Sunday, July 26, 2015

City Participation In Bathtub Days - Dismal?

Mayor Bill McKay - Sailpast on Wheels Parade

Aside from the Nanaimo Bar, there is likely nothing Nanaimo is better known for than the Bathtub Races which launched Nanaimo onto the international stage in 1967. This was the 49th year that Nanaimo has been able to keep the Great International Bathtub Race going as an event which still packs out the shoreline at Maffeo Sutton Park.

This was the first year that the Great Race started and finished in Nanaimo harbour, a change many think was long overdue.  This year was a vast improvement from years previous when you saw the start in the harbour and had to go to Departure Bay for what, many times is a pretty anticlimactic finish. By finishing in the harbour, people could stay in the park and see the tubbers come back into the harbour in a little over one hours time. Some of the finishes this year were pretty exciting, as tubbers engaged in foot races to decide final standing in the race. 

Where is the City of Nanaimo In The Great International Bathtub Race??

Mayor McKay to his credit participated in several events over Bathtub Weekend, even being a good sport about raising money in the dunk tank. That said, it is a sad statement when he is the only member of city council to participate in the Sailpast on Wheels parade. Where were the other members of Council?? For that matter why doesn't the City of Nanaimo have at the very least one entry in the Bathtub Race?? What's up with that? Surely out of 700+ employees there must be enough sense of community to participate in an event we are so well known for.

While we are considering the levels of participation, one must also ask why the business community seems to participate so sparingly? Where is the parade and race entry from the local Chamber of Commerce?

Next year is the 50th anniversary of an event that brought ABC wide world of sports to Nanaimo and entrants from as far away as Australia. Nanaimo keeps looking for that iconic Tourist Magnet to enhance our local economy, when perhaps we are sitting on a gold mine if we, as a community got behind this event and gave it the support it deserves. This could be a first class, international event once again if Nanaimo tried rowing in the same direction for a change.


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