Maritime festival ready to dock

Arrr, matey. Hoist the main sail and set course for Ladysmith for the sixth annual Ladysmith Maritime Festival.

The party will cast off Friday, May 27 starting with the Pirate Parade through downtown Ladysmith at 11 a.m.

Dave Ehrismann, executive director for the Maritime Society, said the festival is not just a celebration of the society, but of the whole community.

The festival has been extremely well-received by many community groups including the chamber of commerce, which is holding a Walk the Plank fundraiser, and the Ladysmith Downtown Business Association, which is holding the pirate parade and treasure hunt downtown.

Service groups such as the Rotary Club, Kinsmen and Lions have also jumped onboard to support the festival.

The festival has been progressing and growing over the years.

“It started as an open house and is now a two-day, full event.”

There will also be a trolley taking people from the festival to the downtown.

Ehrismann said there is something for everyone at the festival and one of the biggest draws are the heritage boats.

“We are excited with the lineup of classic wooden boats. Many are travelling a great distance to be with us.”

There are some new additions this year including a dinner and dance and First Nation story telling.

“It’s a free, family, fun-filled festival.”

Also new this year is the chamber of commerce’s Walk the Plank fundraiser. People can pledge one, or all, of the local bosses involved to walk the plank into the harbour to raise money for the new visitor centre at the train station. People taking the dip include Rob Waters, chamber president, Rob Hutchins, Ladysmith Mayor, Matt Peterson, Chronicle editor, Jill Dashwood, Island Realty and Peter Richmond from 49th Parallel Grocery.

You can pledge at the individual businesses or at the chamber of commerce. For more information on the festival, please look for your festival guide in this paper, at the Chronicle or at the Maritime Society.