Navy blue blazers and berets may be the traditional attire of the Royal Canadian Legion, but there will be plenty of spandex in the New West Legion this weekend.
Branch 2 is kicking off its annual Legion Week celebrations in New Westminster with activities on Saturday and Sunday afternoon for the whole family, including a free barbecue, draws, a dunk tank, a pie-eating contest and more. Children are welcome both days, up until 5 p.m.
“This year it is even bigger. We have extended it for two days. It will be on Saturday and Sunday,” bar manager Michelle Lapre said about Legion Week celebrations. “We are doing free burgers and hotdogs both days. On the Saturday, we have a dunk tank, which we have the wrestlers participating in.”
The Legion is teaming up with Royal City Wrestling on several components of the weekend bash, including a dunk tank running from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Royal City Wrestling founder Rish Koya (a.k.a. Mr. India) will be hosting the patio party and dunk tank shenanigans (featuring spandex-clad wrestlers) on Saturday afternoon.
“We have some good things planned,” Koya said. “There is going to be some good mayhem, chaos and fun happening on Saturday on Sixth Street.”
The New Westminster Pipe Band will open Sunday’s festivities at 1 p.m., which will be followed by a barbecue, special meat draws, and a blueberry pie-eating contest at 4 p.m.
About a dozen people, including wrestlers, Legion executives, the Legion’s bartender and community members, will be competing to see who can be the first to clean their pie plate without using their hands. MP Peter Julian and the Royal City Defenders – Mr. India and Johnny X (a.k.a. Mayor Jonathan Cote) – will be judging the contest.
In addition to raising awareness about the work done by the Royal Canadian Legion, Legion Week is an opportunity for the local Legion to raise funds for another non-profit in the community. This year’s event is raising money for Honour House, which provides free, temporary housing for members of the Canadian Armed Forces, veterans and emergency services personnel and their families when they travel to Metro Vancouver for medical care and treatment.
“We also have a Legion bake sale happening. This is all to support the Honour House,” Lapre said. “We are donating all the proceeds from our bake sale, from donation cans, from everything, to the Honour House.”
The Legion will wrap up Legion Week on Saturday, June 29 at 3 p.m., when it invites community members to a cake-cutting ceremony and cheque presentation to Honour House. The Legion is at 631 Sixth St.