By Black Press
It was a day of food, fun, and tradition.
It was the 22nd annual Fort Langley Cranberry Festival, and several long-time volunteers believe the summer-like weather drew record crowds to the historic village Saturday.
For many in attendance, these festivities have become a family Thanksgiving Day weekend tradition.
People from throughout the Lower Mainland came down for the day, grabbed a $5 or $10 bag of fresh cranberries from the festival organizers, then meandered the streets taking in the markets and more than 100 vendors scattered throughout the village, eating at the food trucks and local restaurants, and listening to various entertainers performing on the main stage – as well as sidewalks and alcoves.
The day’s entertainers included a variety of local musicians and dancers, many that Sandy Dunkley has helped promote for the better part of a decade.
In her sixth year as entertainment organizer for the Cranberry Festival, Dunkley she wanted to once again offer a diverse mix of bands, performers, and groups to amuse the crowd throughout the day.
She hopes she hit the sweet spot with Saturday’s lineup.
For those “unfortunate enough not to be here today, you missed out,” Dunkley said, listing off a series of Langley-based acts on the day’s roster: Sea Billy’s Celtic band, the Silver Diamond Country Line Dancers, and Six Gun Romeo were among them.
Kwantlen First Nation’s drums and dancers also took their turn on stage.
“It’s not Cranberry Festival if they’re not here. They started the cranberries in Fort Langley. So, it’s really not the Cranberry Festival without the Kwantlen First Nation,” said Dunkley, who unexpectedly received a ceremonial blanket from Kwantlen chief Marilyn Gabriel during Saturday’s festivities.
The Surrey firefighters pipes and drums also helped entertain the masses, along with Pancho & Sal, Cornel Dyke & The Daughters, Mayday Youth Club Choir, Dave Mercer Trio, Maria Hillmer Mexican Vivo Dancers, and a series of singer-songwriter performances in the guys and gals with guitars series: Ashley Pater, Patricia Dunphy, Jessica Barbour, Billy Frew, Collin Wade, and Darryl Klassen.
“They had everyone out here clapping and rocking… It’s been an incredible day. They were all awesome, and I was very happy to have them,” Dunkley said.
“Everyone was around… We had huge crowds of people here today. It was amazing because we had the sun. A sunny day, not like last year or the year before,” she added, referring to heavy rains of 2017 and a major storm that knocked out power to the festival in 2016.
“If you didn’t make it this year, next year don’t miss the Fort Langley Cranberry Festival.”