.

Members of the committee served as featured guests and shared their preparations for this year’s festival Thursday, June 8, as the Parksville Chamber of Commerce held its annual June dinner outdoors at the Community Park pavillion.

“The last several years we’ve kind of hijacked the chamber’s June meeting,” said Cheryl Dill, Beachfest director. “We’ve sponsored the head table, so we get to talk as much as we want.”

Chamber members learned this year’s Beachfest will kick off July 14-16 with the Quality Foods Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition, and continue for five weeks to the Aug. 20 wrap-up of the exhibition and final awards.

The 2016 Beachfest shattered the previous record for attendance by 17 per cent, with 133,000 people coming through the gates. With Canada’s 150th birthday commanding the attention of communities across the country this summer, the Beachfest committee has set its sights on another big bump in attendance.

“Our theme this year is Canada One-Five-Oh,” Dill said. “We’re going to target attendance of 150,000. It will be tough; last year was such a big jump. But we think it can be done.”

The dinner was catered by Pacific Brimm Restaurant, Coffee &Tea Co. of Parksville, and was followed by the monthly chamber meeting.

— NEWS Staff