Rec centre, big festival coming to Meadowood

Bluegrass festival may attract around 200 RVs or campers and as many as 3,000 people

There’s a lot going on in the Corcan-Meadowood area southwest of Qualicum Beach.

There’s a community recreation centre in the works, right beside one of the region’s newest parks, which will also be home to the re-located Lighthouse Country Bluegrass Festival this summer.

After five successful years on the Lions Way field behind the Lighthouse Community Centre in Qualicum Bay, the event is moving to the new park where they hope to have around 200 RVs or campers and as many as 3,000 people, said co-ordinator Linda Thorburn.

The festival has received special concession to allow camping in the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) park, though attendees will have to “camp in the rough,” supplying all their own water and power and removing all their own garbage and sewage.

“We do behave, Cigarette butts are non-existent. We’re the tidiest, best-behaved group of people you’ll ever see,” said Thorburn in response to at least one local resident who contacted The NEWS with concerns about the lack of infrastructure for a large crowd.

“It’s not like a country music festival with their rough and rowdy ways,” Thorburn chuckled. “We have acoustic music, there’s no electric guitars or anything, so you can fall asleep by it, or wake up to it and it doesn’t make you want to grind your teeth at all.”

She said she fell in love with the music 35 years ago at the unrelated Coombs Bluegrass Festival. She took up the banjo and has been trying to get others to appreciate the music ever since.

She said that after five years of helping make the Lions Way field a popular place for activities they were bumped out and happened to find the Meadowood location at the same time as the local resident’s association was looking for a Canada Day weekend activity to replace the traditional fireworks which were cancelled last summer due to the extreme fire hazard conditions.

“And everything just fell into place within about four days.”

This year the festival is excited to welcome co-headliners Jeff Scroggins & Colorado and The Foggy Hogtown Boys out of Toronto, who Thorburn called possibly the best bluegrass band in the world. Watch The NEWS for more information closer to the Canada Day festival.

Google “Lighthouse bluegrass” for a lot of information and a link to online tickets on their website.  (__For online link:  https://sites.google.com/site/lighthousebluegrass/lighthouse-festival-2016)

Meanwhile the former gravel pit around the Dashwood Fire Hall #62 (Meadowood hall) now includes the 22 acre RDN Meadowood Community Park which is half forested and half gravel with an extensive playground area.

The RDN board is currently waiting for the results from a $450,000 design and build tender request for a prefabricated metal building for an indoor recreation facility.