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Richmond, BC, Canada (July 21, 2011) Break out the shorts and the sunscreen - the summertime is finally here! And in Richmond, a growing destination with both a historical West Coast village and a vibrant Asian city centre, there's a wide range of fun-filled outdoor activities and events to enjoy over the coming sun-drenched months.   With that thought in mind, we highlight the top 10 Richmond summer experiences to have on your must-do list this year:

1) Maritime Merriment

August 2011 is bustling with special events and festivals commemorating Richmond's extensive nautical history. From the 5th to the 7th, the popular Annual Richmond Maritime Festival returns to the Historic Fishing Village of Steveston with enhanced kids' programming and a notably expanded scope of music, dance, theatre and art. Boasting 17 entertainment zones in and around the Britannia Shipyard National Historic Site, the free event  will feature interactive exhibits for all ages such as knot tying, rope making, model boat building, and net mending. Flashmobs, roving performers, treasure hunts and games are also part of the fun. The waterfront will showcase a floating exhibition of boats for viewing pleasure, docked straight off the shipyard. Included in the fleet are the 1921 HMSC Oriole "tall ship" (the oldest sailing vessel in the Canadian navy), a 1930s rum-runner, historic fishing boats and classic power and sail boats. Later in the month, from August 18 to 28, an innovative, site-specific theatre work called Salmon Row will make its debut at the Britannia Shipyard. Exploring issues of immigration, ethnic conflict, and labour history, the Mortal Coil Performance Society will revive the stories that live in the very planks of the shipyards' boardwalk from the early 20th Century. 

2) The Summer Night Market

Open Friday through Sunday, Richmond's renowned Asian-style Summer Night Market welcomes more than 20,000 visitors a night.  The only of its kind in North America, this bustling Hong Kong-influenced extravaganza offers endless aisles of both practical and peculiar merchandise, from cheap sunglasses to Samurai swords. But the real attraction of the market is its food. Every weekend night, over 60 vendors whip up tasty and oftentimes inventive treats sure to please any palate in a "street food" atmosphere. Some of the delights you'll find include stuffed waffle cakes, deep-fried cheesecake, dim sum, BBQ dried squid, bubble tea and dragon beard candy. There is free live entertainment on the main stage nightly, ranging from reptile exhibitions to Chinese karaoke nights. And should you happen to have little ones in tow, a children's play zone is onsite.

3) The Steveston Farmer's and Artisan's Summer Market

This popular annual market in the Historic Fishing Village of Steveston offers dozens of booths full of organic, locally-grown eats. In addition to produce, homemade jams and jellies and pickled veggies, visitors can choose from freshly-baked goods, plants, flowers, health products, jewelry and unique West Coast artwork. Live entertainment and family-friendly activities create a warm community vibe. Take some time to explore the surrounding waterfront neighbourhood which includes a scenic boardwalk, seaside eateries and two National Historic Sites celebrating B.C.'s salmon history. And over at nearby Fisherman's Wharf, you can purchase fresh fish right off the boats to go with all those veggies! The market runs bi-weekly on Sunday afternoons until September 18, rain or shine. Visit for more details.

4) Whale Watching

Whale watching season began in earnest this past April and continues through to the end of the salmon migration in October.  Vancouver Whale WatchSteveston Seabreeze Adventuresand Steveston Eco Tours are the three local outfitters that offer daily whale watching tours out of picturesque Steveston in the southwest corner of Richmond. Each company offers eco-friendly tours that maintain a respectful distance in the animal's best interest, utilizing vessels that emit the lowest emissions possible. On a three or five hour tour, you'll travel through the spectacular Gulf Islands while a professional naturalist discusses the marine ecosystem and answers questions. Get your camera ready to snap photos of Orcas, bow riding Dall's porpoises, sea lions, seals, eagles and more.  All companies offer guaranteed whale sightings, so if the whales don't make an appearance during your trip you're invited to come back for free (for life!) until you do.

5) Steveston Boardwalk

The lively atmosphere along the historic w
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