Strawberries, ice cream and the promise of family fun was all it took to bring an estimated 8,000 people out to Beaver Lake Park on Sunday for the 48th annual Strawberry Festival.
The day began gloomy but the sky cleared by mid-afternoon when organizers sold out of the 3,500 portions of 50-cent strawberries and ice cream, continuing a beloved Saanich tradition.
“Last year, we got very close to running out and we knew 3,500 would be the magic number,” said Rob Phillips, Saanich special events coordinator.
“We keep some servings aside for our volunteers so they can enjoy the fruit of their labour, you could say.”
Phillips said the 500 to 600 pounds of strawberries were sourced from Mitchell Bros Farm, while 585 litres of ice cream came from Island Farms.
The 50-cent serving price is heavily subsidized by Saanich each year to keep the community tradition alive, although both suppliers donate some product and labour to keep the event thriving, Phillips said.
Live music entertained the older kids throughout the afternoon on the shore of Beaver Lake, while an expanded kids activity area included a bouncy castle, a miniature, rideable train and a drumming station.
See more photos on Page A11.