Andrew Bak said when he drove out from Ladner to attend the Langley root beer festival last year, it seemed a little disorganized.
At one point, the line-up for root beer tasting tickets stretched all the way down the one-way, around the 204 Street intersection past Langley City Hall.
Traffic on Fraser Highway leading to the one-way was backed up as far as 200 Street for a while
“They were victims of their own success,” Bak observed.
This year, the event moved from the one-way to Douglas Park, where there was a lot more room.
Enough for people to queue up and taste dozens of root beers with colourful names like “Dad Gum It Butterscotch,” “Jackson Hole Buckin” and “Kiss Army.”
The last is meant for fans of the rock group, and was described as “dark with a lot of licorice flavour” in the tasting guide issued with tickets to try 50 different varieties.
Bak, who took his son Michael with him this year, was happy with the new venue.
“This is so much better organized than last year,” he said, as father and son stood in one of many long lines for the one-ounce samples.
Organizer Sherry Martin, who operates Sticky’s Candy on the one-way strip in downtown Langley City with her brother, Kelly Bouchard, estimated the turnout was close to 4,000, up from 3,000 the previous year when attendance suddenly surged.
Over four years she has seen the event grow from a few sidewalk tables outside her store to the current incarnation that occupied most of the open space in the park for four hours on Saturday.
Martin estimated the turnout this year was close to 3,000 people, up from the 3,000 that ground traffic to a halt and clogged the sidewalks last year on the one-way.
Sandra Reams, the caretaker of the nearby historic Michaud house, was not about to miss the event.
Reams said she has developed a habit of walking over for a root bear float at the store on the one-way.
“I always treat myself when I’m downtown,” she said, sipping a sample with one hand while cradling a picturesque pink flamingo-handled umbrella with the other.
More photos from the day can be viewed online.
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