River Market unveils new indoor hopscotch game this week

Royal City residents are invited to hop on down to River Market to check out what could be the longest indoor hopscotch installation in the world.

In an effort to showcase some of the things that make New West awesome and create a fun experience for the community, River Market has created a new 66-metere (217-feet) hopscotch installation along a hallway on its second floor. Illustrator Jane Koo designed the hopscotch installation that will be completed this week.

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“It’s based on fun. Everything we do is fun-related,” said Salim Hassan, the market’s marketing manager. “This is a good way to tie in all the communities in New Westminster, to have them come down. It’s a destination thing that they can look forward to. There’s a lot of really neat things about New West, and people don’t necessarily know everything there is that makes it awesome."

River Market engaged Royal City residents in the hopscotch process, collecting facts and figures about each of the city’s 14 neighbourhoods. Icons on the hopscotch installation represent each of those neighbourhoods.

“It becomes part of the hopscotch itself,” Hasan explained. “For example, each neighbourhood has a particular colour and that colour carries through a set of tiles. Each neighbourhood will have anywhere between eight and 10 tiles. In between, we also added some pictograms to highlight specific things from that neighbourhood.”

Goats, for example, are representative of the Massey-Victory Heights neighbourhood because a goat farm was located in that neighbourhood in the 1940s. Anecdotes, facts and figures about the neighbourhoods are found along the length of the hopscotch installation.

“At the very end we have added a map that showcases all of New West,” he said. “This is why New West is royally awesome.”

River Market, which opened in 2010, previously offered a public art installation featuring LEGO pieces.

The market will be contacting Guinness World Records to see if its newest feature has set a record for the world’s largest indoor hopscotch installation.

“We are really hoping it’s going to put New West on the map even more,” Hassan said. “We have looked for a record and we can’t find anything that says there’s any other indoor hopscotch installation anywhere else in the world.”

Students at the University of Guelph in Ontario hold the Guinness World Record for the longest hopscotch game, with a 5,506-metre (3.4-mile) game being created in 2011.

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