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Hyack International Parade set to return to streets of New West in 2022

The Hyack Street Fest will relocate to a more spacious location in Tipperary Park
Hyack 2019 - Leavenworth file
A delegation and float from Leavenworth were among the entries in the 2019 Hyack International Parade. The parade is returning in 2022 - and celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The New Westminster Hyack Festival Association is hard at work on plans to make the return of its annual parade a “can’t- miss” event for families.

Like other community events, the Hyack International Parade was cancelled in 2020 because of COVID-19. During its 50th anniversary year in 2021, Hyack hosted a drive-through parade.

“We are just so excited to be back doing what we love to do, and that’s bringing the community together,” said Sheila Sharma, executive director of the New Westminster Hyack Festival Association. “At a time when we really, really need it, we are happy to provide a platform for that.”

With the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions, organizers are working hard to put on a parade that’s similar to those held prior to the pandemic.

“Typically we see between 90 and 110 entries, so we are shooting for that again,” Sharma said. “But we are really not 100% sure how it is going to go. We have been trying to do what we can in a pandemic-friendly sort of way for the last couple of years. We are hoping to get right back into the swing of things. We are thinking that people are ready to come back out. Everywhere we go, there are people really happy to be out again.”

Floats, marching bands, community groups, mascots, performance artists, and more that fill the streets of New Westminster for the parade on Saturday, May 28.

“We are looking for community groups, marching bands, schools, sports teams, drill teams. Then of course businesses that want to promote themselves and get out into the community and show their community spirit,” Sharma said. “We are encouraging everyone to come on out.”

The Wenatchee Apple Blossom Festival in Washington State, the Royal Rosarians from Portland and the City of Kelowna are among the entries that have already confirmed their attendance.

“We are requiring all entries to be fun, entertaining and enthusiastic!” said a notice about the parade. “Consider adding over-the-top vehicle decorations, or themed costumes and an energetic marching routine. Comedic entries that are family-friendly are always encouraged. Contact us for ideas if you need suggestions.”

While 2021 marked the 50th anniversary of the Hyack International Parade, the association is planning to celebrate that milestone this year.

“Because last year was our 50th anniversary and we couldn’t do anything that we had planned, we are going to make sure that we celebrate those things this year,” Sharma said. “Even our president last year, Becci Dewinitz, she didn’t get an opportunity to present all of the things she had in mind to present so as an association we voted to allow her do it again this year. So she is our president again this year.”

As in past years, the Hyack International Parade will begin on Eighth Avenue, between Eighth and Sixth streets, proceed down Sixth Street and head into the homestretch on Queens Avenue, ending at Queen’s Park.

Street Fest on the move

The Hyack Street Fest, normally held on Belmont Street in uptown New West on parade day, is on the move in 2022.

“This year we are moving it down to Tipperary Park, sort of in the same area as the farmers market and in front of the city hall,” Sharma said. “That’s going to be really great. That’s going to be a lot more room.”

Sharma said the Tipperary Park/New Westminster City Hall location is ideal as it’s near the end of the parade route and it will provide more space for vendors and community members.

“We are going to have an entertainment stage. All down the parking lot there, we are going to have our market vendors and exhibitors. Down In front of city hall, that whole roadway, we are going to have food trucks, up to a certain point,” Sharma said. “It’s going to be fantastic. It’s going to be a whole day of events – food trucks, market vendors, entertainment. We are going to have some kids' games. It’s going to be a great day.”

Details about the Hyack International Parade and the Hyack Street Fest, as well as registration information, can be found at

Follow Theresa McManus on Twitter @TheresaMcManus