Empire Days fireworks return in May

The pyrotechnic display that has become a much-anticipated part of the Victoria Day long weekend in Nanaimo is a go.

After a year's absence, the Nanaimo Empire Days fireworks show returns to the downtown waterfront at dusk on May 19.

Last year's hiatus was due to the Nanaimo Empire Days Celebration Society finding itself short of money for the annual display, but the society saved some money from last year and received several arts and culture grants from the city and a B.C. Gaming Branch grant, allowing the society to continue with all of its usual activities and events.

The weekend includes the May Queen crowning ceremony, the downtown parade, in partnership with the Nanaimo Lions Club, and the fireworks display.

There will be several new activities and attractions on parade day, including the Bastion Running Club's Bastion Mile Race – a pre-parade race down the parade route.

Parade participants are asked to submit their applications now by calling the Diana Lilley, parade chairwoman, at 250-713-6095 or e-mailing her at

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