Massive crowds descended on Chemainus and Crofton Saturday for two separate events.
People packed into Willow Street early and stayed until late in the afternoon for the Chemainus & District Chamber of Commerce’s Giant Street Market.
And the Crofton Ball Park served as the finish line for Day 1 of the B.C. Bike Race after competition on Mount Tzouhalem and Maple Mountain.
It was quite a day for the two towns. The magnitude of both events was something to behold.
The street market featured more sellers and thousands of buyers.
“I know we had more vendors this year and the crowds started earlier,” pointed out organizer and Chamber of Commerce executive director Lori Frankson.
“We really enjoyed ourselves – busy day, but fun day.”
Those doing traffic control hardly had time for a break, with cars swarming all around the closed-off Willow Street section in all directions.
“People were saying, can you do this every weekend?” Frankson chuckled.
“Most people love coming and they come year after year.”
There’s no need to mess with a good thing, although Frankson said there’s always the possibility to “just add more fun things.”
Business was brisk for many vendors.
“We already have people asking to sign up for next year,” noted Frankson. “We can take a few more. We can technically go to just before Oak Street.”
The Valley was witnessed in a different light to mountain bikers entered in the B.C. Bike Race.
“This was a successful event for the Cowichan Trail Stewardship Society and proud to showcase the Cowichan Valley to the world,” noted member and Chemainus resident Chris Istace.
He pointed out this is the biggest race of its kind in Canada and hailed as the ultimate singletrack experience.
The first stage began in Maple Bay and ended with a stream of riders pedalling into Crofton. The distance covered during the day was 40.7 kilometres and riders experienced an elevation gain of 962 metres.
Riders were later bused to Cumberland for Day 2 and 3 racing Sunday and Monday. Day 4 was at Powell River and Day 5 from Earls Cove to Sechelt.
The race is still going Thursday with a route from Sechelt to Langdale. The culmination of the event is Friday in Squamish.