St. Patrick’s Day festival approved for White Rock

WHITE ROCK — A proposal to hold a St. Patrick’s Day festival complete with a beer garden and use of the Pier Head parking lot was given the green light at Monday’s council meeting.

Brought forth by Peter McDonough of Jimmy Flynn’s Celtic Snug, the proposed festival was initially denied by council, but brought back for reconsideration after McDonough altered his plans.

Originally McDonough had requested the use of the parking lot for three days, but has since scaled that down to two. As well, he has collected written letters of support from the business owners along Marine Drive who would be most impacted by the parking lot closure and support from the White Rock BIA and Tourism White Rock.

In light of these additions, council reconsidered McDonough’s request and found it to be satisfactory, though not without security concerns.

"My concern is not with the parking lot but are RCMP going to be in control of back and forths on Marine Drive? Do they intend to have own security or who’s taking care of that?" wondered Coun. Alan Campbell.

Eric Stepura, director of leisure services, said the proponent is required to provide security for any special occasions licence and noted RCMP would also likely have to bring in extra officers for the event.

Festival details, as outlined by McDonough include a setup using a large covered carnival tent, the Pier Head parking lot being being blocked off from March 16 to early March 18, with the

festival taking place all day on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. An outdoor beer garden will also be in effect from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on St. Pattie’s.

McDonough also notes the estimated crowd size for the event would be up to 300 people and tickets would be presold in order to control crowd size.

Coun. Helen Fathers said the festival is a great idea to get people coming to White Rock in the usually slow month of March.

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