Fireworks will light up the skies over the Fraser River at the first-ever Farewell to Summer Fireworks Festival in New West.
Vendors, live entertainment and fireworks are featured at the event that’s being hosted by the Hyack Festival Association. It’s taking place on Saturday, Aug. 27 from 1 to 9:30 p.m. on New Westminster’s waterfront.
Sheila Sharma, executive director of the Hyack Festival Association, said the association normally puts on a fireworks display as part of its Canada Day event, but that didn’t happen this year. In response to some community members’ concerns that the fireworks display wasn’t held on July 1, the association has pivoted and will host its first-ever Farewell to Summer Fireworks Festival.
“We're really, really happy to bring them fireworks,” she said. “There were so many disappointed people.”
Sharma said the City of New Westminster decided to go in a different direction for Canada Day 2022, and Hyack completely understands and respects that decision, but it also wanted to find a way to put on a fireworks event for the community. The board decided fireworks would be a great way to wrap up summer in the city.
“We're going to do the exact same thing that we would have done on Canada Day without, obviously, all of the Canada Day references,” she said. “We will still have the market vendors and the exhibitors, and the fun and the entertainment.”
The Farewell to Summer Fireworks Festival gets underway along the boardwalk at 1 p.m. featuring about 30 vendors who will be selling artisan products, food and other items.
“That's going to be super fun,” Sharma said.
Immigrant Services Society of B.C. will be hosting a kid's zone, something it offered at the Hyack Festival in Tipperary Park, which was on the same day as this year’s Hyack International Parade.
“It was such a big hit at our festival, the parade and festival, so they're going to do that again,” Sharma said. “That's going to be super fun. They did face painting and crafts. It was just wonderful.”
The Hyack Festival Association will be setting up its float near the tin soldier.
“We’re going to set it up and have some of our youth ambassadors there in their gold dresses to match with the gold and red float,” Sharma said. “We're going to have people take pictures with them and things like that. So, lots of fun. ‘’
Live entertainment, including music and dancing, is set to take place on the boardwalk from 5 to 9 p.m., with a fireworks display planned to hit the skies over the Mighty Fraser sometime between 9 and 9:30 p.m.
Given that it’s the first time Hyack has held this event, the association will see how it goes and determine if it will be held in future years, especially if fireworks aren’t part of the city’s plans for Canada Day in New West.
Sharma hopes community members will turn out for the Farewell to Summer Fireworks Festival just as they did for the association’s Hyack Festival in Tipperary Park in May. She said people came out in droves for that first-time festival.
“We weren't sure, with the parade and festival, if they were ready to come out. And holy cow, did they ever … So again, we're not 100 per cent sure how this is going to go because it's the first time Hyack has ever done this particular festival at this particular time,” she said. “We're getting the word out as much as we can. We're hoping that they come out. And if it's anything like what happened with the parade and festival, then they'll be there.”