The 2012 BC Summer Games are coming to Pitt Meadows this weekend.
At least the canoe and kayak portion of the Games is.
Mother Nature recently watered down plans for hosting the Games' paddling competitions along Fort Langley's Bedford Channel.
All the canoe/kayak events were originally scheduled to be held in Fort Langley, but the high, fast-moving waters of the Fraser River forced organizers' hands.
The river hit highs of around 6.4 metres at the Mission Gauge June 23 and 24, the highest in decades, and enough to have flooded some low-lying farms and riverside properties.
For several months, water levels had been watched, and late last month, a decision was made to move the competition north of the Golden Ears Bridge.
While Fraser waters have receded, Games organizers erred on the side of caution.
The Pitt Meadows Paddling Club, which uses the Alouette River for its training and programs, will host practice sessions today (July 19) followed by competition on Friday and Saturday (July 20 and 21).
Racing on the Alouette, just off 14411 Harris Rd. in Pitt Meadows, runs from 8: 30 a.m. to about 4 p.m. both Friday and Saturday.
On Sunday (July 22), a skills event will be held along the Salmon River, with the base at Brae Island in Fort Langley.
PMPC commodore Rick Hammer said the dikes lining the Alouette in northern Pitt Meadows make for ideal viewing spots.
"The only thing we don't have here is the full nine lanes [along the water]," Hammer said. "There's not many places where you can be on both sides, this close to the venue, and watch this easily."
Not only is this the first time the PMPC has hosted a BC Summer Games event on the Alouette, this is the first laned, sprinting event ever hosted by the local club.
"This is probably an opportunity of a lifetime because it will highlight the club," Hammer said. "I hate to say it all the time, but it will show people that the Pitt Meadows Paddling Club is not on Whonnock Lake."
Unsettled conditions are forecast for parts of the weekend, but that may change.
Hammer said cooler weather benefits all involved.
"Clouds aren't bad, even showers isn't a bad thing," Hammer said. "If we get-heat, it's going to be hard on the athletes, and hard on everybody, but we do have this nice shaded area where it's going to be coolest for the majority of the day."
The 2012 Games are being held July 19-21, with most of the events taking place in Surrey.