Miss White Rock 2016-17 Emily McTavish (second from left) celebrates with fellow White Rock Youth Ambassadors Sunday at the White Rock Sea Festival.

Parade, pirates, pyrotechnics dazzle spectators on White Rock waterfront

White Rock Sea Festival celebrates 67th year with a weekend of activities.

Photos by Gord Goble

Thousands of people packed the waterfront over the weekend for the 67th annual White Rock Sea Festival.

A torchlight parade, fireworks show and musical entertainment were all part of the fun, which drew an estimated 100,000 people to the beach, according to organizers.

“It was awesome,” said Tracey LaMarre. “We had the trolley down there this year. (The driver) said he’s never been this busy.”

Sunday’s main event was the torchlight parade. Crowds lined Marine Drive to watch 60 entries head down the strip, including White Rock’s own colourfully-lit festival float and the Hyack Festival’s craft, which won top prize.

“The weather was great. It was windy Saturday morning, but by early afternoon both days, it was awesome,” said LaMarre. “Everybody that I talked to had a good time.”

At East Beach, Pirates in the Park sailed into Semiahmoo Park, offering a host of creative kids’ activities and entertainment, including a visit from Disney princess Ariel.

The festival’s annual waiters’ race drew a host of willing servers to the strip. Staff at Uli’s Restaurant emerged victorious, winning the coveted Souper Bowl trophy for their agility.

Friday’s highlight was the fireworks show.

“It was packed down there. You could look down the pier from the white rock and see people lined up all down the pier waiting for the fireworks to start,” said LaMarre.

As a prelude to the festival on Friday, the White Rock Youth Ambassadors’ Gala crowned Emily McTavish as Miss White Rock 2016-2017.

Organized by the White Rock Events Society’s five-member board and its 100 volunteers, the festival also boasted a car show, oceanfront yoga, vendors’ marketplace, a lantern walk on the pier and a host of local musical acts – headlined by Tom Lavin and the Legendary Powder Blues.

LaMarre had high praise for the city and sponsors, and called the volunteers “phenomenal.”

“If it wasn’t for our volunteers, we wouldn’t move forward at all,” LaMarre said. “They’re absolutely phenomenal.

“There’s thousands and thousands of volunteer hours just to get this thing up and running, and then we have all these people show up and help us out. It’s great,” she said. “We need every single person that’s involved in order to pull it off.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Officers with the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team were at a White Rock home Tuesday (Oct. 20) to assist Vancouver Police Department with execution of a search warrant. (Contributed photo)
ERT response to White Rock home connected to homicide: police

Search underway in the 15800-block of Prospect Crescent

Ivan Scott. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Surrey mayor enters word war with speakers, councillor

McCallum calls brief recess after asking two speakers to leave chambers

Montreal-based writer Michael Foy grew up in the Newton area of Surrey. (submitted photo)
Surrey-raised writer Foy really loves to set his short stories in the city

His latest is published in ‘Canadian Shorts II’ collection

The site of the former Rona store in Newton could be home to a park and civic amenities, in the 6900-block of King George Boulevard. (Photo: Google Street View)
Surrey buying 16 properties in Newton for parkland, civic amenities

Mayor Doug McCallum says project will be ‘fast-tracked’

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
White Rock dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan arrives at Luxton Hall to cast their votes in advance polls for the provincial election in Langford, B.C., Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Pandemic election prompts voter suppression claims by B.C. Liberals

‘These emergencies require in us a maturity that has been lacking in politics for so long’

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of possibly decades-old airplane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of UBC geoscientists discovered the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

A injection kit is seen inside the newly opened Fraser Health supervised consumption site is pictured in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. records 127 fatal overdoses in September, roughly 4 each day

Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria continued to see the highest numbers of overdoses

Most Read