Nathan Barlow reaches the beach at the Great International World Championship Bathtub Race two years ago. The Nanaimo Marine Festival is being expanded to a whole month for 2017. (NEWS BULLETIN file)

Editorial: Marine Fest now Marine Month, and why stop there?

Next month and in subsequent summers, Nanaimo can really make the most of festival season

Marine Fest is now going to be Marine Month, and we shouldn’t stop there.

OK, so 31 days is plenty long enough as a time frame, but over the course of next month and in subsequent summers, Nanaimo can really make the most of festival season.

The Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society, the Nanaimo Dragonboat Festival and the Silly Boat Regatta recently announced that they’ll strengthen their bond through co-operative marketing and expanded participation in their partners’ events. That’s great, because the more Marine Fest the better, right?

Well, yes, mostly. Maffeo Sutton Park is already packed for each of those three headline events every summer. It can take some pointy elbows and determination to get a good vantage point of the bathtubs coming in at the end of the great race. As for Silly Boat, organizers say they can find patches of grass for a few more community groups to partake in boat-building. Dragonboat numbers are up, but maybe not yet maxed out.

So have we reached peak Marine Fest? Absolutely not. Any and all events on the Nanaimo Marine Festival calendar can be expanded and complemented.

The City of Nanaimo parks and rec department has been studying Maffeo Sutton Park plans off and on over the years, and will need to continue to assess and reassess our premier downtown park and its myriad purposes. It’s interesting that even though our city has sprawled north, our downtown park has, if anything, become even more central as a community gathering place. Maybe there are creative amenities that can improve the experience for park users who visit on the very busiest days.

Sure the park feels packed sometimes, but wouldn’t it be something if we really challenge the capacity of Maffeo Sutton Park?

What we like about Marine Month is that it’s an indication that people are thinking big. Someone once had the crazy idea of racing bathtubs across the Strait of Georgia. What other crazy ideas are out there?

Start planning to pack yourself into the park, Nanaimo. Because we haven’t reached peak Marine Fest yet, not by a long shot.

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

Just Posted

Fewer birds tallied in Nanaimo’s recent winter count

1,550 fewer fowl counted than previous year, but there were a few unusual sightings

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Snow-covered sidewalks are a hazard

City refuses to change its current operational practices, says letter writer

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Schools should not have been closed Thursday

Our children have missed a day of school because of poor decision-making, says letter writer

Nanaimo mom will celebrate 40th in style after $500,000 lotto win

Crystal Giesbrecht matches all four numbers on BC/49 Extra

Suspect pulls knife on staff at Nanaimo 7-Eleven

Nanaimo RCMP looking for suspect who allegedly took items then produced knife when staff approached

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Power lines cut as thieves strike Vancouver Island veterinary hospital

‘Thankfully there weren’t any animals or staff in the clinic when this happened’

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

Nanaimo council issues permit for mixed-use building on Terminal Avenue

29-unit residential building and café restaurant planned at 930 Terminal Ave.

Nanaimo RCMP arrest man who allegedly pushed clerk to floor during armed robbery

Chase Peter Goodale scheduled to appear in court today, Jan. 20

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Most Read