Fort Langley Cranberry Festivalby
The highly-anticipated Fort Langley Cranberry Festival is coming up on Saturday, October 11, 2014 from 10:00am to 4:00pm in the heart of the Village of Fort Langley.
Presented by the Fort Langley BIA, this free festival will have a pancake breakfast, food trucks, entertainment, kids’ play areas, unique vendors, participation from local shops and studios, nearly 100 vendors, and of course the freshest of cranberries.
The Fort itself will also have 50% off admission (Saturday only) with cranberry-themed programming all the way through Sunday and Monday that long weekend.
Discover the history of cranberry use by First Nations people in British Columbia, and how the Hudson’s Bay Company exported these treasured fruits in the 1850s. A cranberry treasure hunt will take place throughout the weekend, you can watch a barrel-making demonstration, make cranberry bannock at 11:00am, 2:00pm and 4:00pm, play cranberry-related games and more.
About BC Cranberries
I researched cranberries around the region for a piece I wrote for Tourism Vancouver last year and found all kinds of interesting facts:
- The cranberry is one of only three commercially-grown fruits that are native to North America.
- Traditionally, cranberries were hot trading commodities at Fort Langley (aka the Birthplace of BC) as local First Nations used them for food, dyes, and medicine. They would trade cranberries for HBC blankets, beads, and other items. In fact in 1858, cranberries were actually worth more than salmon.
- Of all the cranberries harvested in Canada every year, about 60% are grown for Massachusetts-based Ocean Spray, to which most BC cranberry growers belong as a cooperative — as a result 90% of BC cranberries are shipped to the USA.
- Approximately 50% of BC’s crop is used to make sweetened dried cranberries, 40% is made into juice, 9% is sold whole frozen and 1% is sold fresh, according to the Government of BC.