A community is only as strong as the bonds it forges within its neighbourhoods. All the parks, pools, gymnasiums, and coffee shops will go to rot if there are no families, friends and businesses united in bringing everyone together. It's the spark that fires the desire to build community capital.
The municipality of Delta hopes to ignite that passion with its inaugural Luminary Festival on Saturday, Sept. 15 at Sunstone Park, located at 10400 Delsom Cres.
"That is a major goal of the festival," said Teresa Collinet, program co-ordinator for Delta Parks, Recreation and Culture. "It's to build a sense of community and a sense of belonging. It's an intergenerational thing. You walk through Sunstone Park and you see it. There are young kids playing in the park, teenagers on the basketball court and older people walking the paths. When you have all these people coming together, you build a sense of belonging and the more you can do that, you also create a safer community."
The family-oriented event gets underway at 6 p.m. with a lantern-making station for anyone who hasn't brought their own, as well as children's games and buskers. There will also be food vendors on site.
At 8:30 p.m., the Parade of Lights takes place around the pond at Sunstone Park and then, at 9 p.m., local band Terra Nova Bay will take to the stage for a concert in the park.
Part of building the foundation for a successful event happened Saturday at the Delta Recreation centre as more than 100 people took part in a luminary workshop. Craft tables lined the gymnasium as families came to create their own luminaries that will light the path around the pond on Saturday night.
North Delta resident Alison Vancamp caught wind of the workshop the day before and was more than happy to bring her two daughters, Stella, 10, and Sophia, 4, to create a luminary. She said it's very important for her and her family to be involved in the community.
"I think North Delta does a good job of bringing people together," said Vancamp. "The more you go to these type of events, the more familiar faces you see and the more you build relationships within your neighbourhoods."
Vancamp said this type of workshop also has personal benefits.
"It's better they make a mess here than at home," she laughed.
Collinet said she was pleased with the turnout at the workshop and hopes more word of mouth will create a buzz for Saturday's Luminary Festival.
"It's about building traditions," said Collinet.
While participants can make their own luminary or create one at the festival, there is no parking at Sunstone Park. Collinet said there will be a free shuttle running from the North Delta rec centre before and after the event.