Parade kicks off annual celebration of Lantzville’s mining heritage

NANAIMO – Lantzville’s Minetown Day takes place Saturday (Sept. 10).

An annual event celebrating the District of Lantzville’s mining history is just around the corner.

The 42nd annual Lantzville Minetown Day will take place Saturday (Sept. 10) at Huddlestone Park. The event will kick off at 9:45 a.m. with a parade down Lantzville Road and into the park.

Among the events this year are a dunk tank, pony rides, climbing walls, a petting zoo, an obstacle course, hay rides, a watermelon-eating contest and live music. Minetown Day will also feature various vendors, including ethnic food vendors, a first for the one-day event.

Brenda Savage, organizer of the event, said the Minetown Day event is a family fun-filled day that gives residents an opportunity to learn about Lantzville’s past, adding that this year’s event has more live performances.

“This year we thought we would enhance the stage a bit and play down the blow-up rides and things. We’ve got less of that, but what we’ve got this year is a full stage performance,” she said.

This year’s live performers are Jangano Marimba Band, Ian Johnstone, Bill and Donna Konsorado, Neighbours, 33rd Rail and Boomshack.

This year’s focus has been on increasing the number of live music performances according to Savage, who said there will also be old-school games as well.

“We’ve also got the Girl Guides running old-fashioned games like the egg and spoon race and the sack race … which we haven’t done but we think that would really tie in,” she said.

Savage has been organizing Minetown Day for the last 10 years, but will step down from the position once this year’s event concludes. She said that organizing the festival has been plenty of fun over the years, adding that keeping the event “fresh” has been the biggest challenge during her time as organizer.

“I would say the biggest challenge is keeping it new and not letting it become the same thing every year,” she said. “What we will do is have a debriefing meeting in October, where we will say all the things that went well and all that didn’t … and then we will have a meeting that will decide on the focus of Minetown Day.”

Savage said she’s decided to step down to focus more on her own life. She said it’s also time for younger people to take direction of the event and that members of the District of Lantzville’s Parks and Recreation Commission will take over as organizers.

Having been the organizer for the last 10 years, Savage said she’s really enjoyed it.

For Minetown Day schedule information, please visit www.lantzville.ca.