BC’s Feast of Festivals
Photos and story by: Tourism BC in 2007 thus the information will be outdated.
The secret is out: there’s always something to celebrate in British Columbia, particularly in the regions famed for their wine and food: Vancouver, Whistler, the Okanagan Valley and Vancouver Island. Eat, drink and be merry at ten of the most delectable festivals all summer and fall long!
1) Canadian National BBQ Championships: Whistler August 4-5
This two-day event at Dusty’s Bar and Grill is the highlight of the Pacific Northwest barbecue circuit. Insiders know they can wrangle up the best lip-smacking barbecued beef brisket, chicken, ribs and pork on Sunday, when the best-of-the-best vie for the title 2007 Canadian BBQ Champion.
2) Okanagan Summer Wine Festival: Silver Star Mountain Resort, near Vernon August 9-11
Serious wine lovers head to this charming, Victorian-inspired mountain resort to partake in the delights of everything vino, from heady wine tastings, to epicurean feasts, to wine education seminars. Counter the calories with top-notch mountain biking or alpine walking at this four- season, destination resort.
3) Penticton Peach Festival: Penticton August 8-12.
Bring the kids and come celebrate the peach harvest with non-stop entertainment that includes live bands and huge parades, all paying homage to this most succulent of fruits. Penticton has hosted this peach of a celebration since 1947.
4) Feast of Fields: Pemberton August 18. (Vancouver, Sept 9; Duncan, Sept 16)
Eat well, eat fresh, eat local at Feast of Fields, a series of harvest festivals that draw urbanites to rural farms for gourmet picnic feasts. Taste the very best from chefs, vintners, brewers, farmers and food artisans from across British Columbia, and indulge your palate with the province’s freshest local flavours.
5) Slow Food Cycle Sunday: Pemberton August 19.
The day after Pemberton’s Feast of Fields, cycle off those calories on a back-to-the-land bike ride through stunning Pemberton Valley. Visit farms and markets along scenic country roads, and celebrate the bounty of the fall harvest.
6) Festival of the Tomato: Oliver September 2.
Tomato lovers of the world pilgrimage each year to Covert Farm to rejoice in this juicy, red delight—often in wild and wacky ways that your kids will love. Race through a pit of ripe tomatoes, climb a slippery 50-ft pole with tomatoes to cushion the fall, engage in a tomato brawl or participate in the Great Tomato-Tug-of-War. It’s a one-of-a-kind day to celebrate the harvest of this one-of-a-kind fruit
7) 15th Annual Great Canadian Beer Festival: Victoria September 7-8.
Here’s to beer, here’s to cheer: Canada’s longest-running beer festival features the largest selection of craft-only beers in the country. Join 7,000 other beer aficionados to celebrate hops in all their glory from over 50 breweries—all producing traditional brews with natural ingredients. Insiders can look forward to a pre-seasonal taste of Steamworks Brewing Company’s pumpkin ale, spiked with cinnamon, cloves, ginger and pumpkin, of course!
8) Okanagan Fall Wine Festival: Okanagan Valley (various locations) September 28-October 7.
Wine devotees have long delighted in this festival, the only one in North America that takes place at the giddy height of the grape harvest. This year marks the event’s 25th anniversary, and the valley is making the most of it. Take part in a grape stomp or two, then experience some 165 events focused on wine, food and the arts. Take a vineyard tour, then relish gourmet lunches and dinners that pair superb wines with the region’s fresh, seasonal cuisine.
9) Cowichan Wine and Culinary Festival: Cowichan Valley September 28-30.
Vancouver Island is fast-becoming one of North America’s culinary centres, and nowhere more so than in the Cowichan Valley. Celebrate the bounty through glorious feasts at upscale winemakers’ dinners and down-home barbecues. The demonstrations range from tapas-style tastings and local wine pairings to locally made ice cream and chocolate.
10) 9th Annual Salt Spring Apple Festival: Salt Spring Island Sept 30th.
Welcome to the world’s apple headquarters—Salt Spring Island is home to over 350 varieties of these fruits. Spend the day visiting 15 organic apple farms, touring orchards, identifying heritage brands and crunching apples. Insiders will have their eyes peeled for the twelve varieties of apple pies baked by the ‘Pie Ladies’. It’s good for you—after all, an apple a day…
To discover more about BC’s bountiful food and wine festivals, visit our Food and Wine pages at HelloBC.com
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