From the pancake breakfast and parade, through the live music and fireworks, this year’s Canada Day party in Parksville promises a full day of family fun.
One of the biggest July 1 celebrations on the Island starts with the Shriners Pancake Breakfast from 7:30-11 a.m. in the Coastal Community Credit Union parking lot at 140 Alberni Highway.
The festivities kick up a notch with the big parade starting at 10 a.m. traveling down the Island Highway from Shelly Road to Craig Street downtown, finishing at the Parksville Community Centre.
Chair of the Parksville Rotary PM organizing committee, Bonnie Wallis, said they are still taking entries and don’t know how many they’ll get, but previous years have had nearly 100.
She said the Canada Day formula has been working, so there won’t be a lot of big changes, but “we’re trying to make it a lot more interactive this year with more kids’ activities.”
They are introducing Rotary wrist bands for a suggested $5 donation which will give kids access to a Bounce-a-Rama fun zone.
“We have a whole area that will entertain the kids and keep moms and dads within their budgets,” Wallis said.
The money will go toward the cost of the festivities and their other projects throughout the year.
The RDN will also be organizing an obstacle course and parachute games from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
After the parade, the action moves down the hill into Community Park, where Ella Sletto will sing O’Canada to start a day of live music, starting with some young local performers.
Brodie Dawson will hit the stage with the first full set at 12:30, followed by Ryan McMahon (1:20), Exit 51 (2:30), Fine Times (4:20), JP Maurice (5:30), WiL (7) and Vancouver’s Bend Sinister rounding out the night starting at 8:30 p.m.
There will be a large variety of food and craft vendors, along with the addition of an ATM in the park. There will be informational displays and 50/50 draws throughout the day as well. The Thrifty Foods Fireworks Spectacular will start at dusk. Like previous years, there will be road closures on Highway 19A and downtown for the parade. Community Park will be closed to traffic all day, so look for other forms of travel in the area if you can. Organizers are still looking for donations, sponsors and volunteers to help make the day an ongoing success. For more information or to get involved, visit: