'International' Canada Day draws 50,000 people

The weather may have been a bit on the warm side, but organizers of the first  joint Canada Day-International Festival celebration, held on June 30 and July 1, aren’t complaining.

“It was hot … but it went very well,” said Sarwan Randhawa.

Randhawa said the organizing committee estimated the number of people who attended this year’s celebration at Willoughby Community Park at about 50,000.

Over the course of the two-day event, visitors were treated to live entertainment by 30 different acts on the mainstage. The wide range of children’s attractions offered were popular as well, said Randhawa.

“People definitely enjoyed the dog show and the pony rides. The marketplace was really busy, too,” he said. “The food vendors were extra busy.”

The annual celebration concluded Tuesday night with a fireworks display.

“In the evening, it was just packed. It was the best I think I’ve ever seen — the most people in one place in Langley,” said Randhawa. “We wanted to make (the celebration) the biggest and best we’ve ever had, and we succeeded — definitely.”

Fort Langley also held its annual Canada Day celebration, with events throughout the village — including demonstrations at the historic fort site.

Thousands of people moved between nine venues throughout the village, using Canada Day passports. At the historic community hall nearly 30 authors filled the lawn, taking turns speaking between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

At 3 p.m. in front of the hall, Bard in the Valley players premiered their latest summer production — a modern interpretation of Julius Caesar.

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