Crowds flock to Empire Days celebrations

Fireworks lit the sky and cheers filled the air as Nanaimo celebrated a 144-year tradition on the Victoria Day long weekend.

Fireworks lit the sky and cheers filled the air as Nanaimo celebrated a 144-year tradition on the Victoria Day long weekend.

Crowds flocked to the downtown, taking in a host of Empire Days events and Ron Hopper, president of the Nanaimo Empire Days Celebration Society, said it all went off without a hitch.

“We managed to do another one,” he said.  “Even the weather co-operated with us.”

Sunday’s parade and fireworks competed for highlight of the weekend, but Hopper said both were well attended.

“The crowds for the parade were absolutely terrific and the American bands certainly added something to it. They always seem to enjoy themselves coming up here,” he said.

“Everybody that I talked to thought the fireworks were a wonderful display. We’ve had nothing but positive comments.”

The weekend also included a visit from six Canadian Navy vessels, including HMCS Nanaimo and HMCS Saskatoon.

More than 300 visitors took part in a two-hour open house aboard the Nanaimo and Saskatoon.

“We’ve been bringing these vessels in since 1997, so it’s good to see everybody go down and support the navy,” said Hopper.

The society hosts its wrapup meeting in June, but Hopper said discussions have already taken place on what could be changed and improved for next year

“[Planning] never stops, it just goes on and on,” he said. “Next year is a big anniversary for the Shriners and they are having a convention in Nanaimo, so we’ll probably use them as the focus of the parade. We already have some ideas for the Grand Parade Marshall for next year.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

House burns in Harewood, three people displaced

Dog unaccounted for after house fire Sunday evening

Man dies in ATV accident south of Nanaimo

Incident happened on backroad Friday night in Nanaimo Lakes area

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: No need to wait to enforce new speed limit in the north end

If safety is the goal, why is there a ‘grace period’ for motorists to adjust, asks letter writer

COVID-19: Uptick in calls to Haven Society crisis line as restrictions ease

Organization reminds people of their range of services

Nanaimo RCMP detachment resumes limited front counter service

Detachment front counter staff now processing police information checks

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Most Read