Strawberry Festival turns 45

The 45th annual Saanich Strawberry Festival will go ahead at Beaver Lake Park this Sunday (July 10).

Saanich’s longest-running Sunfest event is back, though the slow start to spring almost ruined the featured attraction.

The 45th annual Saanich Strawberry Festival will go ahead at Beaver Lake Park this Sunday (July 10).

Twenty-five volunteers are expecting to dish up 4,000 servings of strawberries and ice cream for a price that has withstood any pressure from inflation.

“We were a little worried in the later part of June, but the weather did warm up quite a bit,” said Vern Mitchell of Mitchell Farms, providers of strawberries to the annual festival. “The weather picked up and we just finished the order (Tuesday).”

The 454 kg of strawberries are picked in batches, washed, cut and lightly sugared at the farm before they’re frozen at Islands West Produce. Three days prior to the event, they’re thawed and ready to go.

Running out of strawberries – available for the long-standing low cost of just 50 cents per serving – isn’t a concern for organizers.

“We’re kind of limited by time,” said Rob Phillips, special events co-ordinator with Saanich. “In an hour and 15 minutes, it’s tough to get through more than 3,000 (servings).”

The celebration of Saanich’s agricultural roots is free to attend and runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Strawberries will be served starting at 2 p.m.

Musical entertainment for the day includes the Reynolds secondary quartet, Cookeilidh, Invasion 62 and the return of Commodore Big Band.

The event also features relay races, kids’ craft stations, pony rides, bouncy castles and information displays and concession stands for charity.

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