Boats galore at Ships to Shore

The Royal Canadian Navy will  battle a pirate uprising at Ships To Shore Steveston June 29-July 1. - Jennifer Strang
The Royal Canadian Navy will battle a pirate uprising at Ships To Shore Steveston June 29-July 1.
— image credit: Jennifer Strang

You won’t have to wait until Canada Day to get into the swing of Steveston.

Ships to Shore starts Sunday, June 29, and will feature the fishing village’s rich maritime history, with a healthy dose of adventure and fun designed with the entire family in mind.

The annual free event runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday and Monday, June 30, and then from noon to 6 p.m. on Canada’s birthday, Tuesday, July 1.

More than a dozen historic and unique vessels, from classically-masted tall ships to modern navy vessels will be docked at Imperial Landing and Britannia Heritage Shipyards National Historic Site—the latter celebrating its 125th anniversary—and will allow free boarding.

The event will then be capped off with a fireworks display that begins at 10:15 p.m. and will be viewable from anywhere along the Steveston Channel waterfront.

Among the ships visiting this year are the colourful HMCS Oriole, a tall ship with the distinction of being the longest-serving commissioned vessel in the Royal Canadian Navy. The Oriole will be joined by two of the navy’s Orca-class patrol ships and the historic schooners Adventuress and Zodiac.

The navy’s Jolly Tars, a combo featuring saxophone, flugelhorn and a rhythm section, will perform a mix of jazz and light pop tunes on Sunday, June 29 and Monday, June 30 from noon to 1 p.m. and from 2 to 3 p.m. each day. They will be situated near Imperial Landing on the Steveston waterfront.

A band of pirates will be roving through the festival, entertaining crowds with their roguish antics.

The Mini-Brigs, a popular miniature pirate ship with just enough space to accommodate a burly pirate, will be puttering around the waterfront too.

Steveston Village will be at the centre of the 69th annual Steveston Salmon Festival, which will see a parade, children’s festival, some fabulous entertainment, a food fair, a car show and the festival’s signature salmon barbecue.

Both the Britannia Shipyards and the Gulf of Georgia cannery are set to be open to the public during the entire weekend.

Parking in Steveston is always a struggle on Canada Day.

Visitors are instead urged to take public transit, to cycle or walk to avoid the traffic and minimize parking congestion. A free shuttle service will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Canada Day, leaving from the City Operations Yard at 5599 Lynas Lane, and picking up/dropping off at Railway, Moncton and Britannia Shipyards.

Parking will remain free at the City of Richmond’s operations yard.

•For more information about Ships to Shore, visit www.richmond/ca/shipstoshore.

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