South Surrey / White Rock Festivals are in abundance throughout the year, including summer beach festivals, international sports events, exquisite art exhibitions, music festivals and celebrations of culture.
South Surrey / White Rock's have-a-good-time ambiance and compact layout lends itself to many events and festivities. It celebrates National Aboriginal Day each year with the Semiahmoo First Nation, stages a lively Sunday morning Farmers Market (May to mid October), puts on special concert series in its newly renovated 223-seat theatre and offers free horse and carriage rides around the Upper Town Centre at Halloween and Christmas time. There's also the wild and bone-chillingly cold Polar Bear Swim on New Year's Day.
Semiahmoo First Nation Salmon Festival
Celebrating the abundance of traditional salmon runs, this two-day festival is held on the third weekend in September at Semiahmoo Park in East Beach. There's a ton of multi-cultural powwow fun to be had with stage entertainment, drumming, traditional dancing and, of course, a huge salmon barbeque. It's all free and no one is allowed to go hungry.
Spirit of the Sea Festival
The Spirit of the Sea Festival is a three-day summer tradition in August that's been celebrating seaside fun for more than 60 years. In addition to live performances that are staged at various venues, a waterfront marketplace runs along the West Beach promenade, showcasing dozens of artisans, crafters and assorted vendors. Plus there's a crowning ceremony of Miss (sometimes Mister) White Rock, fireworks and a torchlight parade. Don't even think about trying to get a car near the waterfront; use the free, special event trolley shuttle.
Tour de White Rock
What started in 1980 with 35 cyclists tackling the steep seaside hills of White Rock, has become an international race with more than 150 entrants from all over the world. The original 130km/80mi grueling Hill Climb - riders must pedal 700m/2,296ft of a 16% grade, has expanded to include other races, and often combines with the Tour de Delta, Tour de Gastown and Giro di Burnaby for a Superweek of competitive cycling. Tour de White Rock attracts some of Canada's top Olympic athletes - Svein Tuft, Zach Bell, Erinne Willock , as well as New Zealand Olympians and US Champions Kirk O'Bee and Dotsie Bausch.
Waterfront Concert Series
Every weekend in July and August, the boardwalk near the museum becomes the stage for an eclectic range of musical concerts. Performances have included Celtic folk, jazz, world beat, Latin and hip hop as well as bandstand on the beach with the 15th Field Artillery Regimental Brass Quintet playing everything from classical to popular show tunes. The concerts are free but arrive early to get a good seat.
Great Outdoor Film Festival
Pack up a snack basket, blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy classic feature films outdoors, beneath the summer stars. Movies are projected onto a three-storey-high inflatable movie screen in different parts of the town and the line up is always family oriented such as Back to the Future and a sing-along version of Mama Mia. Presentations are free and include live entertainment by local musicians and classic movie snacks - popcorn.
White Rock Irish Festival
Celebrate Irish Heritage Month in White Rock with music, poetry, workshops, contests, dancing, food and more! Events have been going on since March 1st but there are still plenty of activities to participate in until the end of March. Catch some live music at Jimmy Flynn's or Tommy Salsa's, sign up for an Irish Drum Workshop at the White Rock Community Centre and check out the Irish Party at "Slainte" by the Pier Gastrobar. For a complete list of festival events visit our website.
Tour de British Columbia (TourdeBC)
The Tour of British Columbia is the longest ultra-endurance cycling race on earth-a challenge that truly allows riders to discover exactly how far they can go. The route captures the very best natural beauty that Canada has to offer. Cyclists will climb over 48,000 vertical meters (157,000 feet) as they make their way through several mountain ranges, past glaciers & fresh water lakes and rivers. Wildlife is abundant, bears populate much of the course & huge bison are found in the northern regions. The race starts and finishes in White Rock, but travels through dozens of BC communities and parks.
Read more on the Tourism British Columbia website, http://www.hellobc.com/white-rock.aspx