M.V. Native paddlewheeler. (Photo: facebook.com/PaddlewheelerRiverboatTours)

M.V. Native paddlewheeler. (Photo: facebook.com/PaddlewheelerRiverboatTours)

Free boat ride/tour of Fraser Surrey Docks during RiverFest event

80-passenger paddlewheeler on ‘industry tour’ sailings Sept. 23

SURREY — A free boat ride and tour of Fraser Surrey Docks is new to this year’s RiverFest event, hosted by Fraser River Discovery Centre.

Presented by the Port of Vancouver, RiverFest’s main festival day is on Saturday, Sept. 23, capping a week of events.

An industry tour to Fraser Surrey Docks will be the first of its kind, with three sailings on Sept. 23 – at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.

Participants will board the M.V. Native paddlewheeler, operated by Paddlewheeler Riverboat Tours, from New Westminster Quay to Fraser Surrey Docks. Space is limited to 80 passengers per tour and tickets are available on a first come, first served basis via the event website, fraserriverdiscovery.org.

Fraser Surrey Docks, the largest employer on the Fraser River waterfront, with more than 300 full-time employees, will hold an exhibition on their grounds featuring a variety of government and industry stakeholders.

“The concept behind the industry tour is to actually bring residents to the ‘working river’ and show them how the Fraser River is responsible for getting many of their goods from water to land, grocery aisle and eventually their home,” said Stephen Bruyneel, executive director of Fraser River Discovery Centre.

“This tour will introduce people to the economic activities that take place on the river and the impact it has on them.”

In addition to the tour, RiverFest 2017 will also feature family entertainers and food options as part of Tourism New Westminster’s annual Feast on the Fraser celebration.

tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com