by Ronda Payne/Special to the Langley Advance Times
A world cup qualifying show jumping competition at Langley’s Thunderbird Show Park will draw thousands, and tbird staff are encourage people to discover what else the community has to offer on their way to and from Sunday’s show.
Thunderbird Show Park (tbird) has been a significant part of Langley since it originally opened at 200th Street and the Trans-Canada Highway in 1970, and grew to become something of an icon and major community partner when it re-opened at its present location in the late ’90s.
As one of the agri-tourism stops on the Langley Circle Farm Tour, tbird staff have always promoted other local businesses to the 50,000-plus people who come to their facility each year. That according to Warren Kean, director of marketing and special initiatives with tbird.
Several thousand of its annual visitors are expected in town this Sunday for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup, and with show jumping action begins at 2 p.m. on Aug. 25, there’s ample time before or after the event to explore Langley, he said.
“These recommendations can include everything from where to go for dinner to where to buy a car,” Kean said of the local suggestions the team is known to make.
There are plenty of places to stop and explore on the way to or from tbird, when travelling to take in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup or other show park events.
Additional nearby stops on the Circle Farm Tour include Driediger Farms with fresh berries in season and a range of vegetables, pies, jams and more at the market on 72nd Avenue. There’s also Krause Berry Farms and Estate Winery that has a fruit winery, harvest kitchen and a range of family activities, pluse a little ways east is Milner Valley Cheese, which offers on-farm produced goat cheese from the Smith family’s goat herd.
“It’s great to get people off the beaten path exploring our beautiful province,” Kean said.
“Especially if it has people passing by our show grounds. We love that our neighbours benefit from the thousands of people we have coming into and around Langley for each of our shows,” he said.
“More people in the area helps everyone.”
JD Farms Specialty Turkey is south of tbird and offers a number of food items suitable for a picnic to pick up and enjoy at the show park. Slightly north is Roots and Wings Distillery where a variety of spirits are hand crafted. Head south for unique Langley wines from wineries like Langley’s oldest Chaberton Estate Winery (and on-site Bacchus Bistro), Glass House Estate Winery with artisan wines, Township 7 Vineyards & Winery with daily tastings and mead (honey wine) craftsmen Festina Lente Estate Winery.
With the numbers of competitors who come to tbird to stay for a week or more, agri-tourism locations like these are familiar with the wide range of individuals who come to Langley for the various shows and activities.
“Having agri-tourism in the area gives competitors something to do during their days off, that said, you can see riders in their breeches all over Langley supporting all types of businesses during our shows. They’re hard to miss,” Kean said.
“It also gives our spectators places to stop to pick up lunch, buy something for dinner or the way home or pick up a bottle or two of a tasty beverage.”
tbird works closely with Tourism Langley to help all guests to the park get to know the many offerings available in the community.
Check circlefarmtour.com/Langley to find out more about the other businesses and farms on the tour and visit tbird’s site at tbird.ca/visiting to learn more about places to stay in the area, best travel routes and see tbird’s own “Top 10 list” of places to see in Langley and Vancouver.
This includes Fort Langley National Historic Site, Wendels Bookstore and Café, Vancouver’s Purebread for baked-fresh daily treats and Brassneck Brewery, one of Vancouver’s favourite craft breweries.
Is there more to this story?