Whew! Are you as tired as I am?
The past three weekends on the Sunshine Coast have been a whirlwind of activities where we Coasters had a chance to put our best foot forward. And by all accounts, we did just that.
It began with the weekend of Aug. 10 where the Coasters Car Club and Sunshine Coast Drag Racing Association welcomed racing enthusiasts from around the province and the Pacific Northwest for their motorsports weekend.
The community was out in force lining Highway 101 into Halfmoon Bay cheering on all the beautiful, passing cars on Friday night. I’ve received several emails in the weeks since from folks all over B.C. praising the community for its support and enthusiasm. The Sleepy Hollow Rod Run is quite possibly the best rod run in the province, and we should all be proud to be part of it.
The weekend continued with more than 10,000 people packing Cowrie Street in Sechelt for the show ‘n’ shine on Saturday, and the drag races certainly didn’t disappoint on Sunday. And in Pender Harbour, the annual show ‘n’ shine at the Garden Bay Pub was another huge success — an added complement to what has become quite possibly the largest motorsports weekend in the province.
The following weekend, the Coast played host to the 30th annual Festival of the Written Arts — one of the longest running literary festivals in Canada. And as an added feather in our cap, the festival is exclusive to Canadian authors and pays homage to the great work that writers are doing and the passion they have for their craft in this country. You can’t get more Canadian than that!
At the same time, just up the highway in Pender Harbour, the Chamber Music Festival drew huge audiences to its event, which, incidentally, was sold out months in advance.
If that wasn’t enough to whet our appetites, the Sunshine Coast Arts Council welcomed thousands to Hackett Park in Sechelt for the largest craft fair in the province. Many patrons were impressed with the wide array of artists who showcased their wares.
I had the pleasure of staying in Gibsons that weekend for the 12th International Howe Sound Outrigger Races, which brought more than 300 paddlers, their families, friends and support staff to the Coast.
The two days of action was quite a sight to see. And the international flavour of the event was evident with several teams from Hawaii winning the men’s and women’s iron races. We also welcomed racers from Australia.
In talking with several of the competitors on Saturday night at a barbecue for the participants in Dougall Park, all said they would return either to paddle again or to visit and vacation. Everyone was impressed with the warm hospitality that was shown by the Coast community. They loved the scenery and the good nature of Gibsons and the Sunshine Coast.
And last weekend, more than 1,500 people enjoyed the circus, music, art and food of the third annual Synchronicity Festival at Shirley Macey Park.
This month alone we have showcased the Coast to thousands of visitors. Many have said they would return. What a boost to the economy and a boost to the spirit of the community.
Take a bow, Sunshine Coast. We’ve put on a great show this summer.