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Beachfest sculpts a sunny, sandy summer of fun in Parksville!

Sand sculpting competition kicks off 5+ weeks of fun July 12
Want to learn about how the professionals create their sand sculptures? All-ages public sessions are scheduled July 13 and 14 as part of Parksville Beachfest. Photo courtesy Parksville Beachfest

Vancouver Island’s favourite summer festival returns to Parksville’s Community Park and beach this July and August!

For 5 1/2 weeks, July 12 to Aug. 18, Parksville Beachfest celebrates the best of summer, with a legendary sand sculpture competition, equally legendary musical performances, plus art, kids’ activities and lots of fun in the sun.

The fun kicks off with the Quality Foods Sand Sculpting Competition July 12 to 14.

This year, rather than working to a specific theme, 29 sculptors from around the world will bring their own vision to life as they compete for both bragging rights and prize money. “We’re incredibly excited about the limitless possibilities this approach offers,” says Beachfest Event Manager Wendy Sears.

The Quality Foods Sand Sculpting Competition begins July 12, kicking off 5+ weeks of the Parksville Beachfest. Photo courtesy Parksville Beachfest

The competition opens to the public Friday, July 12 at 2 p.m. with the exhibition continuing daily from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. through Aug. 18. Admission is by suggested donation of $5 per person (cash, debit, Visa and MasterCard accepted).

Want to try your hand at sand sculpting? Learn techniques used by the professionals! Parksville Canadian Tire has sponsored two professional sculptors to work with the public July 13 and 14 in all-ages sessions exploring how to create a “proper” sand sculpture from scratch.

Sculptures won’t be the only art on display. Art in the Park returns July 20 and 21, showcasing 60+ talented local artisans and vendors at Parksville Community Park.

And as a special treat to close the festival, the Sand Sculpture Exhibition will remain open until 11 p.m. Aug. 16 and 17. Sponsored by Coastal Community Credit Union, night illumination highlights the sculptures in a wonderfully unique way.

Bring your dancing shoes

Because summer was made for music, festival-goers have a full line-up of performances to choose from, beginning with the Footprints Security Opening Weekend Concert featuring Trooper, with opening band The Soul Shakers. Sure to sell out, enjoy a night of musical mastery with this iconic band that continues to hold the hearts of music lovers.

The Tim Hortons Summer Concert Series showcases free performances at the Parksville Outdoor Theatre July 19, 20, 26, 27 and Aug. 2, 3, 16 and 17. Photo courtesy Parksville Beachfest

The Parksville Outdoor Theatre in the Community Park will be rocking with the Tim Hortons Summer Concert Series – live performances, mainly from Vancouver Island musicians, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. July 19, 20, 26, 27 and Aug. 2, 3, 16 and 17. Bring a blanket or chair and enjoy FREE entertainment. Dancing is encouraged!

Other programmed entertainment includes the Party City Buskers in the Boardwalk Gazebo from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. daily, July 15 to Aug. 18.

Also back to full applause is the Mid Island Co-op Rock the Park Music Festival at the Parksville Outdoor Theatre Aug. 9 to 11. Featuring world-class tribute bands, plus performances by perennial favourites this is a summer must.

And finally, on Aug. 18, experience live orchestral music from the Vancouver Island Symphony brought to you by Carol Riera, PREC, RE/MAX Anchor Realty.

Purchase tickets for Trooper, Rock the Park and the symphony online or in person at the MacMillan Arts Centre, 133 McMillan St.

Other events in Parksville Community Park during Beachfest include the Quality Foods Festival of Lights Aug. 17, and the Quality Foods Children’s Sandcastle Competition Aug. 18.

For all the details visit