Nanaimo Bathtub Weekend:World’s Largest Bathtub!

Now that I have your attention, here is seriously the world’s largest bathtub! :


You can Google it: World’s largest bathtub Nanaimo and this is the one that actually goes IN the water…


Pretty neat hey!

So one of Nanaimo’s Mayors, Frank J Ney, decided to give a special gift, Bathtub Racing. I’m sure you’re scratching your head right now… Well, this Mayor dressed up as a Pirate


The tradition of Bathtub Racing started 51 years ago. Many of us Nanaimoites look forward to Bathtub Weekend, which includes the Nanaimo Marine Festival, Concerts, a Parade, Street Fair, Fireworks and of course the Bathtub race itself. If this peeks your interest, check out the full story here: Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society

One would think after 51 years, they would have it down to a science right? Wrong! This year could have been a lot better. Here is my experience of the 2017 51st year of the Bathtub Weekend Parade, Street Fair and Fireworks.

Saturday morning:

Angela and I were going to meet up with our friend Courtnay on Front Street, ideal spot for the Parade and it was where her bus was supposed to be rerouted to. The reroute was sent to those who subscribe to the notification emails, as well as posted online. Apparently the bus driver didn’t get the memo, went the wrong way, swore, and then proceeded to ditch the bus passengers where he stopped. If Courtnay didn’t already know the reroute route where they were ditched is her regular stop anyways and she wouldn’t have cared. However, she did know the reroute, which made her pretty upset, and not to mention how extremely unprofessional the driver was.

Ok, so after meeting up with an exhausted and frustrated Courtnay we get to our Parade spot, the bus bench under the awning on Front Street; which was supposed to be blocked off to traffic at least about a half an hour before the parade was to start. Not to mention, there weren’t supposed to be any cars parked along the parade route, as police in previous years have ticketed cars that did so.

In other words, the road was NOT blocked off when it was supposed to and no cars were ticketed or asked to move. Yes, we were getting frustrated. There were kids that were partly playing in the road, so we were concerned with safety as well.

Now the parade gets underway. They changed the route slightly, coming from a curved road, which makes no sense when you have trucks pulling floats or trailers (shakes head). Not to mention the gaps between everyone in the parade, trying to keep up coming around the corner. Then that was it. It was probably the shortest parade I’ve seen in a very long time, possibly ever in my life (and I’m 28).

Don’t get me wrong, what they showcased was good, it was just poorly organized, and not enough people were in it, in our opinions.

Here’s the good stuff:





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Carlos O’Bryan’s Neighborhood Pub


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Nanaimo Deep Discovery Association



Zorb Games


Brechin Lanes 5-Pin Bowling Alley


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Little Tales Princess Parties 

After the parade, we went to Angela’s to rest a bit, and get ready for our next trek out. Which was to stop at the cannons, next to the Bastion for the noon firing and Highland dancers before continuing on towards the mall to grab our pizza lunch. The dancers were something Courtnay looked forward to, since she used to dance when she was younger. The dancers were cancelled, another disappointment.

But, here’s the cannon firing:

We enjoyed pizza back at Angela’s, watched a bit of tv and then decided to hit the street fair. Which would have been better had it been along one continuous street rather than have a big gap (which was the main road)… There were a fair amount of vendors, we just thought they were too spread out which made the street fair look awfully small.

However, the small disappointment there, we did find amusement along the way…

Tiger Lily Farm Petting Zoo:


Some of the local shops had street sales, and with those sales came the unique signs, like this one from Funk Your Fashion:


And this lady makes appearances around town, can’t help but put a smile on your face. 🙂


We proceeded to grab our free Root Beer from A&W and head back on the opposite side of the street. I pointed toward the little nook of Diana Krall Plaza, which we decided to have a look and found some homemade cupcakes (mine was chocolate and tasty!), I made my one purchase of the day and was extremely glad to support local! I purchased a tank top from a brother and sister business team, who cleverly, I might add, integrated their business card for Van-IsleStyle. 


I love the tag that came on my tank! (Reasonably priced I might add, $25 tax included)



On our way back to Angela’s (for our next little break before going back out to dinner), we passed the Flying Fish (self-explanatory..)


No no, not that, although we did think the Canada mat was neat.


Cheesy but cute, no?

Of course passing by Pirate Chips, I just had to get a shot of the Pirate out front, and his ripped flag seems to suit, as long as it doesn’t get any more torn up. I had half a mind to suggest eating there for dinner rather than what we planned. Since I was craving a poutine, and I still haven’t tried their deep-fried Nanaimo Bar!


We arrived back at Angela’s, hung out for a bit, watched some more tv, then took our walk all the way back into the downtown core for dinner. We then met up with another friend who treated us to ice cream before we headed back to Angela’s to meet her parents to watch the fireworks from her balcony. Of course, I had to get a shot of the other big Bathtub (yes, we have more than one, shocker I know) that was on display in the park among the vendors of food trucks, busy crowd and loud music playing from the beer garden.


I would have gotten a picture of the smaller tub, but people were already occupying themselves by playing in it. Maybe next year?

Back at Angela’s, the sun was setting in the picturesque harbour:


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10pm: Finally the Fireworks!

I realize many people have seen fireworks. However, not many have seen them from a 14th floor balcony and across a harbour. Yes, the fireworks were on a small barge out on the water! I got a clear shot of the reflection off the water! It is gorgeous in my opinion, can’t beat the beauty of the Nanaimo Harbour! It was so nice to avoid the crowds.


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(please excuse the conversation in the background of the video, it was shot with my cell phone.. haha not bad eh for a cellular device)

All in all, the day turned out good. We didn’t let the small things bug us too much, and that helped to enjoy the fireworks at the end of the night.

I was just thinking of a conversation we had about city slogans. Nanaimo is known as the Harbour City or Hub City. But I think it should be this: “Nanaimo Hub City, Don’t Pull the Plug from our Tub. ” Or something to that effect. Any ideas?

I think with better planning and more exposure to this great event, we can make it much better! I mean, seriously a giant bathtub that actually goes in the water! Nanaimo has some great things to offer if you ever want to come for a visit!

Oh and if you want to know who won this year’s Bathtub race, check it out here: 51st Bathtub Race Winner



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