The Peace Arch Hospital Foundation’s Picnic at the Pier fundraising event will be going ahead for a third year this summer.
At Monday evening’s meeting, White Rock council gave the necessary approvals for the evening event, which is to take place on Wednesday, Aug. 8.
White Rock recreation and culture director Eric Stepura told Peace Arch News Thursday that ongoing construction work with the Memorial Park will not impinge on the event.
“It’s my understanding that everything west of the grand staircase will be completed well in advance of the event, probably by mid-July,” he said.
The promenade (at the pier head) will be much wider than it ever was by August,” he added, “so we won’t have the bottleneck we’ve had for events in the past – it’ll be almost twice as wide.”
Organized by the Pace Group and sponsored by Landmark Premier Properties, the ticketed event was sold out last year, raising some $55,000 for the Peace Arch Hospital ER.
In addition to approving a wine and beer liquor license, the city has also approved use of the southern half of the pier for the event, which would include a long table arrangement seating 200-plus guests, a cocktail reception area, musical entertainment and fundraising activities including a live auction.
The organizers are to meet a series of conditions in exchange for the approval, including arranging to shuttle guests to and from the event, or notifying them of pay parking; controlling egress at the pier head entrance and informing the general public of the fundraising event; and providing portable washrooms beside the pier head (the existing pier washrooms will be in the process of being rebuilt as part of the Memorial Park upgrade project).
Stepura confirmed that food will be cooked off-site, but that a final food preparation will be at the end of the pier next to the breakwater.
“There will also be beverage stations in several areas, and the ability to purchase jugs of beer and wine, which should reduce lineups,” he said.
He also noted that in addition to arrangements the foundation makes for shuttling guests, the city’s trolley service and east-west shuttle bus will also be in operation during the event.