Bigger & Better Chilliwack Sunflower Festival return for 2019

Blooming bright for a second year, the Chilliwack Sunflower Festival returns on August 1st.  This year, a massive field of dahlias complements the acres of sunflowers, for a total of 20 acres of flowers, bringing even more colour to the Fraser Valley community,!

Chilliwack Sunflower Festival

Every day from August 1 to September 15, visitors can make their way through 35 varieties of peak-season sunflowers — from two-foot Dwarf Sunspots to 12-foot Mammoth Grey Stripes, in varying shades of yellow, orange, and red. Pick your own Sunrich Orange sunflowers to take home (while supplies last), as well as cut sunflowers and field flowers, sunflower-inspired gifts, and onsite-grown spring bulbs of tulips and daffodils.

The addition of 54 varieties of dahlias, a giant pumpkin patch, and a field of pick-your-own Chilliwack corn (while supplies last) bring even more to the 2019 Festival

Chilliwack Sunflower Festival – Dahlias

“The success of last summer’s inaugural Chilliwack Sunflower Festival exceeded all expectations,” says festival co-founder Kate Onos-Gilbert. “It was so gratifying to welcome thousands of families, couples, and individuals to our fields, and to see them marvel at the bounty of seasonal beauty that Chilliwack produces at this time of year. The festival has grown so much since last year, too — so I encourage those who attended last year to make a return visit.”

Chilliwack Sunflower Festival – Pick Your Own Corn

Around every turn, the Chilliwack Sunflower Festival provides countless opportunities to capture the perfect Instagram-worthy keepsake photos and videos. Roam the acreage to discover swing sets, an operational windmill, a vintage bicycle, face cut-outs, and more.  Take a break from the blooms with the many outdoor lawn games available to play: bolaball, “giant” Jenga, dominoes, tic-tac-toe, checkers, and more. 

Weekends include the added attraction of the Rotary Club of Chilliwack Fraser train, which offers free rides through the fields.

A dedicated covered area provides a shaded retreat from the summer sun to enjoy cold drinks, ice cream, and snacks, plus local food trucks will be on site daily.

The Chilliwack Sunflower Festival runs every day from August 1 to September 15 (hours vary; check website for full details). Location is 41310 Yale Road. Ticket and season-pass prices vary for individuals, families and bus groups; children five and under are admitted free.
On-leash pets are welcome — a water station and complimentary pick-up bags will be available.

Visit chilliwacksunflowerfest.com for directions, complete ticket pricing, and more information.

Abbotsford Tulip Festival 2015 Wraps

AbbyTulipFest_6060Yesterday, the inaugural Abbotsford Tulip Festival came to a close. The hugely successful Festival brought throngs of visitors to the Warmerdam Farm on the Sumas Prairie.

Covering 10 acres, 2.5 million bulbs burst into colour over the last 5 weeks.  Even while some of the field lost their colour, there was still rows upon rows of brilliant colour to capture on the final days. AbbyTulipFest_2016-05-01, 10 45 43As we roamed the field, under blazing sunshine, visitors of all ages jumped at the chance to witness natures wonder.  While the brilliant colours are the main attraction, with a stunning backdrop of Mount Baker rising in the horizon, the Festival is more than just the flowers.  Activities around the site makes it fun for the whole family; tether ball, rubber ducky races, sandboxes, photo cutout boards, food trucks, covered picnic areas.  For $5 per person, it’s a great value for a day out. AbbyTulipFest_6057

The Tulip Festival has closed for the season and the Warmerdam’s will set about preparing for another even more brilliant field of colour next year.

Watch for the Abbotsford Tulip Festival to return in Spring 2017.   Located just down the road from the Ramada Plaza Abbotsford Hotel and Conference Centre,  as well as Castle Fun Park,  plan your stay to make a day of it or check out the Ramada Plaza’s Festival Packages next year.

10th Annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Photo 2014-03-24, 17 16 55

If you’ve walked around the city lately, you’ll surely have noticed the abundant blossoms turning the streets pink just in time for the 2016 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival.  The 10th Anniversary Festival gets underway on Thursday, March 24th with a free lunch time Cherry Jam concert at Burrard Station concourse.  Throughout the festival look for free community events, painting sessions, tree plantings, neighbourhood tree talks & walks and special Sakura menus in restaurants around town.   Midway through the Festival take in, Sakura Days Japan Fair, April 9-10 at VanDusen Botanical Gardens which fills the garden with entertainment and activities.

Once again, All Nippon Airways and the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival are offering a change to win a roundtrip for two to Japan, with the BC Blossom Watch Photo Contest by submitting photos, of blossoms or people enjoying the blossom festival, online, via email, on Twitter or on Instagram with hashtag #VCBF2016 & #AllNipponAirways for a chances to win.

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival runs all over the city from March 24th to 17th, visit the websites for the full line-up of activities during the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival and Sakura Days Japan Fair.  Follow the Festival on Twitter @OfficiaVCBF, on Instagram @cherryblossomfestyvr and on Facebook.com/VancouverCherryBlossomFestival

Colour in the Country at Abbotsford Tulip Festival

abbytulipfestMarch 25th is the kick off of the first Abbotsford Tulip Festival

The 2016 festival is the only tulip festival in BC as well as only tulip celebration in Canada located on a farm. Visitors will find 10 acres planted with 2.5 million bulbs bursting with the brilliant colours of over 50 tulip varieties.

“Our festival highlights community spirit, local agriculture and spring. I am excited to see this long-time dream become a reality and I’m looking forward to sharing my passion with our community!” says Alexis Warmerdam, Owner and Fourth Generation Dutch-Canadian Bulb Grower.  Alexis spent the last year preparing a new field on their Sumas Prairie farm with the intention of providing a unique experience where guests can appreciate the tulips’ beauty amidst the Fraser Valley scenery.

“We are very excited. It is going to be a fantastic experience and a great addition to all of the other things happening in Abbotsford this year. This family-friendly festival will highlight the beauty of the community and will give, yet, another reason for locals and visitors to get out and explore Abbotsford. Alexis’ vision is inspirational and we wish her and her team the very best, says Craig Nichols, Executive Director of Tourism Abbotsford.

To make the Abbotsford Tulip Festival an experience for the whole family, the Warmerdam family farm offers ample parking, a covered picnic site, children’s play area, photo cut-out boards, weekend food trucks and designated areas for friends and family to wander through the fields. The U-Pick field allows visitors to select their own fresh cut flowers, or visit the shop and purchase fresh cut tulips and order bulbs for planting in the fall. Make a weekend of it and book a Festival package at Ramada Plaza Abbotsford. 

Dates:            March 25 – May 1, 2016 from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, seven days a week
Location:        36737 North Parallel Road, Abbotsford, BC
Admission:     Only $5.00 per person and complimentary parking Monday to Friday.

Tickets can be purchased online at abbotsfordtulipfestival.ca
Follow the brilliance of the Abbotsford Tulip Festival on Facebook, Instagram @abbotsfordtulipfestival and Twitter @abbytulipfestival #abbytulips

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival takes bloom

Photo 2014-03-26, 7 36 34Every spring Vancouver streets and parks come alive with brilliant displays of Cherry Blossoms. From April 3rd to 28th, the annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, coinciding with Sakura Days Japan Fair, April 5 – 6 at Van Dusen Garden, fills the city with activities: talks, walks, concerts, fashions shows, tea ceremonies and special restaurant menus.  Kicking of with a free lunch time concert – Cherry Jam on April 3rd from noon top 1:30pm at Burrard Station. Free, guided Tree Talks & Walks take visitors to see the trees and learn the biology of the city neighbourhoods.

Throughout the month participate in the BC Blossom Watch Photo Contest by submitting photos online, via email or on Twitter with hashtag #cherryblossomsyvr for a chances to win $250 gift cards from TravelSmart.

Photo 2014-03-24, 17 16 55

Visit their websites for the full line-up of activities during the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival and Sakura Days Japan Fair.  Follow the Festival on Twitter @OfficiaVCBF or Facebook.com/VancouverCherryBlossomFestival .

Darvonda Nurseries & Milner Village Market gets set for the Holidays

Darvonda Poinsettias
A Sea Of Colour

As the Holiday season approaches, decorations will start to appear in shops and businesses. One of the most common sites will be colourful displays of Poinsettias, many of them from coming from the shelves of Costco where there seems to be an endless array throughout the season.  Did you know that all of those Poinsettias come from Darvonda Nurseries in Langley?

Garden Winter Market
Winter Market

The local grower supplies blooms throughout the year for the retailer all across the country. The family enterprise has grown immensely since its start in 1975, Darvonda’s operations now span over 40 acres of indoor and outdoor growing areas, as well as making use of growing partners all across the country to help meet the demand for fresh plants and cut flowers over the year.  The enterprise has become adept and creative at making use of the all their space to the best of its ability and to meet the demands of the market. Vines of tomatoes and cucumbers fill the greenhouses in between crops of flowers, to ensure that there is never much downtime in the growing spaces.

A disused barn across from the main offices and greenhouse in the small Langley village of Milner, has become a great community gathering place. The Milner Village Garden Centre is a spot for the Darvonda growers to sell ‘seconds’ and allow the local farmers into the Milner Village Winter Markets, running until December 15th, featuring a wide selection of local crafters, farmers and other vendors. Starting next weekend: the holidays are truly in swing as the Holiday Shop is revealed on November 16th with a charity fundraiser Sip, Sample and Shop – an evening of local wines, cheeses and fashions in the Garden Centre that is alive with the Christmas Spirit, a great way to start your holiday shopping.

Milner Village Garden Ctr
Milner Village Garden Centre

Find Darvonda Nurseries and Milner Village Garden Centre at 6690 – 216 Street Langley. Stay up to date with the Centre on Facebook or via their Greenhouse Diaries blog and Pinterest