Victoria is a city of neighbourhoods and one of the coolest and funkiest is Fernwood.
FernFest and Fernwood Bites celebrate the neighbourhood’s many charms June 21-23, with an exciting, expanded schedule of events.
The 24th annual FernFest kicks off Friday, June 21 in Fernwood Square with music by The New Souls and Schwey, a barbeque with local sausages and veggie dogs, and a beer garden in The Belfry Theatre featuring adult beverages from Phillips Brewery and Merridale Cidery. This year FernFest has also expanded indoors, with music and entertainment on The Belfry’s main stage including Fox Glove. Events run from 5-10 p.m.
Saturday’s events include the Kidical Bike Parade with decoration of bikes at 10 a.m. and the mass ride at 11 a.m. More than 50 booths will be set up in the Square for the Artisan Market from 10:30 to 5 p.m., and from noon to 5 p.m. on the Kid’s Stage in the square, there’s puppet shows, kid’s yoga and drag storytelling.
Heritage Walking Tours of Fernwood are led by Victoria Heritage Foundation volunteers at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, and on FernFest’s Field of Dreams (Vic High’s playing field) numerous, local non-profit organizations share space with the Musical Petting Zoo, circus fun, silk screening and lots of other arts and crafts activities.
|Fernwood Bites is a popular food and beverage event that culminates FernFest weekend.|
Cartoon Lizard, Salty Broad Productions and Nasti Weather perform on the Belfry main stage starting at 1 p.m. Saturday while bands like Downtown Mischief and Old Soul Rebel play in the Square from noon to 10 p.m. Theatre SKAM Pop-up Theatre is scheduled between noon and 2 p.m. There is also a series of workshops in The Belfry’s Studio Theatre from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
“We love Fernwood and FernFest and Fernwood Bites!” enthuses Mila Czemerys, co-coordinator of communications and events for Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group, the producer of the events. “We value everything local and the connections with the community that the weekend celebrates.”
Fernwood NRG provides programs and services like childcare, affordable housing, food access programs support for families, youth and seniors, as well as arts and cultural events like these.
Fernwood Bites, an adults-only, fund-raising showcase of the local food and drink scene, celebrates its 10th year on the Sunday from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. back in the Square. Tickets are $80 and the event always sells out. In addition to live music and the local chefs, brewers distillers and winemakers’ offerings, there’s also a silent auction and art auction. Tickets are available at Fernwoodbites2019.eventbrite.ca.
What could be more fun on a summer evening in Fernwood?