Sun and songs at lucky 13th Caribbean Fest

The festival held in downtown Maple Ridge was one for the record books, drawing over 20,000 people over the July 13-14 weekend

Number 13 appears to be lucky for Maple Ridge’s Caribbean Festival.

Deddy Geese, the festival’s entertainment organizer, said the 13th edition of the festival held in downtown Maple Ridge was one for the record books.

“I think it’s the best event we’ve had in it’s history,” noted Geese. “From attendance being up to the great weather all played a part, for sure. But I think having one of the strongest musical line-ups also helped.”

Geese said he estimates as many as 20,000 people took in this year’s festival, which featured 18 bands playing more than 19 hours of music.

He said the two-day event has garnered a strong reputation amongst festival-goers and musicians across the Pacific Northwest. Part of that is attributed to a tightly run show, where the musical schedule runs pretty much on time, he said.

“The musicians and crowd really appreciate that. The artists know they’re going to get their full hour to play and the crowd can count on everything running on time,” he said.

Bands included Vancouver’s Sugga Cane and Mostly Marley. As well, Saturday night’s main act was Barracuda, a Heart tribute band.

He said the idea behind having one of its main acts fall outside the theme of the festival is to attract patrons who might otherwise never have attended.

“We’re always looking for ways to attract new customers, to make the festival a little different from the previous year,” he said.

Geese also attributed the festival’s success to the dedicated committee members and volunteers.

“The logistics of pulling something like this off without them is impossible to conceive,” he said.