Top from left Evan Parachoniak

Top from left Evan Parachoniak

Thousands anchor at Ladysmith Maritime Festival



More than 6,000 people came out to unleash their inner pirate at the seventh annual Ladysmith Maritime Festival last weekend.Participants took part in a variety of family activities including treasure hunts, harbour tours, crafts, face painting, hay rides, musical and drama performances and vendors.And for the first time ever, selected community residents were made to ‘Walk the Plank’ into the cold waters of the Ladysmith Harbour to raise money for the chamber of commerce.Ladysmith Pirate and festival organizer Cliff Fisher was thrilled to see the turnout.“Seeing all those kids coming to the festival, dressed up as pirates, along with the big smiles on everyone’s faces, makes all the preparation well worth while,” Fisher said.Young maritime enthusiast Evan Parachoniak, 7, who has built a boat in his own backyard was one of many kids on board and thrilled to be among other scurvy sea-loving scoundrels. Fisher said the days leading up to the festival were a flurry of activity.“On Thursday, I still did not know the site would be ready, as we had remnants from all the construction of the new ramp, landing approach and new docks being installed, still needing cleaned up,” Fisher said. “With the help of many community volunteers, Ladysmith Yacht Club members, Maritime Society members and city staff, by Friday afternoon, the Festival site and road access were ready to go, all nicely graded, lawns cut and trimmed, giving festival attendees our best look for the community marina waterfront.”Fisher gave special thanks to Rob Hutchins, Duck Paterson and Steve Arnett among many volunteers, who helped put up tables and chairs first thing Saturday and were right there Sunday evening to take them down, helping to reduce the workload for some pretty tired volunteers.