The District of Sooke is marking its 20th anniversary and the Sooke News Mirror, in conjunction with the municipality, is throwing a party to celebrate.
On Aug. 17, John Phillips Memorial Park will host an old-fashioned community picnic.
The event is family-friendly and will feature local performers on the event stage. In addition, don’t be surprised if you run across the odd busker on the picnic grounds – singing, juggling, doing magic and otherwise having fun.
For the kids, there will be bouncy castles, face painting, balloon art and arts and crafts, and nestled amongst the trees, the wee ones will discover Story Corner. That’s the place where they can hear their favourite fairy tales told by one of the region’s best storytellers.
Local artists will also be on hand, along with some of Sooke’s finest classic cars.
Local First Nations have also been invited to the celebration, representing the long-standing relationships between First Nations and the community of Sooke.
Of course, there’ll be food with local vendors supplying a variety of typical picnic treats, and maybe some regional fare to round out the experience.
The celebration will happen between noon and dusk when the District of Sooke will step in to feature an outdoor movie presentation to round out the night.
As well, Mayor Maja Tait will host a rock painting stop at the picnic where young and old alike will have the opportunity to paint rocks that will become part of a larger community display.
There will also be a large boulder on site and the community will be invited to add their artistic touches to a part of that rock, which will remain at the park as a reminder of the 2o-year celebration.
“It’s going to be great fun, and a way of adding a little bit of ourselves to a remembrance of the celebration,” Tait said.
Rod Sluggett, the publisher of the Sooke News Mirror, is thrilled to give back to the community.
“The Mirror is a big part of Sooke since 1972, and I can’t think of a better way to help Sooke celebrate,” Sluggett said.
“I remember being here 20 years ago when we featured stories about all the various aspects of the incorporation. When the election took place and the three candidates for mayor came forward, along with a whopping 22 candidates for that first Council, we were there to cover it. It was an exciting time for the community.”
Sluggett has invited anyone who wants to be a part of the picnic to contact the Sooke News Mirror’s offices at 250-642-5752 to let them know what they’d like to add to the event.
“The more the merrier,” he said, stressing that the goal is to get as broad a representation of Sooke’s talents and interests as possible.