When it comes to business, March is generally a slow month for White Rock. It's rainy, damp and there isn't a lot going on.
However for Irish folks such as Ray Fynes, March is a month of celebration, and he's hoping to share that with the rest of the community for White Rock's first Irish Festival.
Organized by Ray Fynes of the Irish Club of White Rock in partnership with Semiahmoo Arts, the month-long celebration will feature a variety of Irish-related activities such as poetry readings, language lessons and dance performances.
Stemming from a conversation with Semiahmoo Arts president Barbara Cooper, Fynes said the idea came about when he heard March was a slow month for tourism.
"I said that was ironic because it's a month of celebration for the Irish," said Fynes.
"So from there it seemed anyone we spoke to about the idea, they immediately climbed aboard and we're kind of amazed that everybody has got on the train, so to speak."
While planning is still underway for the month, Fynes said people can also expect musical performances, Irish whistle demonstrations and, of course, many activities surrounding the St. Patrick's Day weekend.
As for who's invited, Fynes said you don't have to be Irish to come down and enjoy the activities.
"We think this would appeal to anybody," said Fynes, "but there are also over 3,000 people in White Rock who have Irish ancestry, according to the 2006 census.
"In South Surrey it's 11,000, so that's already 14,000 in the area, so we think these are the demographics who would want to do something special, to be in touch where their ancestry came from."
White Rock city council is also on board with the idea, seeing the festival as a chance to show that White Rock does have much to offer in terms of arts and culture.
"That's a really neat thing, apparently we have a lot of people of Irish descent here, and we have a lot of Irish-oriented pub-like facilities down here on the waterfront," said White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin.
In fact, council is set to proclaim March Irish Heritage Month in commemoration of the festival.
"The whole idea of celebrating the Irish culture and having something going on in the off-season is a great one and we're all looking forward to it," said Baldwin.