People can try out vintage devices such as apple peelers. (Black Press Media files)

People can try out vintage devices such as apple peelers. (Black Press Media files)

It’s apple season and Langley knows how to make the most out of it

Decade old tradition is all about the fruit and its history

Local farmers in Langley are once again gearing up for one of the community’s most celebrated historical festivals.

Fruit enthusiasts are ripe with excitement ahead of the 17th Heritage Apple Day, and the themes of Thanksgiving have just added extra flavours.

Organized by Derby Reach and Brae Island Park Association (DRBIPA), this everything apple event talks about the long history of apples in Langley – starting from the early 1800s when the Royal Engineers planted European varieties along the banks of the Fraser River at Derby Reach Regional Park.

Annually, about 900 people attend this free, family-friendly event to dive deep into the history of farming in Langley with the help of historians and storytellers.

There will obviously be lots of opportunities to taste and peel the fresh apples, but people can also enjoy crafts, interactive demonstrations, fiddlers, and tours. Attendees will also have a chance to talk to historians and share curious questions.

Tony Markin, the chairperson of the board of directors, urged everyone to come out and celebrate local heritage, nature, and apples.

“We have some new exhibitors this year, and lots of interesting tours and speakers for everyone to enjoy,” he shared.

Returning after a COVID hiatus, this year’s event is bigger and features Indigenous elders like Kwantlen First Nation’s Karen Gabriel, who will share her farming knowledge.

The annual event had to be canceled last year, and Markin said the park association is excited to be hosting this event in-person again.

Those interested in the art of rope-making can weave along with historian Marcy Lui as she showcases her rope-making skills using plant fibres. For those wanting to step up their game, BC Fruit Testers Association will have an information booth to teach people about apples.

Like in the past, community groups like the Langley Field Naturalists, Langley Environmental Partners Society, Fraser River Discovery Centre, Langley Rotary, Metro Vancouver Regional Parks, and MVRP Foundation are invited to the 2022 Heritage Apple Day.

The three-hour outdoor event starts at 11 a.m. with a tour-and-talk about history with field naturalist Jeremy Smith.

Markin said it would be a “fun” day with a musical showcase from the Langley Fiddlers.

“It will be a wonderful day out in nature with our community members, surrounded by trees and crisp fall air along the river at Derby Reach,” he added.

The event takes place on Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Heritage Area, 10748 Allard Cres.

Also happening on the same day is the first Kwantlen First Nation Salmon and Cranberry Harvest Celebration at McMillan Island Park in Fort Langley from 10 a.m to 3 p.m.

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RELATED: In-person Heritage Apple Day at Derby Reach unlikely this fall

READ MORE: Salmon and Cranberry Festival comes to McMillan Island

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The 17th annual Heritage Apple Day takes place Saturday, Oct. 1 (Black Press Media files)

The 17th annual Heritage Apple Day takes place Saturday, Oct. 1 (Black Press Media files)

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