File photo The Waiters’ Race is one of the most popular events of White Rock’s Sea Festival. The event, now in its 68th year, is set to for this weekend along the city’s waterfront.

Sea Festival organizers ‘going out with a bang’

68th annual affair set for Aug. 5 and 6 on White Rock’s waterfront

The 68th annual – and possibly the last, for a year, at least – White Rock Sea Festival is all set to transform the waterfront for the August long weekend.

And organizers say it will “definitely” be bigger and better than previous years – due to expanded activities in East Beach and the addition of transportation.

“We’re doing what we’ve always done,” Tracey LaMarre, president of the White Rock Events Society, told Peace Arch News last week. “We’ve definitely kept up with the traditional stuff… then we added all the extra stuff for East Beach.

“We wanted to go out (with a bang).”

Set for Aug. 5 and 6, the festival lineup includes everything from live entertainment and children’s activities to fireworks and the torchlight parade.

Organized by the White Rock Events Society for the fourth year, it typically draws tens of thousands of people to the waterfront over the course of the two days.

LaMarre said as many as 130,000 are expected this year, in part due to the addition of free shuttle buses that will run between Semiahmoo (1785 148 St.) and Earl Marriott (15751 16 Ave.) secondaries – on two separate loops, with free parking at each of the high schools – to East and West Beach, from 9 a.m. till 11:45 p.m.

LaMarre said the addition of the buses will boost crowds at East Beach, which typically doesn’t enjoy the same turnout as West Beach.

“We’re really excited about East Beach and how much more things we’re offering down there,” she said. “Normally, it’s not as busy. This year, guaranteed, we’ll have tons of people down there.”

In the lineup for that side of the waterfront is a kids’ zone aimed at the eight- to 12-year-old range (Pirates in the Park, taking place the same weekend in neighbouring Semiahmoo Park, hosted by the Semiahmoo First Nation, is geared toward younger children, LaMarre explained). As well, a scavenger hunt, sandcastle competition, sand art, vendors and more.

“This is big this year,” she said.

Live entertainment will be on the main stage (by the white rock, just east of the pier) starting at noon on both days. Saturday, it concludes with headliners Tom Lavin &The Legendary Powder Blues taking the stage at 8:30 p.m. Fireworks are set to light up the night starting at 10 p.m.

Look for kite-flying synchronized to music on both days, as Team Island Quad Kite Flying presents routines between Oxford and Maple streets., as well as a marketplace chock full of vendors.

Sunday’s final live performance gets underway at 7 p.m., followed by festival’s grand finale – the torchlight parade – at 8:15 p.m., which will make its way along Marine Drive, starting from Oxford Street in West Beach.

The parade began in 1987, and every year, crowds line the sidewalks and pack waterfront balconies and patios to catch the colourful and animated procession. For the past three years, the city’s own float has been part of the show and this year is no exception.

LaMarre confirmed this will be White Rock Events Society’s final year of organizing the sea festival. She cited planned reconstruction of Memorial Park and last month’s vote by city council to have staff examine options for the city taking on organizing the festival in future.

Closing the chapter “will be bittersweet,” she said.

“It’s been a huge part of all our lives for the last five years,” she said.

Remaining focused for the home stretch, LaMarre noted there is still room for vendors who want to join the marketplace; as well, for sponsors and volunteers. Information can be found on the festival’s website at www.whiterockseafestival.com

Just Posted

Free hospital parking a non-starter in White Rock

City considering task force to look at parking generally – Walker

Over-budget bids cause delay of four Surrey school projects

Two projects have gone back out to tender, two awaiting ‘revised budget approval’ from Ministry of Education

Fees ensure patients have access to parking at SMH, FHA says

Fraser Health Authority hasn’t heard yet from city hall about pay parking at Surrey hospital

White Rock-South Surrey Titans win third straight B.C. midget football title

Semiahmoo Peninsula team defeated Chilliwack Giants 39-17 in championship game Sunday

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

Most Read

l -->