The Clayton Community Festival is returning May 14.
After a two-year COVID-caused interruption, the festival will celebrate its 10th “annual” incarnation this year.
The festival usually takes place at both Hillcrest Village and Clayton Crossing, both sides of the Fraser Highway. This year’s event will be smaller, however, as only a small part of the parking lot in front of Save-on at Hillcrest Village will be blocked off for festival tents and booths.
“At the last minute we decided to only do one side of the road,” said Jen Temple, manager of Hillcrest Village. “We were watching how things were going with COVID and we thought it was better to wait. So we only decided at the last minute to go ahead with it.”
Temple said there are a lot of other issues that have to be dealt with when hosting a bigger festival—such as getting extra permitting and booking traffic control officers, among other things—but for that, festival planning has to start well in advance of the event. With a smaller celebration, Temple said they can plan it in a short time period.
She added the festival is always the Saturday before the May long weekend. When it started 12 years ago, it was tied to the Cloverdale Rodeo, but over the years it morphed into its own event and has become wildly popular. Annual attendance, pre-COVID, was about 4,000.
She said the City of Surrey is jumping in to help this year too.
“They have their art department working with us,” explained Temple. “They’ll have stay-and-play activities, air-brush tattooing, a balloon twister, and lots of activities for kids. There will also be mini-golf.”
Temple added everything at the festival will be free, including a Tim Hortons booth where she thinks free timbits will be given out.
The festival takes place Saturday, May 14 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hillcrest Village Shopping Centre on Fraser Hwy and 188th Street.
“What happens out here in the parking lot is just about giving back,” she added. “Everything’s about people and families coming back together again.”