Fridays on Front meets Quest New West this summer in New Westminster

Fridays on Front is taking a twist in response to COVID-19.

Douglas College and the Downtown New West BIA are teaming up to present a #QuestNewWest edition of the popular Fridays on Front event, offering free, weekly self-guided adventures. The event will be a scavenger hunt-style experience, but participants will get to decide where they go and how they complete the challenges.

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“The Downtown New West BIA has become known for bringing thousands of people together to attend our annual summer events,” said Kendra Johnston, executive director of the Downtown New West BIA. “Obviously, this year we’ve had to completely rethink our tactics for promoting our beloved neighbourhood, and therefore Fridays #QuestNewWest was born.”

In recent years, crowds have flocked downtown every week for Fridays on Front, which featured entertainment, food trucks and vendors, including wine and beer sales. The Front Street Mews was closed to traffic, so folks could mix and mingle.

“Fridays on Front had become New Westminster’s weekend kick-off for the past three summers. We felt it was important to continue offering the community opportunities to get out and socialize, albeit physically distantly, on Friday evenings in Downtown New West,” Angie Whitfield, the BIA’s programs and events manager, said in a news release.  “This year’s series is going to look different, but it’ll still be a great way to spend your Fridays.”

Friday’s #QuestNewWest will take place in all corners of the downtown every Friday in August from 5 to 8 p.m.

“It’ll test your local knowledge while you remain physically distanced and outdoors,” said a notice about the event. “You can play along with your family, your safe bubble of friends, or take the challenge solo. Along the journey you’ll encounter surprises from your local businesses and perhaps even find some new gems.”

Quest New West, Jonathan Cote, Mary Trentadue, Kelly Slade-Kerr, Patrick Johnstone
From left, New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Cote, Coun. Mary Trentadue, then-school board trustee Kelly Slade-Kerr and Coun. Patrick Johnstone delivered a karaoke version of Let it Go from the Disney movie Frozen at Stage New West during the third annual Quest New West in 2015. With large gatherings off-limits because of COVID-19, a new event merging components of Fridays on Front and Quest New West is in the works for August. - File/YouTube screen grab

Participants are encouraged to share their experience online for a chance to win weekly prizes and a $1,000 cash grand prize.

A few years back, Tourism New Westminster hosted Quest New West, an Amazing Race-style competition that challenged teams to earn stickers by completing various fun challenges at New Westminster businesses.

For more details about Fridays #QuestNewWest, visit the Downtown New Westminster Facebook page.

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