Say Hi Neighbour this weekend

Errington residents prepare for their biggest festival of the year

The Miss Errington contest is a popular favourite — and has actually  included real females on occasion.

The Miss Errington contest is a popular favourite — and has actually included real females on occasion.

Neighbours and friends in Errington are getting together again to celebrate the community and raise funds for the Errington War Memorial Hall on August 19 and 20.

The 42nd annual Hi Neighbour Days offers something for everyone in the family and proceeds raised from the events pay for the repair and maintenance of the Errington War Memorial Hall. The hall, the Old Fire Hall and the Community Park are maintained by the Errington War Memorial Hall Association.

Built as a memorial to those who died in the First World War, the hall opened its doors in March 1922 and continues to be maintained by a group of dedicated volunteers.

This year’s event kicks off with The Recital in the Park at 6 p.m. Friday August 19.

Students from the Summer World Music Camp will perform what they’ve learned playing drums, marimbas and dancing. After that their instructors, Afro-Mumanzi will take to the Community Stage for a concert.

The informal pot luck picnic in the park is open to all.

A full day of activities is set for Saturday, August 20 starting out with a pancake breakfast from 8 to 10 a.m. served up by the Errington Volunteer Fire Department.

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. there is an Arts and Crafts display which showcases fine work done by Erringtonites of all ages.

A special Errington Farmers Market from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. will feature music, fresh produce, local crafts and great food.

At noon the Hi Neighbour parade, reputed to be the world’s shortest, makes its way from the old Elementary School site around the corner and down Errington Road to the hall.

At 1 p.m. it’s the Goods and Services Auction. From home made wine, to firewood or manure for your garden, there’s something for everyone.

The auction is a mix of silent auction items as well there will be a live auctioneer to keep the excitement going.

The day winds up at 9 p.m. with the Hi Neighbour Dance featuring Dal Hothi and the Headlines.

Mixing high-energy Bhangra and Bollywood beats with familiar pop-rock songs, the Vancouver based band features Beau Simpson and Terry Gage on guitar, Tom Zillich on bass, Mike Schmidt on drums and Dal Hothi on lead vocals/percussion.

Valerie Dare, who works behind the scenes to bring world music to the Errington Hall, said the band rocked the 2010 Olympic stages, Canada Day, and Surrey’s Fusion Festival as well has toured extensively in North America, England and India. That energy, she said, will rock Errington also.

She said for those not familiar with Bhangra the dance is an opportunity to experience a group that combines contemporary and traditional into a musical feast.

“Dal’s goal is to make Indian music accessible to a worldwide audience by fusing traditional Western pop song structure with Indian beats and melodies with lyrics in English, Punjabi and Hindi.”

A string of successes for Dal include being the first Indo-Canadian artist to have music videos and live performances on Much Music, reaching the Top 40 on Canadian radio stations, and winning the Canadian National Rock Radio live competition.

The style, sound and undeniable dance beats of the group has made them a sure hit with any crowd, from traditional to modern to just plain curious.

“I think he will bring good energy and an interesting mix of music to the event,” says Dare.

For those unfamiliar with Bhangra, its influence can be seen clearly in the world of Bollywood with Bhangra artists being used to supply the soundtracks to some of the biggest movies from the industry.

In fact, Bhangra has come a long way from its humble beginnings in India and in the past 30 years it has become integrated into popular Asian culture after being mixed with hip hop, house and reggae styles of music.

Tickets for the dance are $20 and must be purchased in advance at any one of several outlets, including Cranky Dog in Parksville, The Errington General store, and Heaven on Earth in Qualicum Beach.

Dare said the event isn’t sold out yet but if you want to go make sure you get your tickets soon because the adult only event usually sells out.

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