A very berry good time is on the books this Saturday in Fort Langley.
For the 17th year in a row, the village merchants are hosting a day-long street party that pays homage to the all-mighty cranberry - and the harvest in general. And as always, it's happening on the Saturday of the Thanksgiving Day weekend, explained Shirley Stewart, executive director of the Fort Langley Business Improvement Association.
"The Cranberry Festival is about more than just celebrating the cranberry. It's celebrating the entire fall harvest and the importance of agriculture in the area. And it's a celebration of our business community. It's a chance for the community to get together to have some fun," Stewart added.
The festivities are being held Saturday, Oct. 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but for those who arrive early there is the Freybe Gourmet Foods pancake and sausage breakfast kicking off at 8: 30 a.m.
It's a day packed with entertainment for all ages, and new this year the BIA is making a concentrated effort to offer more for the kids.
They're introducing a new, designated children's area with more activities and entertainment geared specifically at the younger set, Stewart said.
The show, which will feature close to 100 food and gift vendors and community displays (many of the old favourites along with several new and unique exhibitors), has typically been focused at adults.
"This makes it more of a family affair," she said, noting that an "incredible team of volunteers" is working tirelessly to pull together this and other aspects of the festival in time for Saturday.
Last year's Cranberry Festival attracted about 50,000 people to the quaint historic village of Fort Langley, and this year Stewart is anticipating similar numbers with hopes the weather remains nice.
Admittedly, the majority of people come from Langley and the surrounding communities, she explained. But she's also received calls from Washington State, the B.C.
Interior, and recalls meeting a lot of people at last year's event who travelled from Burnaby, Vancouver, Chilliwack, and even Hope.
It's "an amazing event" - different from many of the summer fairs - that entices a lot of different kinds of people together, including some who don't typically attend festivals but who are drawn to this one because of its location on the main drag of Fort Langley and amidst the unique shops and boutiques, Stewart said.
"For me, it reminds me of the festivals growing up in Nova Scotia," she added, elaborating that she first attended the local event about eight years ago with friends and fell in love with the ambience.
Little did she know that a few years later she would take over the coordination role as an extension of her BIA duties. She's been at the helm now for the past three years.