With May now in full swing, the community of Prince Rupert is just weeks away from the annual Seafest celebration, which this year will pay tribute to the Coast Guard on its 50th anniversary.
“Our actual anniversary was in January, but it is a year-long celebration…For us to be acknowledged and work along the Seafest organizers is huge. We know all the hard work they put into this event, and hopefully they see that hard work reflected in the Coast Guard,” said Art Statham, Officer in Charge for Prince Rupert, noting that the local Coast Guard has also been around for 50 years.
The theme for this year’s Seafest is “Salute to the Coast Guard”, and Statham said the organization has some big plans for the June 7-10 event.
“The Assistant Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard is going to be here, which is a big thing….She’s going to be flying in Thursday and staying through Sunday, and to have her be in one place for that amount of time is rare,” he said, with Bev Killbery of the Prince Rupert Special Events Society noting that the Assistant Commissioner will be the parade marshal this year.
“We’re trying to get a large Coast Guard ship in for public tours, and there will also be two Navy ships here for tours as well…We’re also looking at new initiatives and make what we had last year a bit bigger.”
According to Killbery, plans for the celebration are coming along well and there is a lot of interest for the different activities being carried out.
The Coast Guard employs 70 people in Prince Rupert, with over 4,000 people employed across the country who cover the waters around Canada 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.
“This is your Coast Guard and your Seafest, so please enjoy it,” added Statham.
The community of Prince Rupert has celebrated Seafest annually since 1978, making this years’ celebrations the 34th annual.
The weekend will be packed full of activities, food booths, and entertainment in various locations around the community, including the quick and daring races, sailpast, 3 on 3 basketball, soap box derby, etc.