Paul and Jess Rock perform at the 2016 P-ART-Y on the Drive in Parksville. The duo will be back for this year’s event, which will see several new features for people to enjoy on Sunday, Sept. 10. — File

More for adults and kids at P-ART-Y on the Drive in Parksville

The Island’s largest street party to expand with farmers’ market, beer garden

With a new time, farmers’ market, beer garden and interactive activities, the P-ART-Y on the Drive is expecting to have its biggest turn-out yet on Sunday, Sept. 10.

The sixth edition of the event that’s been dubbed “Vancouver Island’s largest street party” by organizers is excited for a year that will bring more for adults and kids, said organizer Carrie Powell-Davidson.

The event began as a way to showcase local artists, artisans and musicians, as well as bring people by the resort-side of town to check out the businesses.

That’s still a core component of the event, said Powell-Davdison, with 25 artists registered to show their work, and six bands and dance groups so far, including Train Wreck, Wheelhouse and the Rainbow Stew Cloggers.

The event has also included food trucks over the years, and has six registered as of Aug. 24 for the upcoming party.

P-ART-Y on the Drive has attracted nearly 8,000 people in past years, said Powell-Davdison. “This year, we’re expecting well over 8,000.”

“We have two new additions, and one change that we think people will be really excited about,” she said.

While the event has run from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the past, it’s been moved up to noon to 4 p.m. in an effort to get more people out for lunch and done before the heat gets too extreme later in the day.

An addition this year is a farmers’ market, giving people the ability to support local food trucks by buying lunch, and stocking up on veggies and other local foods for dinner.

Nanoose Edibles, Fat Moose-Wild Game, Lemon Heaven lemonade and others are scheduled to take part.

That will be stationed at Ocean Trails Resort’s picnic area, right beside the beer garden, which will be housed inside the gated tennis court.

While many of these changes are clearly aimed at adults, Powell-Davidson said she’s working on various interactive activities for kids, as well as a wandering minstrel.

There are subtractions as well as additions at this year’s event. In past years, attendees had been given a passport to have stamped at each resort, but that’s being dropped, said Powell-Davidson, saying participation wasn’t high enough, and people are checking out the resorts during the event anyway.

In anticipation of the expected increased attendance, more parking is being provided in addition to the spaces offered by the resorts. However parking on the side of Resort Drive will only be allowed on one side to keep the street from getting too narrow, said Powell-Davidson.

Asked what she thinks of how the event has done over the past five years, she said, “It’s absolutely a great event and we’re really happy that people have embraced it the way they have, and that our vendors have. I’ve got people phoning me daily wanting to get in, so we’ll be full.”

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