It’s a time-honoured tradition, but Gary Kingston is hoping to spark new life in the North Delta Family Day celebration.
On June 24, the annual parade will make its way through the social heart of North Delta, before ending at North Delta Community Park for a day of family-friendly festivities. Although it’s been a popular event for Deltans for 51 years, “it has kind of got a bit stale in the last few years,” Kingston, North Delta Lions Club member and event chair, said.
“It needs some rejuvenation,” he said.
When the parade used to be held in Annieville, Kingston said, it had a bit more of a “community feel to it.”
“I think there’s still room for a small-town community feel if we can get it and continue to maintain that,” he said. Family Day is one way he thinks North Delta can make that happen.
To do it, Kingston is making some changes to the activities at the festival. He’s hoping to get some mountain bikers to do a demonstration at the new North Delta bike pump track, located just behind the boys and girls club on 84th Avenue, and is bringing in bouncy castles for kids and teens.
Kingston is also planning changes to the stage show. So far, he has hired a hypnotist for the main act and is hoping to bring in some bhangra dancers to showcase some of Delta’s cultural diversity.
But one of the things Kingston is truly excited for is the dunk tank, where attendees can take a shot at someone sitting above a pool of water.
“I asked around and said, ‘Have we ever had a dunk tank before?’ And they said, ‘No. We’ve never had a hypnotist before, we’ve never had a dunk tank’,” he said.
“Suddenly hit me after I arranged it that now I’ve got to fill it,” he continued. “And I don’t think I can fill it with Lions for [four hours].” (The half of the active members of the North Delta Lions are 75 and older.)
Now, Kingston is making an appeal to community leaders, coaches and principals to brave the water for 15 minutes.
“I’m sure there’s people that the public would love to be able to take a shot at in the dunk tank,” he said.
Anyone interested in spending time in the dunk tank, or working as a volunteer during the event, is asked to contact Kingston at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the North Delta Lions through their website at northdeltalions.org.
Reporter’s note: Editor James Smith has expressed a reluctance to take a shift in the dunk tank. If any of our readers are interested in dunking him, please send a quick note to email@example.com to share your thoughts.