Minetown Day celebrates coal history

NANAIMO – Lantzville's 40th annual Minetown Day festival kicks off at 8 a.m. Sept. 6.

From watermelon-eating contests to a parade and petting farm, it’s all there at Lantzville’s 40th Minetown Day festival.

The district is hosting the community’s largest annual event Sept. 6 in celebration of its coal-mining past.

According to Denise Haime, district councillor and event organizer, it’s the only event that recognizes Lantzville’s beginnings in mining and attracts upwards of 1,000 people.

Day-long activities include nail-hammering contests, a parade, talent show and petting farm. The Lantzville Fire Rescue also hopes to have its new inflatable fire safety house on display.

Lantzville began to boom 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 to serve them.

These days, Minetown Day has become about community, according to Lantzville fire chief and longtime resident Tom Whipps, who says it’s a time to celebrate together.

“Mostly it’s evolved into a fun day for the community and the kids of the community,” he said.

The event kicks off at 8 a.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 257 with a pancake breakfast and a 10:30 a.m. parade. Activities will be at Huddlestone Park until 3 p.m.

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