Traditions featured at Lantzville’s Minetown Day

NANAIMO – The title of the 41-year-old festival is a tip of the hat to Lantzville’s coal mining past.

History fuelled Lantzville’s annual Minetown Day, but tradition keeps it going.

Lantzville hosts its largest event Saturday (Sept. 12).

“It’s always been there,” said Denise Haime, district councillor and Minetown Day organizer. “It’s one of those things, a community heritage event.”

The title of the 41-year-old festival is a tip of the hat to Lantzville’s coal mining past, which saw the area flourish in the early 20th century, but organizers say these days the event is more about bringing community together.

An average 1,500 people gather at the festival each year, which offers a lot of the same activities enjoyed for generations.

The pancake breakfast, nail-hammering contest, bike parade and hay rides are all traditions, according to Brenda Savage, a Minetown Day organizer and 30-year resident, who says the event has evolved from a celebration of mining history into a community party.

“It doesn’t really have a lot of connection to the mining history anymore, but the name has stayed,” Savage said.

The event costs the District of Lantzville $10,000. All rides and admission are free.

The festival kicks off with a pancake breakfast at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 257 at 8 a.m., and there will be a parade from St. Philips Church at 10:30 a.m., where decorated bikes, scooters and strollers have a chance to win trophies.

Vendors, karaoke, chicken-poop 50-50 and a petting zoo will also be at the event in Huddlestone Park. It ends at 3 p.m.

Parking is available near Seaview Elementary School.

Those people willing to volunteer can please contact Joan Moody and jkmoody@shaw.ca.

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