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Oak Bay reignites community bonfire this Halloween

Oct. 31 bonfire is back with snacks, costume contests and firefighting equipment to try out
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Children line up to help Oak Bay firefighter Cody Brown manage a large Halloween bonfire at Fireman’s Park in 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)

With an eye on the weather, a team in Oak Bay prepares for the return of the annual Halloween bonfire near Firefighter’s Park.

Public works, parks, police and the fire department work alongside each other and the Kiwanis Club of Oak Bay to bring the family-friendly event to life.

“It’s really a big team effort and it’s impressive to see everyone work together, everyone wants to see this be a success,” said firefighter Kris Malinosky, one of the main organizers for 2022.

With record-breaking dry spells, embers can be a concern, and organizers hope for a spell of rain ahead of the Oct. 31 event, which this year features another environmental twist.

READ ALSO: Hot, dry conditions expected to continue as dozens of B.C. temperature records set

In the ever-evolving community bonfire, clean wood is the way to go this year.

Kiwanian and former fire chief Gerry Adam recalled the past when the community contributed to the pile, leaving surprises in the rubble the next morning. Years ago, organizers shifted to burning wood only, with pallets brought in for the fire.

This year, it’s all clean wood, Malinosky said, noting pallets at times have oils and other products on them.

Firefighters again will have the hoses out for folks to have a spray and the Kiwanis are preparing hundreds of hot dogs. Adam figures about 600 of them.

The Kiwanis team puts together a costume parade – with prizes in categories for young, middle and older kids – then folks filter through the adjacent scout hall, where they expect to hand out about 600 hot dogs alongside popcorn and soft drinks. Adam said he hasn’t heard much feedback yet, as folks may not yet be aware.

“It’s a great community event that has been shut down for the past couple of years obviously,” he said.

The bonfire starts Oct. 31 at 6 p.m. in the parking lot at 1703 Monterey Ave. with the costume parades and treats following.

“We’re excited because it’s a great community event that a lot of people come to and we’re glad it’s back,” Malinosky added.

c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca


 

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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