Buskers, a farm market, sidewalk sales and a festival-like atmosphere will give Cloverdale residents plenty of reasons to celebrate the turn of the seasons.
Merchants along the 176 Street corridor in the historic town centre are organizing the first-annual Harvest Day on Oct. 5, with participation from businesses in Cloverdale, Clayton Heights, and South Surrey.
Visitors will be able to stock up on Thanksgiving supplies a week ahead of time – and take in some of the festivities, from live music to kids’ crafts.
“It’s a great opportunity for awareness for our farm,” says Ron Tamis of Rondriso Farms, a traditional family farm which isn’t technically located in Cloverdale, but the Tamises consider themselves Cloverdale farmers all the same.
At its farm shop and at various farm markets in the region, including the Surrey Urban Farmers Market, Rondriso Farm sells beef, sweet corn, potatoes and a range of local produce, including pumpkins, which are nearly ready for harvest. (The pumpkin patch and hay rides operate Oct. 1 to 31.)
They’re thrilled to be part of something so close to home.
“It’s neat to see a celebration of what’s happening in Surrey,” adds his wife, Pam.
One of the Harvest Day organizers, Helena Lloyd, who owns Mates Uniforms, says she organized a fall sidewalk sale last year and kept hearing the suggestion it be expanded into a harvest festival.
“But we didn’t have enough time to organize one last year,” Lloyd says.
“So this year, we thought, ‘why don’t we see if we can incorporate the harvest?’ Everyone loves going to markets. That’s what sort of drove this.”
The emphasis is on local wares, providing shoppers with the perfect excuse to get better acquainted with local merchants, producers and more.
Harvest Day participants are all Surrey businesses, with a focus on Cloverdale and area.
“Being that we can’t do all of Cloverdale, we started to invite people that are in Cloverdale to come onto the street,” she says. “It just grew.”
Merchants from Clover Square Village, Brick Yard Station and beyond have RSVP’d.
And so far, more than one dozen additional merchants have also said they’ll participate, offering up everything from jams and nuts to flowers, honey, cheese, desserts, breads and other treats, including home baking – thanks to Cloverdale United Church, who will be selling frozen apple pies.
“The word’s getting out there, and people want to come. So, in time, this will grow,” says Lloyd, who would like to see a similar event taking place every month in downtown Cloverdale starting in April and running to October, except when other events such as the annual Cloverdale Blueberry Festival are taking place.
“And, why wouldn’t we want to do this more often? In the summer? bring people to Cloverdale. We’ve got such neat stores now,” she says, listing several exciting new additions to downtown, from vintage furniture and collectibles to aboriginal art.
“We’re growing,” says Cynthia Dunsmore of the Cloverdale Reporter. “We are a little community within the big city. This is perfect. It’s a little bit of a festival.”
Dunsmore, who is also helping organize Harvest Day, is excited about bringing in Rondriso Farms.
They represented the important first step, encouraging other vendors and merchants to participate.
Children’s activities include crafts by Create-It Emporium, who will teach kids to create their own turkey rattles – a musical craft made from paper.
– Harvest Day is Saturday, Oct. 5. It runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on 176 Street between Highway 10 to 58 Avenue, along with Hawthorne (176 Street and 57A Avenue) and Oasis (176 Street and 56A Avenue) squares.