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Waterfront fun: New Westminster's summer festival and activity lineup

On the waterfront: New West offering festivals, entertainment and activities in the downtown this summer
Waterfront fun: New West Craft is just one of the events taking place on the waterfront in August and September.

The City of New Westminster is teaming up with a variety of organizations to bring some fun to downtown this summer.

Free street festivals, live music and children’s activities are among the many offerings aiming to bring some fun to New West’s waterfront in August and September.

Lisa Kemp, the city’s program coordinator of special events, said Week 1 of Waterfront Fun was “a great success” and the good times will continue in the weeks ahead. Looking at the calendar of events, she said something fun is planned in the downtown every day until Aug. 30.

“The city coordinated the Waterfront Fun campaign as a way to highlight the great work that community organizations are doing, and we also prioritized planning some new opportunities,” she said. “The goal is to create fun, positive opportunities in the downtown area and along our beautiful waterfront at Westminster Pier Park and beyond.”

On the festival front, the New West Pride Festival takes place on Columbia Street on Saturday, Aug. 19. The second annual Farewell to Summer Fireworks and Festival is set to take place on the waterfront on Saturday, Aug. 26 and RiverFest returns to New West on Spt. 23 and 24

Launched in July, the Fridays on Front gatherings will bring live entertainment, food and vendors, and activities to the 600 block of front Street on Aug. 18 (Pride) and 25 (The Last Act) from 5 to 9 p.m.

Crafters, artisans and makers will share their creations at the New West Craft Market, which is happening on the waterfront esplanade on Saturday, Aug. 19 and Sept. 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A series of reoccurring events have also been planned for Westminster Pier Park:

  • Storytime Fun with Family Place is on Monday, Aug. 21 and 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This free program includes outdoor activities, crafts and circle time for caregivers and children aged zero to six years of age.
  • Mornings by the River features family-friendly performers on Tuesday mornings from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Ginalina returns to New Wests on Aug. 15, Rhythm Resource entertains on Aug.  22 (free but registration is required) and Penny Pompom performs on Aug. 29
  • Music by the River features a variety of family-friendly activities in Pier Park on Wednesday nights in August from 5 to 8 p.m. A free fitness class starts at 5 p.m., family-friendly activities run from 5 to 8 p.m. and a live musical performance gets underway at 7 p.m. Folks are invited to bring a blanket or chairs and enjoy activities and music on Aug. 16 (Pride edition), Aug. 23 and 30. 
  • Circus Sundays, being held on Sunday, Aug. 20 and 27 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Pier Park, gives folks of all levels and ages a chance to enjoy a circus experience and choose how they want to participate.
  • Sketching by the River (Thursday, Aug. 17, 24, 31) features free outdoor drawing classes, led by a local artist and experienced art teacher. All supplies are provided. Teens/youth sessions are being offered from 2 to 4 p.m. and adult sessions run from 6 to 8 pm. Participants are also invited to submit a drawing to be included in a River Market art exhibition. 

Other events planned for the downtown include Yoga in the Park (Thursday, Aug. 17) and an outdoor Movie by the River (Friday, Sept. 8).

The Seniors Social on Thursday, Aug. 24, being held from 10 a.m. to noon, aims to give folks aged 50 and up a chance to enjoy lawn games, socialize, meet new people and learn what’s being offered for older adults in New West.

The City of New Westminster has teamed up with a variety of community organizations to put on these events, including Arts New West, the Hyack Festival Association, Fraser River Discovery Centre, New Westminster Downtown BIA, New Westminster Family Place, the Vancouver Circus School, the Motion Picture Industry, and Motion Picture Community Initiative.