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.

Step up your summer dining with Les Dames d’Escoffier Summerdine

Imagine taking in a sumptuous, summer evening dinner on a yacht, at a vineyard or orchard, a garden terrace or your favourite restaurant, while supporting a great local scholarship program. 

That’s what you get when Les Dames d’Escoffier BC Chapter presents their annual dining event Summerdine, on Wednesday, August 14, 2019. The 2019 Summerdine features 22 separate dinner parties, more than 200 seats, all at the same time on one night (plus a special one-off dinner August 15th) from Vancouver to the Okanagan, the Fraser Valley to Vancouver Island.

Most dinner parties are small (between four to eight seats only) with a couple of exceptions – a long table for 20 set on the top deck of Pacific Yacht Charter and a special dinner on Thursday, August 15 at Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse on Vancouver Island which is for 100 people.

In addition to many returning favourites such as ARC at the Fairmont Waterfront,Fable Kitchen, Hart House, Vij’s and RauDZ Regional Table, some of this year’s new locations include:

Vancouver: Coquille Fine Seafood, Douce Diner, Edible Canada, Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA), The Vancouver Club

Fraser Valley: Annora Restaurant, Trading Post Brewery, Township 7 Vineyards (with Well Seasoned)

Okanagan: Red Fox Club at Indigenous World Winery, Old Vines Restaurant at Quail’s Gate, Time Winery

Regardless of the location or size of the dinners, all diners will be treated to a specially-designed multiple-course menu, wines (or beer or cider) selected to complement that menu, a special table or location and an opportunity to meet and chat with the chefs and restaurateurs.

All Summerdine dinners on August 14th are $80 per person and include the multi-course meal with paired beverages (gratuity not included). The Vancouver Island, August 15th dinner at Sea Cider is priced at $100 per person. Reservations are already open, filling up with all spots expected to sell out, so book soon online at lesdames.ca/summerdine

As always, Summerdine dinners support Les Dames d’Escoffier BC Chapter’s Scholarship and Outreach programs. Les Dames d’Escoffier is a world-wide philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality, with a mandate to support the advancement of women in the hospitality and culinary domains as well as fostering industry excellence through educational and charitable activities.

Get Supper, Feel Super With Dining Out For Life 2019

Tonight, put your money where your mouth is, by Dining Out For Life.
All day Thursday March 14, 2019 restaurants from New West to Whistler and all stops in between have pledged 25% of their day’s food sales to A Loving Spoonful to help support people living with HIV/AIDS in your community.

From El Santo in New Westminster, to Hunter Gather Eatery & Taphouse in Whistler, and the dozens of other restaurants in between are taking part in BC’s largest restaurant fundraiser.

Just by eating out at one of the participating restaurants, you’re supporting A Loving Spoonful’s programs and services. It’s that easy. For every $3.55 raised, a healthy meal will be provided to someone in need. A Loving Spoonful delivers meals to those affected by HIV/AIDS, helps with nutrition and meal planning, Easter Sunday Dinner with city Chefs donating their time to provide dinners to groups of 50 to 60 people, Family Pantry Program which provides families with healthy pantry staples, healthy Snack Packs for clients and much more.

Visit the Dining Out For Life website to see all the participating restaurants near you, get out and dine. Share your Dining Out For Life experience on social media and follow along at #Vandofl / #DineOutGiveBack, to see where others are dining.

Dining Out For Life 2018 Tonight

What’s for dinner? Why not eat out tonight and do good while dining out.
Today, Thursday March 22, 2018 Dining Out For Life from Fraser Valley to Whistler and all across Metro Vancouver helps support people living with HIV/AIDS in your community.

From Bravo Restaurant in Chilliwack, El Santo in New Westminster, to Bowen Island Pizza in North Vancouver, The Reef Restaurant on Commercial Drive in Vancouver to HY’s Steakhouse, or Avalanche Pizza in Whistler,  plus dozens of restaurants are taking part in BC’s largest restaurant fundraiser. Visit the Dining Out For Life website to see all the participating restaurants near you.

You can give just by eating, dine out at one of the participating restaurants, and the restaurant in turn donates 25% of their day’s food sales to A Loving Spoonful.  The proceeds of Dining Our For Life go towards providing A Loving Spoonful’s free programs and services like delivering meals to those affected by HIV/AIDS, nutrition and meal planning, Easter Sunday Chef Dinner, Family Pantry Program, Snack Packs and more.

BBQ off the Bypass gets grilling Sept 11th

BBQ Off The Bypass 2016

We’re just under a month away from a tasty annual treat for the Fraser Valley as BBQ Off The Bypass returns for another year.

The 11th Annual event, presented by C7D Logistics with Johnston’s and Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store, returns to Langley running in conjunction with the Great BC Bake-Off.  The family friendly event is free to attend with donations will be taken at the door for this year’s charitable partner, TinyKittens, Rescue Kitten TV

BBQ teams from across Washington State, Montana, Saskatchewan and British Columbia will compete for the grand championship of $5,000 cash prize, and invite attendees to enjoy complimentary samples of their delicious slow-cooked meats from the grills and check out the treats from vendors as well as listen to live music from The New Shackletons.

The BBQ categories in this year’s competition include: chicken, brisket, ribs, pork and a blackbox category.   

Also returning with BBQ Off the Bypass is the 7th annual Great BC Bake-Off, an amateur pie baking competition open to the public. Home bakers are encouraged to submit their favourite pie or tart in one of three categories: fruit pie, butter tart or anything pie.

“We’re excited to be back again for the 11th year with TinyKittens as our charitable partner. Bring a friend or your family and join us in Langley for the annual celebration of Southern style BBQ.” says Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store’s Angie Quaale

BBQ Off The Bypass run from 10am – 4pm at 117-20353 64th Avenue in Langley, BC

Friday Find: Field House Brewing Co.

FieldHouseBrew_6045

On a recent weekend in the Fraser Valley, we made our first visit to Field House Brewing Co., I say first visit because it won’t be our last.

FieldHouseBrew_2016-04-30, 18 17 25Located on a mostly industrial street in East Abbotsford, once you stubble upon the 3 month old Field House Brewing Co. brewery and tasting room, you’ll feel instantly welcome. On a hot, spring evening the open lawn was filled with patrons sipping on their flights of craft beer and playing lawn games, creating a nice social atmosphere.  If the weather isn’t suitable for outdoor sips, the warm and inviting tasting room has a mix of long and small tables and a comforting seating around around the fire.FieldHouseBrew_2016-04-30, 18 27 29 The friendly staff guide guests on their sampling or Growler fills from the menu of 6  housemade brews, Sunday Cider from a rotation of BC local cideries and a Guest Tap, this week from Portland.   To round off your tasting, a selection of local bites like,  beer bagels, multigrain, cranberry crisps from Old Hand Coffee Cafe & Bakery, Hard Bite Chips, locally made sausage and more all satisfy the appetite.

FieldHouseBrew_6055While the atmosphere and environment were great, the real test is in the tasting and Field House Brewing wins on this point too.  We allowed Tasting Room Manager Josh to select our sample flight of Eastern IPA, Coolship Common, Field Saison and Sour Wheat Gose. All four were fresh and offered their own unique flavours.  A stand out for us were the Sour Wheat Gose, a new style of beer to me and I’m going to be on the lookout for it in the future.  As well I like a Belgian-style saison and the Field Saison was a good one.

The beer, the food, the style and atmosphere all contribute to a great time at Field House Brewing Co., and make us want to return for more. Next time you’re passing through East Abbotsford or even as a destination on a Sunday drive, make a pitstop at Field House Brewing Co. located at 2281 W. Railway St.

Visit online at fieldhousebrewing.com for more information.

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