Wow!!! We lucked out. We just happened to be vacationing in Victoria during their annual SPLASH concert. The Victoria Symphony and its volunteers organize a fabulous day and evening of concerts in the inner harbour. The stage is built upon a barge, so the entertainers are actually on the barge in the water; while the public is sprawled out on the Parliament lawn, the Empress Hotel's lawn, all around the inner harbour and even in kayaks and canoes in the water.
Evidently it's the Symphony's way to thank the residents and visitors for supporting them. It's a free event, though they do request donations. Some 40,000 people attend the SPLASH event. It started with a boat ballet in the late morning in the inner harbour, then progressed to an opening band in the early afternoon, then a scavenger hunt, booths and concerts in the afternoon, then at 6:15 there was a parade of the Victoria Symphony, to the concert stage (barge in the harbour) where they offered a fabulous concert; and the evening ended with a nice fireworks display in the inner harbour. Such a lovely day!
Note: it's an annual summer event. Though there were thousands of people, everyone seemed to have a great attitude....very respectful of people and the lawns and such. We were fortunate, as we were staying in the inner harbour area. When we were informed about the Splash event, we decided not to even try to take our car out that day. If you're not staying in Victoria, I would recommend taking public transit or a tour bus to the event, as several of the streets were closed and I'm sure ingress/egress was difficult that day.
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