The 20th Fleetwood Festival will fill the Surrey neighbourhood with a full day of free activities and attractions.
The event, held annually on the first Saturday after Labour Day, is set for Sept. 8 at Fleetwood Community Centre and the adjacent Francis Park, at 84th Avenue and 160th Street, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A new playground will open at the park that day, and some new activities are planned.
“New this year, we’ll have an extreme slide, which we’re all pretty excited about — basically it’s this giant slide,” said Katrina Di Vincenzo, who helps plan the event and also lives in the neighbourhood.
“We change up the attractions every year just to keep it fresh and fun for everybody,” she added.
Free hip-hop lessons, a trackless train, mini golf, paddle boats, bouncy castles and roving performers are also featured.
Also new this year is a Fleetwood BIA-sponsored movie night at Francis Park, with a screening of “Avengers: Infinity War,” the Marvel superhero flick, from 7 to 10 p.m. Prior to the show, a costume contest will involve kids, adults and pets. Free popcorn and water will be given out.
Up to 4,000 people attend the festival every year, Di Vincenzo said.
”It’s been growing in popularity every year,” she said. “Unfortunately last year it poured rain the whole time, so it wasn’t as busy because of that, but we still had pretty good attendance despite the weather that was out there.
“I think the event attracts people from all over Surrey, and this year is special because it’s the 20th year,” she added. “And with the movie night hosted by the BIA, it’s really now a full day of fun for Fleetwood families.”
Two years ago, the 2016 edition of the festival included a ceremony to honour the late Rick Hart, longtime president of Fleetwood Community Association and the festival founder. Hart, known alternately as the “Mayor of Fleetwood” and “Mr. Fleetwood,” was named Surrey’s 2016 Good Citizen of the Year. Hart died in July of that year, not long after being diagnosed with brain cancer. He was 62.