by Alex Skerdzhev
This weekend, it is time to wake up and smell and see the flowers.
The Bradner Flower Show returns for the 89th time to showcase a wide assortment of daffodils and other dazzling flora starting on Friday, April 8 and going through Sunday.
Completely run and produced by volunteers from the Bradner Community Club, the family friendly event offers plant sales, crafts, food and live music for the whole day.
“The main focus of the event is on the daffodils,” said Lynda Richard, chairperson for the Bradner Flower Show.
“There will be hundreds of varieties, there are actually well over a thousand, but a lot of it is weather dependent and we had an early bloom this year, so there will be hundreds.”
Started in 1928 by Fenwick Fatkin, the show has become emblematic of Bradner as a whole, which is known as the “daffodil capital of Canada.”
In fact, Fatkin’s family has a hand in the festivities to this day: his granddaughter Pauline serves as co-chair of the event.
“We offer lots of arts and crafts at the event, the mayor of Abbotsford will be taking part, as will local MLAs and MPs. We have kind of a Dixieland jazzy theme this year [“Jazz Up Your Garden”]… and four [daffodil] growers are going to be taking part,” said Richard.
Aside from the daffodils, local warehouse growers will be on hand to show their wares, offering warehouse prices and presenting attendees with the unique opportunity to buy plants and flowers that are typically earmarked only for commercial sales.
This year will also see some special guests participating. Among them is Peter Fitzmaurice, who is the VP of GardenWorks and Saturday morning’s gardening expert for Global TV. Fitzmaurice will be just outside the main doors in the speaker’s corner to answer any and all gardening questions at 1 p.m., before presiding over the opening ceremony at 2 p.m.
Other guests throughout the weekend include representatives from the Bert the Mole Man pest control agency, Chris Bodnar of the Glen Valley Organic Farm Cooperative and Abbotsford chef Pamela E.
“We’ve had quite a bit of success with the format for the past several years, my little stamp on it was the chef and the wineries,” said Richard.
The Campbell’s Gold Honey Farm and Meadery, and Singletree Winery, will be at the event offering tastings of some of their alcoholic products.
Saturday and Sunday will see the venue expanded to include displays from Gerry Powers, of the Central Valley Naturalists, who is bringing a presentation focusing on birds of prey, and from the Langley Spinners and Weavers Guild, among others.
Local artists such as Ryan McAllister, the Circle of Friends band, and West Coast Fiddlers will provide live music at the event.
Floral designers from Simply Perfect Flowers are decorating the show this year, and sculptors Glenn and Lori Friskie will be presenting some of their works.
The show runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, from Friday to Sunday, and will take place in Bradner Hall at 5305 Bradner Rd. in Abbotsford. Tickets are $2, with all proceeds going to the Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre. For more information on the event and its activities, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-856-8441.