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Steveston Salmon Festival begins with Bullhead Derby

Don Fennell   Jun-04-2018

The Bullhead Derby for kids 12 and under and seniors 65 plus on June 24 is a prelude to Canada Day Steveston Salmon Festival celebrations.

Photo by Chung Chow

Fishing is one of those time-honoured traditions that celebrates the special bond between generations. This June 24 will present another opportunity to go angling but with a catch—it’s only open to children aged 12 and under and seniors 65-plus. So it’s grandparents and the grandkids.

Hosted by the Richmond Golden Rods and Reels Society each year, on the Sunday prior to the Canada Day Steveston Salmon Festival, the Bullhead Derby is two hours of time well spent. The actual fishing caught may be relatively small, but the smiles on the faces of the anglers is immeasurable.


“Just seeing the expressions on the faces is magic,” event co-ordinator John Wells told The Richmond Sentinel last year.

Wells has volunteered with the society for 20 years, and describes the derby as truly reflecting the “family atmosphere.”

This year’s 29th annual Bullhead Derby, as previously, is being supported by Pajo’s, Pacific Net Twine, White Spot and the City of Richmond. The derby at Garry Point Park begins with registration at 9 a.m. and competition from 10 to noon. Bring your own fishing gear, barbless hooks and bucket. Entry is free and there will be plenty of prizes.

The 73rd annual Steveston Salmon Festival on July 1 begins with the always-popular parade at 10 a.m. New for 2018, the children’s festival is being relocated to the baseball diamond behind the RCMP community office.

There will be plenty more to take in throughout the day, from a flower and garden show to a car show, martial arts demonstration to mouth-watering wild salmon barbecue, the Japanese Cultural Show to the artisans gallery, and plenty of food to temp to tastebuds. And don’t miss the live music including The Boom Booms, Line 49, Urban Myth, Scotty Hills and icon Canadian rock band Honeymoon Suite which is set to take the stage at 5 p.m.

“We are so excited this year to once again offer our licensed Spirit of Steveston Zone in the Easthope parking lot that will include a fantastic array of music, and several food truck choices,” said festival co-chair Kirstine Dickson. “Salmon Festival will also have all the traditional favourites, including a pancake breakfast, chow mein and of course our famous salmon bake that sells out every year.”

The children’s festival will include inflatables and mini carnival games, face painters, clowns and other fun activities. Steveston’s own Charlotte Diamond and the Hug Bug Band will take to the stage at 2 p.m. for another unforgettable concert.

Canada Day in Steveston begins early, with the pancake breakfast at 6:30 a.m. and the kids’ bike parade at 9:30 a.m. The big Canada Day Parade beginning at 10 a.m. will again feature the customary marching bands, decorated vehicles, community groups and plenty of pirates. The award-winning Spirit of Steveston float with Sammy the Salmon on board is another must-see.

A spectacular fireworks finale over the Fraser River will cap the day.

A reminder that parking in Steveston is limited and road closures will be place throughout the day on July 1. Festival-goers are encouraged to take transit, cycle or walk to the celebrations. Shuttle service will also be available from city hall to Britannia Shipyard starting at 8:30 a.m. until to 11 p.m. and from Lord Byng elementary to the Gulf of Georgia Cannery from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m., courtesy of Richmond Auto Mall.

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