Thousands spent the long weekend in Maple Ridge grooving to the sounds of reggae, soca, Cuban salsa, and steel drums.
Caribbean Festival organizer Deddy Geese estimates more than 5,000 people attended the festival over two days at the Albion Fairgrounds.
“It’s great that we brought it back, that we had a very successful event,” said Geese.
Although, he added, they did not get the crowds of people they had in past events, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Post pandemic you don’t know what you are getting yourself into bringing the event back,” said Geese, adding that all the efforts they put into organizing it still paid off.
The musical lineup both days was great, said Geese. The only down side of the festival, he noted, was the heat.
“Literally every inch of shade was taken,” he elaborated.
Environment Canada had extended a heat warning over the weekend and, according to the government weather agency’s data, temperatures hovered around 34 C both Saturday and Sunday.
Geese was worried there would be heat-related emergencies on the festival grounds. However, the week before the festival, his team build three misting tents.
“They were the most popular item on the whole field down there,” he said.
There were around 15 food vendors and more than 20 clothing and specialty item vendors on site.
Next year Geese will be rebranding the festival as “the Maple Ridge Caribbean Festival Society presenting the Tropical Vibes Music Festival” to differentiate it from others outside of the community.
“We want to be a strict music festival. Our emphasis is music, improved music lineups, and good food,” he said.
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