Dashwood big bangs on the move

Safety concerns cited as reason of move to bigger venue

The annual Halloween bonfire and fireworks display in Dashwood is moving house

The annual Halloween bonfire and fireworks display in Dashwood is moving house

One could say the annual Halloween extravaganza at the Dashwood firehall is a victim of its own success, but that’s not how Nick Acciavatti sees it.

Rather, the Dashwood fire chief says he sees the need to move the event as the precursor to things getting even bigger, even better and — although safer — even scarier.

The fire crews at Dashwood have been putting on a haunted forest, bonfire and fireworks display at the fire hall at Hobbs Road and Highway 19A for the past 25 years and they’ve put their hearts and souls into it.

Their efforts have paid off in a big way, with attendance growing steadily every season.

“When I started, we would get excited if we got more than 300 people,” he said. “For the last few years though, we’ve had 1,000 plus.”

That’s a problem, he said, because the fire hall lacks adequate parking to deal with that many visitors and people have been parking along the side of the highway, making for a serious safety concern.

“It’s not safe,” he said. “It’s a family event and we want to make sure we aren’t putting people coming here at risk. We are a fire department in charge of people’s safety after all and we want to make sure we are looking after their safety.”

Concerned that this year’s bash would be even bigger than ever, Acciavatti met with Elaine Peligren of the Corcan-Meadowood Residents Association and the Little Qualicum River Village residents group, which have been holding an almost identical event at a much larger venue on a property by the second Dashwood hall at 1800 Galvin Place, behind the Meadowood store.

“We’re combining forces,” he said. “We said, you’re doing it, we’re doing it, so why not do it together?”

Peligren agreed it was a good match.

“I think we are going to get really well known, one of the premier places to check out,” she said. “We had about 200 people to our event last year and the word is really getting out. People are really excited.”

This year’s event, she said, will be held at a much larger property and will be able to feature a larger haunted walk, which they plan to divide into two streams, one for adults and one for the children. The Dashwood hall usually spends about $3,000 for their fireworks display and the Corcan-Meadowood group also puts on a great show, so together they’ll be able to put on a fireworks  that’s something to write home about.

In an attempt to make sure as many families as possible are able to attend, Acciavatti said the starting time has been pushed up by half an hour from 6:30 to 6 p.m.



Just Posted

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

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

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

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“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

Most Read