FernFest marks 24th year

Fernwood Square sits packed with people taking in live music at day two of the 24th annual FernFest on Saturday, June 22, 2019. (Kevin Menz/News Staff)Fernwood Square sits packed with people taking in live music at day two of the 24th annual FernFest on Saturday, June 22, 2019. (Kevin Menz/News Staff)
Three-year-old Pia Veillette, beside her mother Kathleen McGorman, was all smiles on her decorated bike at FernFest on Saturday, June 22, 2019. (Kevin Menz/News Staff)Three-year-old Pia Veillette, beside her mother Kathleen McGorman, was all smiles on her decorated bike at FernFest on Saturday, June 22, 2019. (Kevin Menz/News Staff)
Oran Wilkes, 11, eagerly accepts a bag of mini donuts at FernFest on Saturday, June 22, 2019. (Kevin Menz/News Staff)Oran Wilkes, 11, eagerly accepts a bag of mini donuts at FernFest on Saturday, June 22, 2019. (Kevin Menz/News Staff)
Andy Wade from North Park Bike Shop fixes up a bike at FernFest on Saturday, June 22, 2019. (Kevin Menz/News Staff)Andy Wade from North Park Bike Shop fixes up a bike at FernFest on Saturday, June 22, 2019. (Kevin Menz/News Staff)
Shereen Kukha-Bryson helps three-year-old Lukacs Sarko decorate a cup to hold soil and seeds at FernFest on Saturday, June 22, 2019. (Kevin Menz/News Staff)Shereen Kukha-Bryson helps three-year-old Lukacs Sarko decorate a cup to hold soil and seeds at FernFest on Saturday, June 22, 2019. (Kevin Menz/News Staff)
Parents watch as their children run through FernFest’s cardboard castle on Saturday, June 22, 2019. (Kevin Menz/News Staff)Parents watch as their children run through FernFest’s cardboard castle on Saturday, June 22, 2019. (Kevin Menz/News Staff)
Weston Helm, 5, stops for a photo while running through the cardboard castle at FernFest on Saturday, June 22, 2019. (Kevin Menz/News Staff)Weston Helm, 5, stops for a photo while running through the cardboard castle at FernFest on Saturday, June 22, 2019. (Kevin Menz/News Staff)
Alex DeBin and his dog, Rusty, take in the festivities Saturday, June 22, 2019, at FernFest. (Kevin Menz/News Staff)Alex DeBin and his dog, Rusty, take in the festivities Saturday, June 22, 2019, at FernFest. (Kevin Menz/News Staff)

Fernwood Square was already filling up by noon Saturday, as residents from the neighbourhood and across Greater Victoria flocked to the area for FernFest.

The annual event, hosted by the Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group, is marking its 24th year this weekend.

“We come every year,” said Olivia Sarko, who brought her children, three-year-old Lukacs and eight-month-old Joseph, to catch the celebration’s Saturday festivities. She lives in Fernwood and loves running into all her neighbours.

“It’s so fun.”

The two-day FernFest features live music and dance, theatre, artists, numerous food vendors, an artisan market, bike tune-ups, face painting, magic, a cardboard castle, and several other activities and stations.

“Their favourite part is definitely the castle,” said Claire Helm, whose son, five-year-old Weston, was busy running through the cardboard fort. Her family came in from Saanich’s Broadmead neighbourhood for the event.

“That’s the cool thing. People come from all over.”

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Saturday’s celebration kicked off with a bike parade and a bagel breakfast.

Alex DeBin, 29, showed up early with his dog, Rusty, for the breakfast and the market. He caught FernFest at night last year, but decided he also wanted to take in the daytime events this year.

“They’re both great,” he said.

Night one of FernFest started Friday. Saturday’s event runs until 10 p.m.