Get out your non-motorized bikes, your helmets, and your hearty appetites. The 13th annual Slow Food Cycle Sunday presented by Pemberton Valley Supermarket rolls along Pemberton Meadows Road this Sunday (Aug. 20) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The popular event is a way for farmers, locals and visitors to meet and connect over food, growing ethics and arts and crafts, all while enjoying the local vistas, sampling and purchasing farm-fresh food and getting some exercise.
The event was launched 13 years ago by Pemberton farmer Anna Helmer and writer extraordinaire Lisa Richardson.
“They started it because they were concerned about farmland being under constant pressures of development,” said Carlee Cindric of Tourism Pemberton. “Anna was associated with the slow-food movement and wanted a way to promote that and give farmers and consumers a chance to connect in a bike riding event.”
They also wanted to showcase Pemberton’s farmland. Many of the farms that participate in the Slow Food Cycle are not opened to the public during the year.
The event has since evolved with the addition of arts and craft vendors, giving it more of a farmers’ market feel.
“Participants have a chance to stop at various farms and venues along Pemberton Meadows Road and learn a bit about farming here in Pemberton, as well as sample fresh produce from the field and enjoy a mini farmer’s market set-up at each stop along the way,” said Cindric.
The number of farmers who participate varies each year, either adding or subtracting to the length of the route. This year, 13 farms and venues will participate in the pedalled event, making the route a 22-kilometre roundtrip.
Cyclists will be able to whet their appetites with everything from handmade sausages, mini donuts, bannock, shaved ice and popsicles, to fresh French fries, perogies, kombucha, twice baked potatoes, tacos, fish and chips, empanadas, and a variety of baked goods. The event kicks off with the pancake breakfast hosted by the Lions Club at the downtown Pemberton Barn from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.
The Pemberton Arts Council will feature local artists and their work at Across The Creek Organics. Shy-Anne Gunville will also be leading yoga sessions throughout the day, and the Courageous Mountain Rangers Bluegrass Band will perform to keep everyone moving and grooving.
A new far addition this year is Happy Fox Organics. Joining them onsite will be Frost Bites Shaved Ice, Pemberton Distillery, Dee’s Donuts and upcycled clothes by Deja Vogue. You’ll also be able to purchase a one-year photo journal showcasing life in Pemberton called Valley of Light.
There will be wood crafts by John Tschopp, where you’ll find everything from chairs, boxes, benches and birdnest boxes.
The cost for the event is $5 per person or $20 per family. Participants are encouraged to register at 9 a.m. online. Helmets are mandatory and motorized bikes are not permitted.
“RCMP will be out on route,” said Cindric. “We want to see everyone wearing a helmet.”
For full details, including registration and participating farms and vendors, visit slowfoodcyclesunday.com.