Everyone I spoke to commented that it was a perfect day – sunny and warm but not too hot – and a breeze helped. And it seemed that many people agreed since the beach was packed and the Downtown Sidewalk sale was busy – at least one vendor said it was the best yet. The point of these events is to boost downtown business so we’d hope they did well. I’d guess that we had more visitors than even the Waterfront festival. The Sidewalk sale was a four day event – Thursday to Sunday on King between Division and Spring; the Sandcastle competition was only Saturday – so I checked the event out on Saturday, around noon. I’m glad I could walk to King Street and the beach since parking was at a premium – a lot of people did a lot of walking.
Below are some photos and a video to give some idea of the crowds. The video is about 10 minutes and the photos add some highlights. In the video, look for Mayor John Henderson at about the 1 minute mark.
It’s not apparent that the Town was 100% ready for the number of people who came. There were lineups for food, icecream and washrooms – but unlike the Waterfront festival, no extra washrooms were provided. However, the Police were organized. Auxiliary and Special police were on patrol on Segways – I counted three of them (Segways that is – there were more officers).
The kids got special attention – there were attractions not only on King Street (see the video) but also in Victoria Park – which was crowded with overflow from the beach. Unlike 2017, the Lake level was not a problem – the beach looked to be at its full width. I thought there were fewer amateur sandcastle competitors and the professional entries were not as impressive. The most photographed was the one above right.