UPDATED: Fort Langley Cranberry Festival draws a crowd

The guests of honour, about 10,000 pounds of them supplied by Ocean Spray and grown and harvested in Fort Langley bogs, were the main attraction at the Fort Langley Cranberry Festival on Saturday.

The cranberries were bagged and sold in front of the Fort Langley Community Hall.

But there was much, much more to the festival than cranberries.

Eighty marketplace vendors and 18 food vendors, including food trucks, along with a wide variety of entertainment in front of the hall gave festival-goers plenty of options as they made their way along Mary Avenue, Church Street, and Glover Road, all blocked off for vehicle traffic for most of the day.

With an estimated 35,000 people taking in the festival, the turnout was a little lower than past years, and that was mainly due to a slow start courtesy of a deluge of early morning rain, said organizer Meghan Neufeld.

By noon, however, parking spots were a valued commodity throughout Fort Langley.

“The afternoon, it was packed,” Neufeld said.

All day entertainment included the Seabillys Celtic Band, Silver Diamond Country Dancers, Horvat Family, Surrey Firefighters Pipes and Drums, Kwantlen First Nation drummers and dancers, Scott Mackenzie & Friends, Dave Mercer & Company, Han Yang Traditional Dancers, Flying Ritas Contemporary Band, Family Affair, Langley Has Talent finalists, and Vidos Alternative Rock.

The entertainment was a highlight for Neufeld, who pointed out the Kwantlen First Nation and Surrey Firefighters Pipes and Drums as crowd pleasers.

This was its 19th year, and the festival has developed into a Fort Langley tradition.

“There are a lot of people returning, year after year, “ Neufeld said. “Some vendors tell me that third generation family are coming back to it, every year.

On a personal note, this was Neufeld’s second year as the organizer and she said there are always new challenges as fellow organizers look for ways of improving an already smoothly run event.

“I had some great feedback from vendors and entertainers since the festival ended,” she added.

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