They go fast. It's a blur of red as volunteers work their way through 7,000 pounds of cranberries.
Whether used in Thanksgiving's most popular sauce, cooking, baking, or crafts, Fort Langley grown cranberries are snapped up by buyers from near and far.
"It [the cranberry sale booth] has people that come from all over the Lower Mainland and up from the States," said Shirley Stewart of the Fort Langley Business Improvement Association.
The sale has been part of the Cranberry Festival since it began 17 years ago.
A first come, first served arrangement, there is no chance to "reserve" berries at Saturday's event. Stewart commented that organizers do their best to create an orderly lineup. Everyone waits in line for their cranberries while hoping the supply doesn't run out before they reach the front of the line.
"It [the sale] goes until we run out," she noted. The berries are "usually gone by no later than 1 p.m."
This year's celebrity sellers will include local politicians and organizers are still looking for the last few helpers to come on board and join the fray.
The price per pound will be determined closer to the date of the event, but Stewart said it will be "comparable to the [price in] stores."
The nearly 3.2 metric tonnes of cranberries come from a farm in Fort Langley and will be dropped off to berry sale organizers Friday before the event. The berries, as well as juice and Craisins tastings, are courtesy of Ocean Spray as part of their sponsorship of the Cranberry Festival.
Volunteers work before sales open at 10 a.m. to pre-fill as many bags as possible but once the prefilled supply is sold, the race is on to fill bags and keep the line moving.
Cranberry sales will be located at the intersection of Mary and Glover under a large tent with the juice and Craisins tasting station nearby.
"Where it has been for the last couple of years," added Stewart.
Money from the sale of the donated berries goes towards the costs of the Cranberry Festival as well as contributing to other Fort Langley events throughout the year, Stewart noted.
To volunteer three to four hours at the festival, contact the Fort Langley Business Improvement Association at 604-888-8835 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
@ Copyright 2013