Steveston onside with World Cup

 Buck and Ear Bar and Grill manager Gennesse Langdon invites locals to watch the action as the 2014 World Cup begins Thursday. - Martin van den Hemel photo
Buck and Ear Bar and Grill manager Gennesse Langdon invites locals to watch the action as the 2014 World Cup begins Thursday.
— image credit: Martin van den Hemel photo

The World Cup kicks off tomorrow in Brazil, but the anticipation is far from limited to the South American nation.

All around the planet, soccer fever is escalating. For the next month, 32 countries will play off for a shot at the 2014 title in the biggest sporting spectacle on earth.

Though Canada won’t be fielding a team in this year’s event, there will be no shortage of community spirit and cultural pride on display. It will be particularly abundant in Steveston, where from June 12 to July 13 the village is being transformed into a cornucopia of colours as shops adopt a participating country.

“I’m so proud, it’s amazing what we have done,” says Davood Khatami, owner of Bean & Beyond Cafe.

It was his vision to create a village-wide cultural celebration, an idea that originated six months ago. With the encouragement and support of his friend Alan Clark (vice-president of the Steveston Community Society), Khatami made it happen—though he credits his wife for being “the brains behind it.”

After some initial uncertainty, shopkeepers soon saw the benefits of participating. Soon the 32 businesses needed had signed on. By random draw, each of the shops were then designated “pavilions” for one of the 32 nations entered in the World Cup. Each will be displaying the flag of that country and will be doing something special on a designated “national day.”

“It’s all about having fun,” said Khatami, who cobbled together a similar venture around the Euro Cup in 2012.

“We put TVs around the place and got a good response. It was then I realized there are so many people who love soccer in Steveston but never show it. So I promised myself that for the next World Cup I would try to do something even bigger.”

D Original Sausage Haus has the honour of hosting the first national day—Germany Day—on Thursday, June 12. A street barbecue is planned from noon to 4 p.m. outside of the First Avenue store, which will also show the opening match of the World Cup between host Brazil and Croatia at 1 p.m. There will also be live German music from 2 to 4 p.m. Then beginning at 6 p.m., the action shifts to O’Hares Gastropub for an opening night party where the barbecue and music will continue and 11 steins of German beer will be on tap. Tickets are available on site for $18 each.

On the final two days of the World Cup, July 12 and 13, Steveston Park will become the centre of fun, with a number of special activities and promotions planned.

One will allow visitors to have their photo taken with a replica of the tournament trophy, with all voluntary donations going to support the Rick Hansen Foundation to fund local projects in the Richmond/Steveston area. Rick Hansen himself is expected to be on hand for the final, which will be played at noon Pacific Time.

The Army, Navy and Airforce Unit 284 will also be host for the final two days.

A limited number of 300 tickets will be sold over the final two days for a grand prize of a return trip for two within B.C. courtesy of Pacific Coastal Airlines.


World Cup National Days

June 12—Germany Day (D Original Sausage Haus)

June 13—Iran Day (Bean & Beyond Cafe-Bistro)

June 14—England Day (Steveston Barbers)

June 15—Portugal Day (Hog Shack)

June 16—Brazil Day (Buck and Ear)

June 17—Russia Day (Candy Dish and Steveston Museum)

June 18—Ghana Day (Steveston Community Centre)

June 19—Algeria Day (Britannia Shipyards)

June 20—Belgium Day (Damian’s Belgian Waffle Factory)

June 21—Honduras Day (Meow and Bark Avenue)

June 22—Australia Day (Bell’s Bake Shop)

June 23—USA Day (Steveston Village Maternity)

June 24—Japan Day (Steveston Pizza)

June 25—Switzerland Day (A Monkey Tree)

June 26—Croatia Day (Heringers)

June 27—Chile Day (Steveston Seafood House)

June 28—Italy Day (Village Books)

June 29—Greece Day (Sweet Spot)

June 30—Ecuador Day (Gulf of Georgia Cannery)

July 2—Nigeria (ANAF 284)

July 3—France (Cannery Cafe)

July 4—Mexico (Bare Basics Lingerie)

July 5—Uruguay Day (Prickly Pear Garden Centre)

July 6—Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cameroon (Shady Island)

July 7—Korea (Pharmasave)

July 8—Spain (Best Dressed by C.)

July 9—Argentina (Village Bikes)

July 10—Netherlands and Ivory Coast (Blue Canoe)

July 11—Colombia and Costa Rica (Phoenix Art Workshop)


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