It was a huge neighbourhood block party - if you will - with literally hundreds of Port Haney residents meandering down to the wharf Sunday afternoon to join in the celebrations.
In fact, attendance at the annual Port Haney Day has more than quadrupled since its inception three years ago, this year attracting more than 400 people to the wharf to enjoy
entertainment, games, food, an outdoor market, and even historic guided tours through Port Haney led by Ian McLeod, said Dave Speers, neighbourhood development coordinator for the District of Maple Ridge.
"I'm absolutely overwhelmed with the turn out today," he told The TIMES. "And there are a lot from the Port Haney area here, too, which is just great."
In the days leading up to the four-hour festival, members of the organizing committee
- the Port Haney Neighbourhood Change Initiative - distributed leaflets to area residents encouraging them to attend.
The leg work appeared to pay off, said neighbourhood development consultant Chelsa Meadus, crediting that extra effort with the boost in attendance numbers.
The festival, of sorts, is a perfect way to engage local residents in what is happening
in their community, and give them information in a fun and friendly atmosphere, Speers added. He noted it's important to engage people and keep them informed, especially given all the revitalization efforts currently underway in their backyard.
"It's a great opportunity to get people out and to celebrate the history, as well as the current successes of the neighbourhood," he concluded.
Residents were also encouraged to offer their feedback through a "make a difference" suggestion board and by participating in monthly community meetings. The Port Haney Neighbourhood Change Intiative meets the fourth Wednesday of the month - starting up again this month after a summer break - at 7 p.m. at the CEED Centre. For more information, people can call 604-463-2229.
@ Copyright 2013