Every summer, Parksville welcomes over 100,000 people to a beach festival to rival the best of them. A world-class sand sculpting competition, street parties, art markets, live music, and fun for the kids is into a whole month of festivities at the Parksville Beach Festival from July 12th to August 18th, 2019.
Here are the top 10 reasons to visit this year.
Gawk at Giant Sand Sculptures
The competition may be over, but the masterpieces remain. Giant sculptures were created from sand by world-class, professional sculpting artists between July 11th and 14th. Solo creators and teams of two had 30 hours over four days to sculpt and shape sand into creative works of art for a Myths and Legends theme. Head down to Parksville Community Park to see these giants on display from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day until August 18th.
Learn About Sand Sculpting in Parksville
The history of sand sculpting in Parksville dates back to 1982. Today, this world-class competition is the only qualifying event in Canada for the World Championships of Sand Sculpting. Within sculpting circles, this little town on Vancouver Island is highly regarded as one of the competitions to attend. Open to professional sculptors, this year attracted local masters and international competitors, including sculptors from Japan, Russia, and the Netherlands. Wondering how these structures stay intact for over a month? Over 14 dump trucks of sand, free of debris, was delivered to the festival site from Campbell River. Twice daily, each sculpture is sprayed with an environmentally-friendly glue and water mixture that helps them withstand the elements. Learn more about the competition and sand sculpting while walking and talking your way around the festival grounds.
Cast Your Ballot for the People’s Choice Award
The competition winners have already been announced, but now it’s the public’s turn to judge. Every visitor receives a poker chip to vote for their favourite sand sculpture. Browse them all and make your choice, it’s always a surprise who takes home the coveted People’s Choice award.
Relax, or Dance, to Concerts in the Park
Grab a lawn chair, pack a blanket, and head for the picnic shelter in Parksville Community Park every Friday and Saturday evening from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Lay back, or get on your feet, to the sounds of funk, blues, dance, and rock. Don’t miss outlaw country band David James & Big River on stage August 3rd, or the Creedence Clearwater Revival tribute band Completely Creedence, playing hits until dusk on August 17th. The fireworks start shortly after!
Photo Courtesy Of Wendy Sears
Browse the Street Market and Art in the Park
Cruise the market and to see the creations of more than 70 artisans from Vancouver Island and beyond during the Art in the Park event, running July 27th and 28th. Potters, jewellers, painters, textiles artists, and more will greet you with a smile. The Summer by the Sea Street Market on Craig Street is also running every Tuesday night through August from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Step Back in Time at the Van Isle Shriners Show
BC Day weekend brings hundreds of cars to the beach at Parkville for the Van Isle Shriners Show & Shine. Check out the cars on August 4th, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., down by the sea. Arrive early for a pancake breakfast or in the afternoon to catch the barbeque. If you’re really into classic cars, check out the Show & Shine Cruise Night, as the cars ride around town Friday evening.
Come for the Light Up Event
The final weekend is not one to miss. During the Sculpture Light Up event, August 16th and 17th, visitors get to see the sand sculptures illuminated for a nightly display. Gates stay open extra late, until 11 p.m., to see all the Myths and Legends creations. Stick around Saturday night for a firework show that will light up the sky.
Entertain the Little Ones at KidsFest
The entire month of Parkville Beach Festival is kid-friendly, and KidsFest is an extra special day of fun for the little ones on August 18th. For an entrance ticket of $5, kids have all-day access to a bouncy castle, train rides, obstacle course, mechanical surfboard, horse derby, and more. Register budding artists for the Quality Foods Sandcastle Competition, a free event from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., for non-stop beach fun.
Give Back to the Community
The Parksville Beach Festival is run by a non-profit society and donations to attend go back into communities between Nanoose Bay and Deep Bay. This year, some of the proceeds will go towards creating an official community stage in the Parkville Community Park.
For more information about Parksville and other things to do in the area, visit the Parksville-Qualicum Beach Tourism website.