With COVID-19, cancellations have happened to so many of our favourite events and festivals and many of us are looking for new places to go that can still bring the excitement of travel but in our own backyards or via hyperlocal BC travel. I was lucky enough to experience the 2020 Mission Dahlia and Grape Flower Festival in Miracle Valley, just north of Mission, BC Canada this August. I had posted a couple of Instagram stories and was shocked by the love and how only a few stories sparked so many questions and inquiries about the festival so I have decided to create this quick top 5 reasons to check out the festival. I hope it helps answer some of your questions- as always, feel free to send in your questions! 🙂
For background, the 2020 Mission Dahlia and Grape Festival is located at 13842 Spratt Road and is on from August 15 – September 30th. A full month to enjoy the beauty of the place. It’s a stones throw from Cascade Falls (a 98 foot waterfall and suspension bridge!), so a quick day itinerary can be made coming out this way!
1. The Landscape
I know what you’re thinking, a flower festival and one of the top reasons to go is the landscape? That’s revolutionary. But sarcasm aside, this landscape is unlike any other. I had the pleasure of living in this area for about a year and one thing that never gets old in this area is seeing the ginormous mountains and its wispy clouds that lightly hug the curvature of each peak. Adding rows and rows of beautiful flowers and sculptures just makes for an amazing visual and a overwhelming view of beauty. Almost guaranteed to make you feel some type of wanderlust.
2. You’re supporting local
I don’t know about you but nothing makes me feel better during this pandemic than to know I am supporting my local neighbour in their dreams, work, and life. The host of the event, Forest, is an absolutely wonderful and kind man. He had given us a quick tour and let us know that his father has started making the many sculptures within the garden paths when he was 17. He is now 70 years old and showcasing his beautiful artwork at this festival for all to enjoy. It is a heartwarming story and to know that you are supporting someones passion and artistic ventures is always great.
3. Sculptures and Hidden Gems
As said previously, the family has been creating these stick and natural wood made sculptures around the garden trails from such a young age. When viewing them, the talent to put these together is apparent as the size and shapes of them are so large and intricately made that you will be finding things within each piece that you may not have seen when first viewing. Taking in each of these sculptures in their own hidden areas have made it like the most exciting and fun scavenger hunt where you don’t know what might be around the corner. From martians, to natural wood bears (pictured below), to hand made birds in wooden cages, and every tree stump sparking a familiar face- this is a place that will entice all ages to come and explore.
4. Picturesque Spots
The amount of photo spots are endless. You will feel like you have walked into a garden and flower magazine. Archways, painted walls, ponds, grapevine tunnels, you will not want to miss this photo opportunity! The abundance of areas to take a photo also allows for more unique imagery, whereas I have found that many flower festivals have the same flavour for each image and photo spot.
5. You will feel like you have found a treasure
This being the initial festival year, it seems like a hidden treasure. Nestled deep into the back streets of Mission, it is a treasure worth finding. I would suggest going sooner than later before the crowds find out how amazing of a place this just is. No matter what- the feeling of finding your own secret garden will always leave you feeling fulfilled. We went on a rainy day and I already can’t wait to explore the grounds on a sunny day.
All in all, this flower festival is definitely worth the drive and admission price. I can’t wait to see what they come up with each year. Also- did I note there is a cute dog that greets you upon entry? I don’t know about you but that’s enough for me to go. 😉
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