The sand sculptures are always front and centre at Cadboro Bay Day, including this giant octopus and mermaid from 2016. This year’s edition scheduled for Aug. 11 will feature an expanded selection of sand sculptures (Black Press File).

Saanich’s Cadboro Bay Festival reaches shore with expanded elements

Larger sand sculptures, new interactive elements are part of 2019 edition

A desire for more interactivity has led to some changes to the Cadboro Bay Festival scheduled for Aug. 11.

The most important concerns the sand sculptures, the most popular element of the event, said Rob Phillips, special events co-ordinator for the District of Saanich. For one, residents can still choose the theme of the sand-sculptures among 12 options until Aug. 1. Current front-runners include Mythic Creatures, and Island Life.

Organizers have also increased the actual number of sculptures from one main display and three smaller ones to six larger sculptures of equal size thanks to a corresponding increase in sponsors, with Pepper’s Foods as the main sponsor, as in previous years. Festival attendees will then be able to vote on their favourite sculpture.

“We want to give people more interactivity,” said Phillips.

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The artists themselves operate under the collective name of SandBoxers and are among the best sculptors in the world, said Phillips.

Phillips expects that these changes will increase attendance. In the past, the festival has drawn somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 visitors. As of Tuesday, 6,500 have said on Facebook that they are interested in coming.

“I’m expecting quite a big crowd,” he said.

It will also see other changes. They include an artisan market, where local youth can offer their wares.

But for all the changes, Saanich residents can also expect familiar elements that have made the event a favourite.

They include 12 bouncy castles, food vendors and music from three bands, Freeze Frame, Pulse Radio, and Soul Shakers.


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