“When you have a winning formula why change it?” Parksville Rotary Club organizer Kim Burden said of this year’s Canada Day in Parksville.
As one of the biggest celebrations on the Island, the all-day festivities will kick off with the Shriners’ pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. and run well into the night with the Thrifty Foods Fireworks Spectacular at 10 p.m.
Centered on Community Park and the beach, Canada’s birthday party will take one notable detour with the parade along Highway 19A from Shelly Road into downtown starting at 10 a.m.
There will be over 100 entries in one of the big draws of the day, with people coming from all over the Island to enjoy the excitement and then head down for the perfect park setting.
That will be followed by the official opening in the park at noon with the main stage entertainment kicking off at 1 p.m.
“The reason I’m involved in this event, is it’s so nice to see all the families enjoying the park together,” Burden said, highlighting the family event atmosphere and the great location.
Ever since Rotary took over the event a few years ago they have focused on continuous fun through the day for something to do whether people picnic in the park for the day or stop in at any time. There will be vendor booths and children’s games and rides throughout the day.
Though accurate numbers are impossible in a wide open park where people come and go, Burden said they usually estimate around 20,000 people come through, at least on good weather years like last year, unlike the previous year’s heavy rain.
The entertainment runs all afternoon and evening with a blend of local and familiar favourites starting at 1 p.m. with Lemon Tree, a country/pop duo of local sisters, followed by another young local group, Gold and Shadow with an art/rock style.
They are followed by another sister duo, Carli and Julie Kennedy from Victoria at 2:45 p.m. and then local cover band Johnny Inappropriate and the 12-piece R&B band Time Well Wasted from Courtenay at 5:15 p.m.
At 7 p.m. impressionist Johnny Vallis will bring dozens of acts to the stage followed by Triple Grace, three sisters, for a short set with their three-part, a capella harmonies.
At 8:30 p.m. the exciting, all-around entertainment of the Timebenders cover band takes over for the final stretch to the fireworks.
Again this year there will be no vehicles in the park — other than handicap access — but there is plenty of parking around town and the Parksville Downtown Business Association will be running a free shuttle.
The Oceanside Cycling Coalition will also be offering the popular valet service it first tried at the Qualicum Beach Family Day earlier this summer. They also invite cyclists to join them in the parade by showing up at the Shelly Road marshaling area before 9:30 a.m.
Burden added the Parksville Rotary Club can use all the donations they can get to help run the event and not take away from their other charitable efforts. There will be a donation point at the main entry area.
Interested volunteers and vendors should contact Burden at 250-951-6420.
Parksville July 1 Schedule
7 a.m. — Shriners’ Pancake Breakfast
10 a.m. — parade down Highway 19A to downtown
Noon — official opening in the park
1 -1:30 – Lemon Tree
1:45-2:30 – Gold & Shadow
2:45- 3:30 – Carli and Julie Kennedy
3:45-4:45 – Johnny Inappropriate
5:15 – 6:45 – Time Well Waisted
7:00 – 8:00 – Johnny Vallis
8:10 -8:25 – Triple Grace
8:30 – 10 p.m. – Timebenders
10 p.m. – Thrifty Foods Fireworks.