Community at core of Lantzville’s Minetown Days

NANAIMO – Lantzville hosts largest annual festival Saturday (Sept. 7).

  • Sep. 5, 2013 7:00 p.m.

Community is at the core of Lantzville’s 39th annual Minetown Day festival.

“It doesn’t really have a whole lot to do with mining [anymore],” said Denise Haime, district councillor and event organizer. “It’s really more of a celebration of the community – one day to get together to see your neighbours.”

Lantzville is hosting its largest annual festival this Saturday (Sept. 7) to celebrate its heritage and rural roots. The former farming district boomed in the 1900s with the discovery of coal. Hundreds of miners and their families flocked to the area looking for work and businesses and schools sprung up around them. More than 80 years after the mine went bust, the area continues to celebrate the community industry created.

The $10,000 municipal event offers day-long activities, from watermelon eating contests to nail-hammering and hay rides. It’s a chance for people to socialize and “get back to the basics,” said Haime. “A lot of the events we’ve had for years. To some extent it’s nostalgic … and a reminder we are still a rural [area].”

There will be two mining booths set up to remind people of the region’s industrious past. History advocate Brian Blood said very few people still remember why the municipality would be paying homage to mines.

“Any area’s economic history is important because it gives you context for where and how you live,” said Blood. “There are some things to remind people of mining, like the monument at the end of Jack’s Road, but not too much around Minetown Day. We try to help answer questions about what this [event] is.”

The event launches with a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. and continues with a parade, talent show, rides and a street market. Activities run until 3 p.m. and all admission is free.