Carol Hamilton, who has been trying to retire from her Sea Fair duties for a few years now, but keeps getting sucked back in, said that like every year Sea Fair needs more volunteers to help run the show.
Hamilton anticipates this 48th annual event, running from July 21 through 24, will be similar to last year unless anyone with fresh ideas is willing to come on board to organize new events. Along with workers, cost is another issue and with most of the fair’s limited budget going toward fireworks it can be a challenge to start and support new elements to the fair.
One new event this year is an eco boat race, where young competitors make boats out of environmentally-friendly material and race them down the creek. Powell River Yacht Club will bring a Celtic music group to the Marine Inn on the evening of Thursday, July 21. Hamilton also said she is approaching the Canadian Navy to see if a tall ship is available to come to the event, but won’t know until the last minute if that will be possible.
There will be the traditional parade (with new marshall Melissa Larkin), entertainment from the stage at Willingdon Beach, bingo, the treasure hunt, a colouring contest and the midway with rides and games. A percentage of money that comes in from the midway rides goes toward Sea Fair and will help keep it running for another year. The Vancouver Aquarium will also attend to give presentations on the sea and marine life.
Some of the usual events, such as the business decorating contest, are still in need of organizers. Volunteers to run events that have already been organized, such as the parade, are also needed. The board is set for this year but anyone interested in joining can attend meetings and then apply next year.
“You need to get new people on board who hopefully enjoy themselves and have fun with it,” said Hamilton. “Then I can retire. I will hang in there till its 50th year but that’s it. I keep saying that.”
There has been talk of combining Sea Fair with the Blackberry Festival and Hamilton said meetings will take place to discuss the idea. The notion had been considered before, but Hamilton always believed Sea Fair could stand on its own as a celebration of seaside living. With organization becoming increasingly difficult the idea is once again on the table.
Anyone interested in becoming involved can call Hamilton at 604.485.7480. The commitment can be as little as two hours of volunteer time or as much as running an entire event. Ideas for a new event can be pitched to the committee, so long as those pitching are willing to organize it.