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The Cadboro Bay Festival offers fun for the entire family

While there won’t be a sand-sculpting competition, the festival will include a variety of activities
The Cadboro Bay Festival returns to Gyro Park Sunday (Aug. 6) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Courtesy of Sarah Faria)

The Cadboro Bay Festival returns this weekend and there are many things that the entire family can look forward to.

Returning to Gyro Park on Aug. 6, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., this year’s event will offer a variety of hands-on activities, giant lawn games, information displays, live music, arts and craft stations, and food

Unlike other years, this year there will not be a sand-sculpting competition.

“There used to be several sand sculptures. It was a competition. This year, we are no longer doing that. So that’s the biggest change of the year,” said Sarah Faria, programmer for special events in Saanich.

This is because the beach sand at Cadboro Bay isn’t the right type of sand for making castles. Previously, the sand had to be trucked in.

“As you can imagine, that comes at a cost, as well as trying to truck all of it out and make sure that we’re not changing the natural environment of the park and the beach is really important,” Faria said.

“The sand castles just weren’t cohesive with the spirit of this year’s festival, so this year we’re focusing on what makes Cadboro Bay special and unique.”

This is Faria’s first time running the festival, which originally started in 2011.

“It’s a way to celebrate the Cadboro Bay Village, which is so beautiful and such a unique place within Saanich. It is also to celebrate the Cadboro Gyro Park, which is where it takes place.”

At the festival, they will be hosting a giant picnic. This would be a great chance for many to bring a blanket, enjoy some old-fashioned fun in the sun and, most importantly, put the tech down. The festival will also include three-legged races, potato sack races, live music for all ages, barbecue, ice cream, face painting and kids crafts, displays from Saanich police officers and firefighters, and lots of information about the village itself and the park’s natural history.

“Volunteers are a massive part of every single event that we host,” said Faria. “We have volunteers coming in to help with set up and to help with tear down, as well as to help facilitate different stations. Honestly, an event could not run without the volunteers – they’re absolutely the backbone of any festival.”

This year, the festival is hoping to have around 20 to 30 volunteers.

While at the festival, Faria wants attendees to visit the village.

“Part of the Village’s unique character is that the businesses and shops are all hyper-local, so they can visit the local restaurant or cafe to get food to go and bring it to the event.”

New to the event this year is a bike valet hosted by Capital Bike. With traffic being congested and parking being hard to find, people can now cycle to skip the overcrowding and park at the event itself with the valet parking.

There will also be event parking and a free shuttle into the event, which will be leaving from lot number five at the University of Victoria parking lot, and will be running continuously throughout the day directly into the event.