Cadboro Bay Festival puts Gyro Park in the spotlight

Festival expected to draw thousands to Saanich on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The hamsterball races are one of the highlights of the Cadboro Bay Festival.

The hamsterball races are one of the highlights of the Cadboro Bay Festival.

Some might come for the music, some for the food and some for the amazing sand creations, but Gyro Park itself is always the real star of the Cadboro Bay Festival.

The event has always kind of showcased Gyro Park. The location is probably our feature park within Saanich,” Saanich special events co-ordinator Rob Phillips.

He said many families might not have had a chance to check out the playground since it underwent some major renovations.

“The playground is one of the highlights of the park on any given day,” said Phillips.

But Gyro Park and the playground won’t be the only attractions along the shores of Cadboro Bay for Sunday’s festival running from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“There’s A whole range of different inflatables that kids love to do. We’ve got the giant hamster balls which are really popular,” said Phillips. “The hand drum rhythm workshops, that’s a really popular one. And then we’ve got information displays from CRD and Swan Lake and lots of great hands-on stuff for the kids.”

A wide range of food vendors promises something to suit every taste, and music will fill the air throughout the afternoon will entertainment provided by Russell in the Bushes, Cookeilidh, and Backbeat Entertainment. Along with the creations by the professional sand sculptors, there will also be an area for the kids to create their own sand sculptures.

“This is an event that we’re continuing to grow the size and scale of,” said Phillips. “Our goal one day is to be a world-class event where we’re drawing people from all over the world to do the sculptures. Right now we’re kind of sandwiched in between Parksville and the world championships, which has typically been in September. We’re trying to give our local artists a chance to keep their skills up.”

He says the festival is something that many residents look forward to, and he expects to see crowds of up to 4,000 on Sunday.

“It’s somewhere people go as part of their regular routine, but then to have all of these other activities going on that are all free, makes it that much more of a destination.”

The thousands expected at Sunday’s festival puts parking at a premium.

“The main parking lot will be the grass area off of Penrhyn Street. Once that fills up, usually by 1-2 p.m., then the shuttle bus is starting to get used,” said Phillips.

The shuttle bus will run from noon to 4 p.m. between Gyro Park and lot 5 at the University of Victoria.