With the LEAD committee hard at work in Lake Cowichan preparing festivities to entertain the anticipated onslaught of Sunfest visitors, it’s easy to forget that the other communities around Cowichan Lake will also be inundated with festival-goers taking a break from Laketown Ranch during the day, until the concerts recommence after 4 p.m.
The Youbou Community Association is preparing itself in much the same way LEAD has, with a day of activities planned. They’ve dubbed it West of Sunfest.
“We’re planning a one-day venue on Saturday, July 30,” said Kim Ring, the association’s communications director. “We’re starting our festivities off with [a] pancake breakfast [at the Youbou Community Hall]. In the meantime, in the upper part of the hall, we’re planning to have vendor tables if they have anything they want to sell or little games or whatever.”
The pancake breakfast with be provided by the Youbou Community of Peace and run from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Meanwhile, the market-style vendor area will open at 10 a.m. and run all day. Ring said first preference will be given to Youbou residents when offering tables, but added she did not think space would be an issue.
Lunch will be available at Cassy’s Coffee House, Youbou Lanes will be open to the public and the YCA is going to have a beer garden at the community hall with a stage and musical performances.
Ring said her group needs volunteers and lots of them.
“Sunfest has asked us to have a greeting committee at the community hall because they will be busing people from about 10:30 in the morning to about 4:30 in the afternoon,” she said.
“So we’re going to provide hopefully a tent and some brochures and signage, maybe a map we can give people. But we’re really going to need people who can man that for us.”
Ring said the West of Sunfest committee is also planning to make 30 more-or-less life-sized mannequins of musical legends from Elvis to Cher to Tina Turner. (They already have one made of Carrie Underwood.) These dolls will feature wayfinding signs for tourists.
The Youbou Community Church will be open to the public with some historical photos on display. The YCA has not scheduled any activities for Arbutus Park, which it anticipates will be swamped with visitors. But the group plans to be on site to sell drinks, cotton candy and popcorn.
All money raised will go towards YCA activities, said Ring.
“We are hoping this year to start providing programs monthly out of the Youbou Hall… A movie night, a games night, crafts night, potluck suppers,” she said. “If we can raise enough money from Sunfest, that will give a little cushion to get all those events started.”
Ring attended early public meetings about Sunfest in Youbou and Lake Cowichan last year.
“I think it’s fairly safe to say Youbou was more supportive of Sunfest than Lake Cowichan was,” she said.
“Maybe those [in Youbou] that were less positive have accepted that it is going to happen and are looking at ways for us to financially benefit from Sunfest. I think the feeling here in Youbou, if I were to say is it positive or is it negative, I would say it’s positive.”