The Ultimate Guide to the White Rock Sea Festival

White Rock Sea Festival and Semiahmoo Days 2018 and White Rock has a fantastic line up of events and festivals but there is one do not miss event of the summer and that is the White Rock Sea Festival which takes place annually on the August long weekend!

The White Rock Sea Festival is one of Canada’s longest-running festivals with events spanning the entire length of White Rock beach from west beach to east beach. The Festival also coincides with Semiahmoo Days, the Semiahmoo First Nation’s annual festival taking place in Semiahmoo Park.

To make getting to the Sea Festival as easy as possible there are a number of free transportation options including:

  • Free trolley will be running from Centennial Arena to west beach every 30 minutes. Parking at Centennial is $2 for the entire day and the trolley is accessible for everyone including strollers and is FREE to ride!
    • 10 am – 11:30 pm on Saturday and Sunday
    • 7 pm – 11:30 pm on  Friday, Aug. 3.
  • Free waterfront shuttle will be running Friday – Sunday until 10:30 pm.
  • A designated drop off zone has been created next to Feral Boardsports at 15626 Marine Dr (east beach) so families & gear can be dropped off.
  • LOTS of parking will be available in the Semiahmoo First Nation lot which is only $7 for the day

Here’s the full scoop on what to expect at the White Rock Sea Festival for 2018!

Friday, August 3rd , 2018 White Rock Sea Festival

White Rock South Surrey Outdoor Movies
Watch Avengers: Infinity War outdoors in Semiahmoo Park Fri. Aug 3 at dusk.

The White Rock Sea Festival kicks off on Friday, August 3rd with a free outdoor movie in Semiahmoo Park. Fresh Air Cinema will be setting up their massive inflatable screens and airing Avengers: Infinity War at dusk, around 8:30 pm. Grab your lawn chairs and blankets to secure a spot on the lawn before hitting up the snack bar for classic movie eats.

Saturday, August 4th, 2018 White Rock Sea Festival

Captain Korki's pirate parade at the White Rock Sea festival
Capt’n Korki’s Pirate Parade marches to the opening of Pirates in the Park in Semiahmoo Park.

The first full day of the Sea Festival starts on Saturday with a fantastic line up of activities and entertainment. Highlights for Saturday include live music on the east beach main stage set up in the parking lot next to Totem Park on east beach (across from Moby Dick’s) featuring headliners the American Woman Show at 8:30 pm, the Chinese Lantern Walk along the pier at 8:30 pm and the fireworks at 10:00 pm setting off just east of the White Rock.

Kickstart your Saturday morning at the Sea Festival with free outdoor exercise at the White Rock:

  • 8:00 am – 9:00 am: Yoga with live music
  • 9:00 am – 10:00 am: Zumba

East Beach Activities for Saturday, August 4th: 

  • 10:00am – 4:00pm: Family / Kids Volleyball on east beach
  • 10:00 am – 4:00 pm: BC Kite Fliers Association Kite Making on east beach
  • 10:00 am – 4:00 pm: Quad Kite Flying demonstration on east beach
  • 11:00 am – 2:00 pm: White Rock Skim Boarding demonstration on east beach
  • 12:00pm – 9:00pm: Main Stage Entertainment
    • 12:00 pm Sami Ghawi
    • 1:00 pm Opening ceremonies
    • 1:30 pm Aaron Skepasts Band
    • 2:00 pm Curtis Heimberger
    • 3:00 pm Madison Bell
    • 4:00 pm Richard Tichelman
    • 5:00 pm White Rock Blues Society tribute to Jason Buie
    • 6:00 pm Heidi McCurdy
    • 7:00 pm Coldwater and the Bootleggers
    • 8:30 pm American Woman Show

Semiahmoo Days will be taking place in Semiahmoo Park and is the perfect spot for families with young children thanks to Capt’n Korki’s Pirate’s in the Park children’s festival which includes bouncy castles, face painting, trampolines and a petting zoo!

Semiahmoo Park activities for Saturday, August 4th:

  • 10:30 am: Capt’n Korki’s Pirate Parade
    • Families are invited to dress up in their best pirate gear and to meet at Totem Park for 10:30 am to join in on a parade to Semiahmoo Park for the opening of Pirates in the Park children’s festival at 11 am!
  • 11:00 am – 4:00 pm: Pirates in the Park Children’s Festival in Semiahmoo Park
  • 11:00 am – 7:00 pm: Spirit Stage Entertainment in Semiahmoo Park
  • 12:00 pm – 5:30 pm: Semiahmoo First Nation Traditional Salmon BBQ in Semiahmoo Park

Sunday, August 5th, 2018 White Rock Sea Festival

Annual Torchlight Parade at the White Rock Sea festival
Find a spot along Marine Dr for the annual Torchlight Parade starting at 8:15.

The final day of the Sea Festival is another full day of activities with highlights including the Westcoaster’s Daze car show in Semiahmoo Park, the endlessly entertaining Waiter’s Race on west beach and the legendary Torchlight Parade at 8:15 pm!

Sea Festival Sunday begins with Energy Bagua Meditation from 9 am – 10 am at the White Rock. Following the meditation head back towards east beach and Semiahmoo Park for a host of activities.

East Beach Activities for Sunday, August 5th:

  • 10:00 am – 4:00 pm: Family / Kids Volleyball
  • 10:00 am – 4:00 pm: Quad Kite Flying demonstration on east beach
  • 10:00am – 2:00pm: Family Fun Sandcastle Competition
  • 11:00 am – 2:00 pm: White Rock Skim Boarding demonstration on east beach
  • 12:00pm – 8:00pm: Main Stage Entertainment
    • 12:00 pm Elgin Park Secondary Guitar Class
    • 1:00 pm Kit n’ Kaboodle
    • 2:00 pm Jim Black Collective
    • 3:00 pm Quinn Pickering
    • 4:00 pm The Escapes
    • 5:00 pm Harley Small
    • 6:00 pm Sarah Jickling and Her Good Bad Luck
    • 7:00 pm Hawking

Semiahmoo Park activities for Sunday, August 5th:

  • 9:30 am – 4:00 pm: Westcoaster’s Daze Car Show
  • 11:00 am – 4:00 pm: Pirates in the Park Children’s Festival
  • 11:00am – 4:00pm: Spirit Stage Entertainment
  • 12:00pm – 5:30pm: Semiahmoo First Nation Traditional Salmon BBQ

The legendary and incredibly entertaining Waiter’s Race takes place on Marine Drive from 3 – 4 pm across from the museum. Each restaurant along Marine is invited to enter a team into the race where they have to put their serving skills to the test and battle it out with other restaurants to claim the title of the best waiter’s on White Rock beach! The winners of the Waiter’s Race typically engage in a victory lap following the race in which they visit each restaurant to show off their trophy!

The festival concludes with the torchlight parade, a White Rock tradition with families lining Marine Drive as floats and displays light up the street starting from Oxford and parading along to east beach! A friendly reminder Marine Drive will be closed to vehicles starting at 4:00 pm – if you’re parked at the beach you won’t be able to leave until after the parade. Cars that are left in street parking on Marine will be towed to make room for all of the fancy floats! Having attended the parade for about 35 years my favourite display EVERY YEAR is the line dancing truck,  but the US marching bands are always a fan favourite too!

History of the White Rock Sea Festival

History of the White Rock Sea Festival - one of Canada's longest running festivals
The White Rock Sea Festival parade in 1956 from the White Rock Museum & Archives.

As mentioned our very own Sea Festival is one of Canada’s longest-running festivals so I reached out to our friends at the White Rock Museum & Archives to get a little history of the festival!

“The concept of a sea festival in White Rock was introduced to the White Rock Board of Trade by Sid Suddes in 1949. In 1952 The White Rock Board of Trade under Chairman Warren Slaughter planned the first festival, which included the Miss White Rock competition. Surrey Municipal Council granted fifty dollars to the festival which was held on July 19. Activities were diverse and included ju-jitsu demonstrations, dancing, magic, wrestling, boxing, a sandcastle competition and the Ski-Quatic Follies of Seattle.

Lions Club, Kinsmen, Soroptimists, PTA and Canadian Legion offered to help plan the festival for 1953 and it was expanded to two days. The festival in 1953 included a visit by HMCS Cordova and water skiing competitions. Surplus funds from 1953 were passed on to the 1954 festival.”

We hope everyone has a fabulous time at this long-standing White Rock tradition – we will see you there on August Long Weekend!

Don’t forget to follow South Rock Buzz on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates on the White Rock Sea Festival and all other events taking place in White Rock and South Surrey!

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *