Organizers had seen it coming for a couple weeks, but early this week Beachfest shattered their all-time attendance record.
The previous Quality Foods Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition record was 104,427 people through the gates last year, a considerable increase over previous years.
On Monday afternoon, with a week to go, organizers welcomed Linda Nelsen from Pitt Meadows as their 115,000th guest.
“This is the culmination of all of our hard work,” said Parksville Beach Festival Society president Cheryl Dill. “It’s also an indicator that tourism is on the rise in the area and our event has massive appeal both to tourists and locals.”
On Tuesday she said that they are getting 2,500 to 4,000 people a day depending on weather and day of the week and could easily add another 15,000 or more to their tally, which would mean a 30 per cent increase over last year’s record.
“The favourable weather, combined with good promotional efforts, positive feedback and strong travel traffic have lead to such positive statistics in 2016,” Dill previously said.
She praised the work of organizers, volunteers, The NEWS and the whole community in supporting the event.
People still have until Sunday (Aug. 21) evening to view the Things With Wings themed sand sculptures in Parksville’s Community Park and vote for their favourite. The People’s Choice Award will be announced at the end of the weekend.
As throughout the exhibition there are free concerts this weekend in Community Park from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. with the Ryder Hawkins Band on Friday and Brodie Dawson on Saturday.
The Art in the Park artisans and crafters market also runs this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit www.parksvillebeachfest.ca for more information.