The first city-organized White Rock Sea Festival took place Saturday and Sunday under sunny skies, with strong attendance and no major glitches, according to the city’s cultural development manager, Claire Halpern.
“It was wonderful – things came together really well. For the first year, there is some small room for improvement, but we’re very happy,” she said.
“The crowds were phenomenal for the torchlight parade on Sunday night; the lanterns were beautiful and the entertainers were happy. And the Pirates In The Park and the other Semiahmoo Days events also went very well.”
Weather conditions on the waterfront, which started with low level mist on Saturday morning but gave way to blue skies by the afternoon, provided a very positive factor, Halpern agreed.
“Saturday’s weather was, in my opinion perfect, but Sunday got really hot,” she said.
Attendance was good throughout the festival, she added.
“While we didn’t have anyone officially counting, what we heard from longtime volunteers was that there were huge crowds – bigger than in some other years. We heard very positive things from many people, and all the volunteers we had were just fantastic – they didn’t want to go home after their shifts, they were saying ‘what else can we do to help?’”
Transportation also worked well, she said, including the trolley and shuttle buses throughout the whole festival.
One problem emerged, however, after the parade, when long-time attendees expected shuttle buses still to be running – as they have in earlier years.
Halpern explained it’s not been city policy to run shuttles to other special events, such as Canada Day By The Bay, or the Snowbirds flying exhibitions.
“An external blogger had also been posting that there would be a shuttle after the parade, but we got them to take it down on Saturday, and also put signage up,” she said.
Peace Arch News invited attendees at this year’s Sea Festival along the White Rock waterfront to send us their favourite photos.
Click on the slideshow below.
Special thanks to contributors: Winrich Riede, Christy Fox, Carly Blanchette and Lynn Moran.