You know when you have a friend coming to town and they say “You gotta show me all the sights! What do you do in your town?” and you list off all the cool and fun things that makes your hometown fun and interesting and exciting?
Well, I’m going to admit today that some of the items that makes New Westminster famous I’ve never experienced. I’ve lived here for almost 15 years (except for that year where we lived just off Cambie and I hated every single second of it) and I realized the other day that there are things I’ve never checked out, and I’m kind of ashamed. Especially since I’m a contributor here at Tenth to the Fraser. So today marks not only a coming clean of places I have never checked out, but it also marks The Day I Vow To Experience All of These Things in 90 Days or Less. If you’re game, why don’t you come with me?
- Massey Theatre – This one is by far the most embarrassing. As a former youth community theatre nerd, there is absolutely no excuse for having not supported many of the brilliant acts to have passed through this place’s walls. But the fact is, I’ve never seen a show or never been inside the Massey Theatre. With the possibility of it being shut down, this is flat-out unacceptable. Over the next 60 days I can check out: Tropical Extravaganza, Superstar Nora Aunor, the New Westminster Symphony Orchestra, Dance Power’s 18th Annual Dance Festival, Revolver: The World’s Best Beatles Tribute Band, and The Vagina Monologues. I’ve decided to hit the Vagina Monologues on March 28th because it’s just $18 and the proceeds go to places I want it to go to. Anyone want to join me?
- Irving House – I’ve never been in the New Westminster Museum and Archives. Strange, since I love old houses, and Irving House is the oldest known house in the Lower Mainland. Not only that, but I’m told the staff are incredibly knowledgeable, and there’s a gift shop. According to the New West Parks and Rec website (PS: please update that sucker, it’s clonkier than a 1981 Hyundai Pony), Irving House is open 12-4 on Saturdays and Sundays this time of year, so it’s on my calendar. Send me a note if you’d like to join me.
- New Westminster Salmonbellies – this one wasn’t for lack of trying. I actually had tickets to a game last season, but at the last minute couldn’t go. A quick look through their website tells me that the season opener is in Burnaby May 14th, and the first home game is Thursday May 20th. Anyone? Tickets are a whopping $15 per adult.
- Hyack Festival – no, seriously. For some reason, I’ve just never been. I come from a place where the long weekend in May is generally the opener of your family vacation, so that’s usually when I go away. Plus, with 7 family birthdays to celebrate in May, I find myself a bit partied out. I am completely intrigued to see all this stuff those of you born and raised here wouldn’t miss for the world. Also, this anvil battery thing? That’s just plain old awesome. This year’s theme is “Be your best in the City of New West” and there are a gajillion events planned. I’m making a point of going, especially to this maypole thing Jocelyn talked about, taking place on May 26th.
- Walking Tour – well-known local historians, Archie and Dale Miller, ( twitter as @senseofhistory) offer various walking tours of our fine city. I was all set to go on one last summer, an especially interesting one about the original street plans for this fine city, and then, I don’t know, I think I had a bad baby day. Anyway, it’s a bit ghoulish, but I also love cemeteries, and I have to admit I have never done a walk through at the Fraser Cemetery and I was digging around and found this awesome “virtual” tour of the cemetary and am going to go play headstone hunter the next sunny Saturday.
So now it’s your turn, readers. What iconic New Westminster icon is a “must do”?