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Seafest 44 plans a sunfest June 11 to 13 in Prince Rupert

All events in festival are COVID-19 safe, social distancing and health protocols approved by N.H.A.

Seafest 2021 will be sending Prince Rupert and area into a sunfest from June 11 to 13 with the 44th annual celebration. The ‘Here Comes the Sun’ themed frivolity is organized to draw people to the outdoors and activities.

While last year’s Seafest 2020 was presented in a televised virtual parade, the 2021 version has made dramatic changes to its format to enable families and friends to get into the outdoors and celebrate the sun and their community surroundings.

All activities on the Seafest schedule have been vetted and approved by Northern Health for social distancing and COVID-19 requirements. The lineup plans have been specifically arranged to accommodate the challenges of the pandemic and keep everyone safe, Alex Hoogendorn of the Prince Rupert Special Events Society, said. The Seafest committee will even be handing out a limited number of coveted Seafest 2021 masks.

“Everything is all in line with Northern Health public safety protocols. With the health authority’s approval and the changes we’ve made this year we can have a great Seafest without incurring any extra risk,” the V.P. of PRSES said.

The popular annual Seniors Tea will be served in a different cup this year. ‘Seniors Tea Cheer Boxes’ are being brewed up by the Better At Home program in partnership with Seafest and will be given away at no cost to those who register for the box of goodies. To register for the free boxes phone: 250-624-9118 or email: Pick up will be from the Lester Centre or delivery may be arranged in some circumstances.

“Another one of the keys changes to allow for health and safety is there will be no parade as none of the featured activities will draw large crowds.”

“The whole point is to get outside and see each other,” Hoogendorn said.

“There will be a lot of social media components, some with email, so participants should read the instructions for proper steps to follow,”.

There will be a ‘Selfie Scavenger Hunt’, with clues to local landmarks for answers to be posted on social media - everyone will be entered to win prizes. Hiking Trail Bingo will be fun for the family and an opportunity for more selfies along the trail. A home, business, and vehicle decorating contest will brighten up the town with the “Here Comes the Sun’ theme.

During the fun-filled days ‘Sunshine Take-out’ will keep everyone energized as Redneck Kitchen and Global Fusion will be in town to keep tummies full and participants on the go.

As encouragement for Sunfest goers to support local, residents who drop off their takeaway receipts dated from the 11 to 13 from any food establishment in the city, to the Port Interpretive Centre where will be entered into a prize draw to win the amount on the specific receipt.

With or without the real supernova shining in the sky to give good weather, Hoogedorn said Seafest this year is promoting optimism and happiness.

“The theme and thought process is synergistic with what the city is doing with Participation by supporting people to get outside and be active,” Hoogendorn said.

“I think there should have been club music playing at the vaccination clinics because it was so awesome seeing each other, Hoogendorn said. “We want this same feeling and energy to carry through to the trails, the scavenger hunts, and the decorating contest.’

As the community emerges from the darkness of COVID and comes together in the light of the sun, Sunfest also wants to recognize businesses in hard-hit industries, he said.

Seafest is encouraging businesses to have ‘Seafest Specials’. The committee V.P. said that larger businesses in the city are coming together to support small businesses that may have been victim to industry struggles during the pandemic. All sponsorship money being donated is being returned to local businesses in the amount of $8,000 by the purchases of gift certificates and gift cards for draws and prizes.

“It’s positive and strong,” Hoogedorn said. “It is community supporting community.”

READ MORE: Seafest is launching in June

K-J Millar | Journalist
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Let the sunshine down on Seafest from June 11 to 13 in Prince Rupert. A scavenger hunt, bingo, food trucks and a decorating contest will all be part of the COVID-19 friendly activities. Caleb Hoogendorn and Alex Hoogendorn start sharing the sun with making their decorating talents on June 4. (Photo: K0J Millar/The Northern View)