Don’t even think about trying to cruise down the Fraser one-way in Langley City this Saturday – a few spare hours on foot will be the only way to experience what’s in store for Langley’s downtown core.
Aug. 17 sees the 26th return of the Arts Alive Festival which will completely cover the street – and then some – with local artisans, musicians, performers, and Langley business booths.
Teri James, executive director of the Downtown Langley Business Association, said though there are many exhibitors and performers new to the festival, the yearly celebration as a whole won’t deviate too much from it’s usual format.
“Why fix what’s not broken? It’s just something engaging and, honestly, very successful. The whole community can be proud.”
Between 204 and 206 Streets and spilling out into McBurney Plaza and Salt Lane, local vendors will be lining the streets to tout a staggering variety of crafts and wares.
Started by a small group of business owners in the early nineties and originally confined in the space where McBurney Plaza is now located, James said the festival has since become Langley City’s largest yearly event.
“It’s now at an all time high,” James stated. “[Arts Alive] grew into 155 vendors which includes 40 local businesses. There’s jewelry, photography, wood turners, designers, candles, quilters… everything. It’s a really good mix.”
Additionally, that total raises past 200 participants when all of the entertainers and performers are added into the mix.
For the younger attendees who may not be as into poking around vendor tables as their parents, a children’s venue with a bouncy castle, balloon twisting, and an array of street performers including clowns and jugglers may be a tad more appealing.
For the older guests who are of age and looking for a way to escape the August, a beer gardens featuring craft brews and wine will be back – stage-side – for its second year.
As for actual acts playing on stage, a mix of local bands like the Fraser Valley’s Americana folk pop group Dear One to nationally celebrated musicians like Cross Parallel will take the McBurney Plaza Main Stage.
Salt Lane will harbour a different musical feel with busking style performances from Andrew Christopher and Parliament of Owls.
“All of the performances are spread out, so there will be no music bouncing off each other,” James explained.
For visitors with rumbling bellies, four food trucks will be on site, as well as booths, tables from, and offerings from 35 Langley restaurants.
“A tip,” James said to aid those coming from more than a few blocks away, “parking will not be enforced that day. Private lots like No Frills still will be, but street parking will be okay.”
James also suggested people come early, as the city streets tend to fill up quickly.
“The popularity year after year… and 25 percent of people come from out of town… it really highlights our beautiful downtown,” James said.
Arts Alive Festival is completely free and runs non-stop between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, people can visit www.downtownlangley.com
McBurney Plaza Main Stage Performance Schedule
10 to 11 a.m. – Sydney Beau
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Dear One
1 to 3 p.m. – Cross Parallel
3 to 5 p.m. – Pat Chessell Band
Salt Lane Busking Performance Schedule
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Andrew Christopher/ Parliament of Owls
Children’s Venue Busking Performance Schedule
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Ari Neufeld
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