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FraserFest on this weekend

New Westminster's waterfront will be a hub of activity during the 22nd annual FraserFest.

New Westminster's waterfront will be a hub of activity during the 22nd annual FraserFest.

The Hyack Festival Association presents FraserFest, which features displays, entertainment, a mascot parade, a workboat parade, interactive activities and much more. The annual celebration is held on the New Westminster Quay boardwalk and celebrates the river and the city.

The Hyack Festival Association notes that FraserFest is also celebrating the enduring connection between the Fraser River and the public market. The city's first market, known as the Fraser River Market, was held not far up the river from where River Market is now located.

"In 1986, Westminster (Quay) Public Market was built to coincide with the SkyTrain launch of Expo 86," said a press release. "After 25 years and an extensive $5-million upgrade, River Market (former known as Westminster Public Market) is fully operational for this year's FraserFest."

Melanie Vogel, Hyack's executive director, said in a press release that FraserFest is unlike any other festival.

"Our partners, such as the Fraser River Discovery Centre, the New Westminster Arts Council, Port Metro, the Vancouver Aquarium, Orca Boats and the local marine industry, make the Fraser River truly the highlight of this festival by their participation in our event," she said. "With all those partners we are not only bringing lots of fun and entertainment but also including an educational component and awareness about the Fraser River."

Fraser River Discovery Centre and Port Metro Vancouver are teaming up to bring a variety of fun, hands-on activities to Fraser Fest. Visitors will get a chance to meet Salty (the Port's seagull mascot), complete a jigsaw puzzle game, uncover amazing stories of the Fraser River as they excavate through the sands at the centre's archaeology site - and more.

Archie Miller, from A Sense of History Research Services, and Port Metro Vancouver's community relations team will provide narration on the tours of the MV Native, a replica 19th-century paddlewheeler. The harbour tours run hourly between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 23 and 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 24 - rain or shine.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for kids; tickets can be purchased on the dock, below Inn at the Quay, during FraserFest or at the Fraser River Discovery Centre until Friday, July 22.

All proceeds go to the Fraser Alumni Association for leadership and maritime education programs for sea cadets.

Fraser River Discovery River is located at 788 Quayside Dr. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

tmcmanus@royalcityrecord.com