Downtown Maple Ridge was packed on Saturday for the Caribbean Festival, but a smaller crowd showed up Sunday when the weather turned wetter.
On Saturday, thousands came to hear the beats, bake in the sun, taste the food, and enjoy the culture at the 12th annual Caribbean Festival in Maple Ridge on Saturday.
"It's a perfect start to the summer," festival organizer Deddy Geese said on Saturday. "It's running like a well-oiled machine."
Geese said he was surprised by
the attendance numbers by midday on Saturday, but Sunday's surprise rain meant smaller crowds and a scaled-down parade.
But all performances, including a gospel choir from Vancouver on Sunday morning, went ahead to smaller audiences.
Geese said they've been advertising the festival for the past few years in an international reggae magazine and that "resulted in an incredible amount of calls from around the world, including every Caribbean island."
"All the agents and entertainment called. The awareness is quite gratifying."
Ineke Boekhorst, executive director of the Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association, said she met people from all over B.C. who came to Maple Ridge for the Caribbean Festival.
"I spoke to people from Kelowna, Bellingham, Sunshine Coast, people from everywhere," said Boekhorst.
"We are celebrating a lot this year. It's the 50th anniversary of Jamaican Independence and Trinibad and Tobago Independence."