This year, the organizers of the Parksville Canada Day celebrations are doing things a little differently.
Entertainment director Bill McKinney said the fireworks, which usually signaled the end of the festivities, will be followed by another performance by the headlining act Jerry Doucette.
Considering organizers are expecting about 25,000 people to attend Parksville’s Canada Celebrations, McKinney said it made sense for there to be another performance after the fireworks.
He said it would allow people to leave the park in waves, instead of thousands of people trying to leave all at once. McKinney added it gives people “another half hour bonus” of music at the end of the night.
With such a large crowd, McKinney said the lineup of performers needs to appeal to all audiences.
“Our audience demographic changes over the course of 10 hours,” said McKinney, who is also the president of the Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce.
The festivities begin at 12 p.m. with the singing of O’Canada and speeches from local politicians. Then at 12:15 p.m. there’s the cake cutting.
The first performance is Bri Carson, who will be singing Disney and children’s songs, at at 12:45 p.m.
“That’s when the kids are most active and hyped up on sugar,” McKinney said, adding that there will be princes and princesses performing on stage and in the audience during Carson’s performance.
After that, The Palace Band will be on stage from 2 to 3:15 p.m.
McKinney said the band plays a mixture of music from the late 1920s to the 40s such as When I Get Low I Get High and Sweet Georgia Brown.
“The audience will still feel light and bubbly music,” McKinney said.
From 3:30 to 4:30, Jonas Shandel will be performing. Shandel played a young Johnny Cash in the Chemainus Theatre Festival’s production of Million Dollar Quartet.
Next up is Johnny Vallis at 4:45 until 6 p.m. McKinney said he has brought Vallis, who is a singing impersonator, up to perform about seven times already.
“He’ll do a Mick Jagger and you’ll think you’re with Mick Jagger,” McKinney said. “Then he’ll go right into singing a John Lennon song.”
At 6:15 p.m. Jayden Holman will take the stage.
McKinney said Holman is an up and coming country western singer from Nanaimo.
Then at 7:45 p.m. is the headliner’s opening act Frankie Band. The band is made up of four girls from Vancouver, and McKinney said they’ve performed from Haida Gwaii to Cabo San Lucas, California.
The final, and headlining act, of the evening is Jerry Doucette and band at 9:15 p.m. and again at 10:30 p.m. after the fireworks show.
The fireworks, which are sponsored by Thrifty Foods, is from 10:15 to 10:45 p.m. in Parksville Bay.