Hands Across The Border festival this Sunday

Published on Thu, Jun 10, 2010 by By Tara Nelson

Read More News

After a two-year hiatus, the annual Hands Across the Border celebration will reconvene this weekend, closing both northbound and southbound I-5 lanes at the Peace Arch border crossing from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event, which commemorates the friendship between the U.S. and Canada, is scheduled for Sunday, June 13 at Peace Arch state and provincial parks. It will also coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Guides of Canada.

The honored veteran for 2010 will be Robert Hines, of Blaine, who has been one of the primary organizers of the event for many years. The celebration includes a flag exchange, speeches, a parade through the arch and a peace ceremony.

The event was canceled due to the construction of the Peace Arch port of entry facility which posed a safety hazard to the thousands of children who would attend, according to John Liebert, president of the American side of the International Peace Arch Association. Because much of the construction has been concluded and the event will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Guides of Canada, however, PAA members have elected to have the celebration.

The event brings together an average of 10,000 youth and veterans from the United States and Canada to commemorate the anniversary of the dedication of the Peace Arch and celebrate peace and international cooperation between those.

Construction on the Peace Arch monument began in 1920 and the 67-foot structure was dedicated in September 1921. Half of the arch rests in each country.

The park surrounding the arch was paid for through pennies donated by school children in Washington and British Columbia. For more information, visit www.peacearchpark.org or call 332-8981.