Now entering its 34th year, Texada Island Sandcastle Weekend brings together a random mix of pastimes that truly offer something for everyone, according to event chair Elayne Boloten.
“We go with what works and it’s always a lot of fun; everybody is welcome,” said Boloten. “We try and make it as family inclusive as possible.”
Festivities on Saturday, August 11, begin with the always popular parade in the morning.
“Anybody with a bike, scooter or stroller is welcome to go decorate it at the old school,” said Boloten.
Participants, fun floats, bands and cars will then follow a short route through the village of Gillies Bay.
There is also a car show and shine, bed races and a kids’ zone featuring a bouncy castle. Live music and more than 30 vendors of food, arts and crafts will also surround the ball field in Gillies Bay.
“We’ll be playing bingo at about 2 pm and in the evening we head down to Shelter Point for a lip-synch contest, moon-bag ceremony and laser light show to close out the night,” added Boloten.
Sunday begins with a pancake breakfast followed by the actual namesake event of the weekend, the sand sculpture competition, taking place between 10 and 3 pm at Gillies Bay Beach.
“It’s people’s choice judging and it’s a busy, busy day,” said Boloten.
Trophies for sand sculpture contestants will be awarded at 3 pm Sunday.
Started last year and proving a hit is an amateur dog show where pooches can take part in simple obedience, agility and a dress up event. This show takes place at the ball field in the afternoon and will be followed by a game of pick-up softball.
Running at the same time as Sandcastle Weekend is the ninth annual Texada Skim Jam at Gillies Bay Beach for three hours during the lowest tide each day. All are welcome to come try out the sport with board rentals and lessons available for all skill levels, according to organizer Sue Russell.
“It’s not a competition,” said Russell. “It’s an all-inclusive kind of event.”
Six teachers are coming up from Vancouver to teach the sport at all levels, added Russell.
“It costs five dollars to borrow a board or get a lesson,” she said.
The beaches of Texada are tailor-made for the shallow water activity, according to Russell.
“Gillies Bay Beach is so perfect when the tide is super low; there’s actually a tidal stream of fresh water that pops up in the middle of the beach,” she said. “You can get a really nice glide from it, and there aren’t very many hazards out there.”