Sooke celebrated red, white and pride on Canada Day, despite lower than anticipated numbers at the annual celebration.
Organizers say about 1,500 took in Canada Day festivities at Sooke Flats last Wednesday, down almost half from previous years.
The reasons? The cancellation of two major events, hot weather and the national holiday landing mid-week.
“Overall it went quite well,” said Lorne Christensen, co-chair of the Sooke Canada Day celebration committee. “People seemed to enjoy themselves, but it was very, very hot.”
In mid-afternoon, the temperature soared to 34 C.
“People were disappointed. There were people who came to the main gate and saw the [cancellation] sign and turned around and left,” Christensen said.
The fireworks were cancelled after Sooke fire department declined the permit, citing extremely dry conditions.
Organizers of the West Coast Lumberjacks show bailed due to a medical emergency.
Local band the Kicks stepped in at the last minute and was well received, as was night-time entertainment of Virtual Elvis and the British Invasion.
Despite all the unforeseen problems with this year’s celebration, Christensen said the committee hopes to make next year’s celebration bigger and better.
“We’ll keep plugging away,” he said.