It might be early to forecast, but organizers of the annual Maple Ridge Caribbean Festival expects the event will be repeated again in 2023.
Despite attendance being down due to the extreme hot weather, founder and organizer Deddy Geese was still pleased with the turnout for the first post-pandemic festival.
“The hot weather for us is always bad weather, believe it or not, even though it’s a Caribbean Festival,” Geese told The News.
But he noted the existence of water taps and misting stations in various locations around the Albion Fairgrounds throughout the weekend, plus shady spots under trees and tents, made it more bearable for spectators to enjoy what Geese called “fantastic music.”
The crowd, he said, definitely increased on Saturday night’s when the weather cool slightly and headliner, Hitsville USA – with their Motown show – took to the stage.
The festival had two stages going over the course of two days, with 18 different acts performing.
In addition to the music, the 20th Caribbean Festival in 22 years boasted a variety of vendors and numerous food trucks, some with authentic food and beverages for spectators to devour.
The free live music festival, which started more than two decades ago in Memorial Peace Park, was moved to Albion Fairgrounds a few years ago now because of parking issue in the downtown core.
Through all its years, the festival typically draws a few thousand people each year.
This year’s festivities kick off a little early, on Thursday night, with a launch party in Memorial Peace Park that attracted several hundred.
“I’ll definitely be back next year,” said Geese, noting that once again the festival achieved his goal.
“For more than 22 years, the Caribbean Festival has drawn musicians from around the world to the tranquil and beautiful nature in Maple Ridge, British Columbia – full of music, mingling, good tunes and great times.”
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