Entrants in the popular blueberry pie-eating contest clean up after this year’s competition at the Cloverdale Blueberry Festival.

Berry good turnout for fest

It’s the ultimate Cloverdale community event.

How else to describe the eighth annual Cloverdale Blueberry Festival, which combined the irresistible spectacle of hundreds of candy-coloured classic cars and vintage vehicles in the historic downtown with a bounty of family-friendly attractions, and blueberries galore?

This year’s festival attracted as many as 20,000 visitors, says Paul Orazietti, executive director of the Cloverdale Business Improvement Association, festival co-organizer along with the Cloverdale and District Chamber of Commerce.

Car buffs and auto enthusiasts from across the Lower Mainland swarmed into downtown Cloverdale for the Surrey Classic Show ‘n’ Shine, while competitive eaters of every age and description ate their way through 40 blueberry pies, across Highway 10 in Clover Square Village, site of thrilling BMX bike stunts, live music performances, face-painting, a display by Cinemazoo Animal Agency, and more.

Orazietti said 270 cars and vehicles were registered in this year’s Show ‘n’ Shine. Well over 100 participated in the cruise-in from downtown to the Cloverdale Fairgrounds for a dance hosted by the Cloverdale Rodeo Saturday evening.

The Arts Council of Surrey hosted a juried art show and craft fair at Surrey Museum Plaza (attracting out-of-town visitors from as far away as Prince George and cities in the B.C. Interior). The Surrey Museum hosted its annual Pic-Knit event with knitters, spinners and suppliers.

Many businesses reported a rip-roaring trade thanks to the sunny Saturday crowds.

“It was phenomenal this year,” said BIA member Tricia Ellingsen, of 176 Street’s Tricia’s Gems.

Ellingsen said vendors selling food, blueberries and other treats were able to keep up with the hungry crowds. The Langley Lions Club, which served up blueberry pancakes for breakfast and hotdogs and burgers for lunch, sold out.

The Cloverdale Legion sold a reported 700 blueberry pancakes at its annual breakfast fundraiser.

Dan Donnelly of the Teamsters Horsemen said the motorcycle enthusiast group raised $500 for the BC SPCA by letting people pose for photographs on their bikes at the festival.

The Cloverdale United Church ran one of the busiest food stands, serving up slices of home-baked blueberry pies as well as whole pies to a steady line of customers. Church volunteers picked 100 pounds of fresh berries last week, and it took 16 people five hours to bake more than 200 pies, May Taylor said.

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