Fire and Ice returns

Qualicum Beach—In previous years, the festival has brought 5,000 people downtown

Ice Carver Steve Buzak concentrates on his eye-catching sculpture a few years ago in the Fire and Ice Festival.

Ice Carver Steve Buzak concentrates on his eye-catching sculpture a few years ago in the Fire and Ice Festival.

The Fire and Ice street festival is back this year in Qualicum Beach and the Jolly Roger will be flying at full mast on May 3.

After 21 years, Fire & Ice was cancelled last year due to a lack of volunteers and other forms of support for the event, but this year it is back with a pirate theme and a treasure chest full of activities for the entire family.

Fire and Ice Chair for 2014, Jim Lynch, said they now have a hard-working team in place building on the success of the past twenty years and adding even more culinary choices.

“We are working on a few new things.  We are hoping to do a pig roast and fill out some of the blocks that haven’t been as busy at past events,” said Lynch.

In previous years, the Fire & Ice festival attracted more than 5,000 people to the town with the main street closed to traffic and colourful booths set up with up to 25 teams competing in the chili cook-off for the People’s Choice Award.

This year, the chilli teams will be back, but there may be some other spicy food wars where  restaurants can battle it out. The NEWS, partnering this year with Thalassa Restuarant, will be back to defend its 2012 People’s Choice Award.

Lynch said the one-year break allowed the Fire and Ice Street Festival Society to restructure and come up with an even better event that will make the whole community proud.

He said the organizing committee spent a lot of time conducting surveys and consulting extensively with local businesses, community organizations, participants and the public to ensure this year’s event will be a success.

He said they are providing more choices and options for both area businesses and visitors to participate in the day’s activities.

“It is still a work in progress but we are excited about where this is going.”

A big change this year will be the end of the messy chili cups people had to walk around with. Instead, visitors can purchase a wrist band for $4 which will allow them to go from team to team sampling all of the food available and voting for their favourite.

The chili contest will be adjudicated by judges, but the people’s choice will be for all of the foods that are served.

The cool side of the festival will see the return of the master ice sculptors, who will use chainsaws and ice picks to create crystalline works of wonder. There will be additional frozen activities including as ice cream making and the family friendly Kids Zone is back.

Juno award winning folk singer Valdy will be the headliner for the entertainment line-up.  Local musicians will also be highlighted including Big Twang Theory, Lazy Mike and the Rockin’ Recliners, Island Blue Rose, River Side Blue Grass Band and the Mt. Arrowsmith Pipe Band.

 

To inspire costumes and ice carving, this year’s theme will be Pirates of Qualicum Beach so all scallywags and buccaneers are invited to surrender the booty and channel their inner Blackbeard Saturday, May 3 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

 

Just Posted

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Nanoose Bay man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

This young fledgling white raven was spotted in the Coombs area on May 16. (Mike Yip photo)
Expert says 2 sets of parents producing rare white ravens in mid-Island area

One of the iconic birds is currently recovering at wildlife centre after being rescued

Flowers planted along Highway 19 in downtown Parksville. (Submitted photo)
City of Parksville plants more than 15,000 annual bedding plants

Residents encouraged to take flower photos and post to social media

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

Most Read