Metro Vancouver’s Fort Langley Cranberry Festival is a FREE event with a market and family-friendly activities on the Thanksgiving Weekend in Fort Langley.
The festival took place on October 9th in 2021. It returns on Saturday, October 8th in 2022.
This article contains the following information:
Click any of the above links for details about a specific topic, or continue reading to learn all about the Fort Langley Cranberry Festival. (Note: details are subject to change.)
Cranberry Festival in Historic Fort Langley
The family-friendly Fort Langley Cranberry Festival was going to celebrate its 25th year in 2020. Because of COVID-19, however, the event was cancelled.
In 2021, the festival happened on the Saturday of the Thanksgiving Long Weekend, so on October 9th. It was open rain or shine from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. Festivities occurred at 9160 Glover Road, right by the Fort Langley Community Hall.
In years with good weather, the event attracts tens of thousands of people. However, things were different from normal in 2021 due to COVID-19, so the festival likely happened on a smaller scale.
HALLOWEEN IN LANGLEY
If you like haunted houses, while out in the Langley region, you should consider checking out Brinkworth Dungeon. It’s an exceptional haunted house located at 22260 48th Avenue (so just 12 km or so south of Fort Langley. The displays at this place are almost all handcrafted by a professional artist!
Cranberry Festival Location
Much of the event takes place in the heart of the town at the Fort Langley Community Hall (at 9167 Glover Road) and along the main street in front of the building for a couple of blocks in either direction.
Cranberry Festival Activities
The 2021 Fort Langley Cranberry Festival featured over 60 vendors and about 10 food trucks. As usual, a variety of activities were available for children. There was also live music and beer, the latter of which was a new offering for the year.
The Fort Langley Cranberry Festival features a pancake breakfast in the morning, a market with dozens of vendors, and a wide range of family-friendly activities. In a typical year there are often cooking demonstrations and all kinds of cranberry-themed things to do and look at.
In normal years, there’s a small number of special cranberry-related activities at the fort itself, but not a lot more to do than on a normal busy weekend. This may or may not have happened in 2021.
The historic site is an interesting place to visit any day of the year, so many festival attendees also spend some time at the fort. In addition to regular blacksmith and barrel-making demonstrations, one special fort activity for the festival most years is a “cranberry stomp.”
Fort Langley’s regular weekly farmers market also usually takes place at the same time as the festival in its regular location at 9025 Glover Road. The venue is just a block or so from the rest of the village’s main festival activities. The market is always a popular one, and especially so during the Cranberry Festival.
Performances that took place at the Fort Langley Cranberry Festival in the town in 2019 included the following. Future years may be similar.
- 10:00 am – Six Gun Romeo
- 10:30 am – Silver Diamond Country Line Dancers
- 11:00 am – Damn Chandelier
- 11:30 am – Surrey Firefighters Pipes and Drums
- 12:00 pm – Seabillys Celtic Band
- 12:30 pm – Kwantlen First Nations Drums & Dance
- 1:00 pm – Rue Saint Georges Saxophone Ensemble
- 1:30 pm – Kailyarders Band
- 2:00 pm – Maria’s Traditional Mexican Vivo
- 2:30 pm – Ranj Singh
- 3:00 pm – MAYDAY Youth Club Choir
- 3:30 pm – Ashley Pater Band
- 4:00 pm – Dave Mercer & Co
- 4:30 pm – Key Collective Band
Live entertainment is normally scheduled inside Fort Langley itself. The 2019 schedule was as follows. Future years will likely be comparable.
- 10:45 am – Fort Langley 101
- 11:00 am – Coopering demonstration
- 12:00 pm – Cranberry stomp
- 1:15 pm – Fort Langley 101
- 1:30 pm – Campfire cranberry bannock
- 2:00 pm – Cranberry stomp
- 2:30 pm – Coopering demonstration
- 3:00 pm – Campfire cranberry bannock
- 4:00 pm – Fort Langley 101
- 4:30 pm – Flag lowering ceremony
About the Festival
The Fort Langley Cranberry Festival has been running since 1996. It has grown into an event of significant size.
The main focus of the festival is the market which features over 60 vendors selling everything from fresh cranberries to cranberry baked goods, wines and art. There is a large yet fairly typical artisan and farmers market, but with a cranberry theme and tons of people.
Below is some other general information about the event that’s good to know, especially in years when there isn’t a pandemic.
- Dogs are welcome at the festival in most areas, except not indoors at the Community Hall or in the fort. Glover Road gets packed with thousands of people, however, so not all canine participants will enjoy the experience.
- Be prepared for crowds yourself. It can get insanely busy in the market as well as with traffic on the surrounding roads.
- If you want to stock up on cranberries, be sure to buy them earlier in the day before they sell out. Just remember though that, unless you somehow manage to park your car close by, you’ll have to walk around with your purchases for the rest of your visit.
- Live music and other activities take place in and around the Community Hall.
- A couple of years ago admission to the fort was free thanks to the Canada 150 celebrations. In 2019, again, admission was free. Hopefully it’ll be the same in 2022, but it might not be.
Free Shuttle Service
With up to as many as 50,000+ people attending the small town’s event during non-pandemic years, parking can be a challenge. Most years the festival offers a free shuttle service. In years when the service is offered, shuttle buses run regularly from both Trinity Western University and Walnut Grove Secondary School.
Trinity Western University is located close to the Trans-Canada Highway at 7600 Glover Road. It’s on the same street as the festival but to the south and about a 12-minute drive away (in good traffic). Walnut Grove Secondary, meanwhile, is located at 8919 Walnut Grove Drive, so about a 10-minute drive west of Fort Langley via 88th Avenue.
Parking at the school is usually free, but at the university you have to pay. In some (but not all) years the fee is waived at Trinity Western during the festival.
Tips and Advice
Below are some suggestions and extra information to help you make the most out of your visit to the festival in future years.
TIP #1: The cost per hour for parking at the university gets less and less the longer you pay for. Consequently, if parking there and needing to pay, pay for more than you expect to stay. Why? 1) Because the extra bit of time is cheap, 2) you might want to stay longer than you plan and 3) there can sometimes be a line up and traffic delays for the shuttle coming back.
TIP #2: Before putting your money in the parking machine at Trinity University (if you park there), make sure you really do have to pay. There’s a chance you won’t in which case there should be signs around stating this. If there are no signs, however, then odds are that regular rates do still apply.
TIP #3: If the shuttle service is in fact available, don’t wait until the very end to get in the lineup for your return trip back to your car. Lots of people use the service in years when it’s offered!
TIP #4: Unless you arrive really early, don’t expect to find parking anywhere remotely close to the centre of town. As the day progresses cars start to park along the roads as far as a couple of kilometres away.
TIP #5: If you have bicycles and a bike rack, take them with you to Fort Langley. You can then park a ways away and cycle to the event, which will mean less of a walk and less time in the traffic mayhem!
About Fort Langley and Cranberries
The Fort Langley Cranberry Festival is one of the largest events of the year for the community of Fort Langley. Other major events include Fort Langley May Days with its parade in May and the Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival in the summer, among others.
Fort Langley itself is a beautiful historic town with a National Heritage site fort, a couple of museums, antique shops and colonial-style buildings. Both the fort and the town are well worth visiting.
Fort Langley is located at the edge of what’s known as the Fraser Valley part of the Lower Mainland. It’s a predominantly agricultural area with all kinds of farm land. Cranberries are the largest crop for the region, which explains why the October festival is all about cranberries. Between the Fraser Valley and Richmond, the Lower Mainland is one of the largest producers of cranberries anywhere in the world!
To learn more about the Fort Langley Cranberry Festival, check out the Cranberry Festival website.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver October Calendar
- Festivals & Events Calendar
- Thanksgiving in the Lower Mainland
- Vancouver Halloween Events
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Best Places in Autumn