Despite setbacks, Nanaimo ready for Heritage Days 2017

By Spencer Sterritt
May 17, 2017 - 11:32pm Updated: May 18, 2017 - 11:21am

Previous Heritage Days events have packed Nanaimo's downtown. Dale Schulz

The Heritage Days 2017 organizing committee. Not pictured: Reb Stevenson and Norm SmithSubmitted/Reb Stevenson

NANAIMO — Though they were under a tight deadline, organizers of the upcoming Heritage Days festival say they were overwhelmed by the community support.

Peter Urquhart and his team was forced to take over organizing the festival after a dispute between previous hosts. He said it’s a relief to finally see the light at the end of a long tunnel and he’s excited for the activities and the parade, which is now the main feature of the event on Sunday, May 21.

“We were expecting to have a fairly normal parade, but when we approached everyone with our idea of getting it more heritage and retro, we didn’t expect the response that we got. It’s become a huge parade.”  

Even residents and business owners who have never thought of entering a parade before are dressing up and entering.

“It’s hit the community in a way where they really dig it,” Urquhart said.

Due to the time crunch, this year's event is only one day and there won’t be any fireworks. Urquhart said they wanted to focus on the activities and parade to make sure the event can thrive in the future.

“It was important to set down its stability (and) make it so this rollercoaster ride stops. In future years there’s going to be people who have been here all along and there’s going to be new people. Basically all it will require is that the community wants to have it, people want to be involved and it’s stable.”

A full list of events can be found online.


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On Twitter: @spencer_sterrit

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