By Hannah Sutherland
It was hard to miss the bustle of activity in Langley’s downtown core last weekend, where a crowd reveled in free live music, children’s activities and an area scavenger hunt.
All the excitement was for the return of Downtown Langley’s Open Air Sale, which drew visitors of all ages for four hours of fun and entertainment July 18.
While some relaxed in McBurney Plaza and took in the smooth tones of Colin Bullock and his guitar, children – and even a few adults – gathered around Scruffles the Clown to witness his impressive balloon twisting. Just around the corner, artist Cory Van Ieperen captured the animated side of his subjects with lively caricature drawings.
In fact, there was something to see and do in every direction, with face painting, giveaways and the popular Discover Downtown Scavenger Hunt, which proclaimed all children as winners by handing out prizes to each participant.
And while the special activities were a big draw on the summer scorcher, it was the resident businesses that made the event really shine.
More than 50 businesses participated, with many owners and employees stepping out of their air-conditioned holds to set up shop on the sidewalk, greeting pedestrians with sales, samples and activities.
Shoppers could easily peruse discounted items displayed on tables along the strip, and poke inside various stores for a more extensive look at some unique goods and merchandise. With so many incredible treasures to be found and bargains to be had, this outdoor event was nothing short of a shopper’s paradise.
Gorgeous bridal accessories could be found on sale outside Everything But the Groom Bridal Boutique, and – just a few steps down – Forever Yours Lingerie had some fun with a Plinko-style prize board that passersby who were feeling a bit lucky could step up and play. All of one’s beauty needs could easily be met by continuing to stroll the block, where stores specializing in apparel, jewelry and various health and wellness offerings were open for business. Combined with proprietors in home décor, music, art, travel and gifts, the downtown core proved to be a one-stop shop for every type of consumer.
On the other end of the spectrum, establishments selling food and beverages were a most welcome addition on this smoldering Saturday. Frosting Cupcakery and Bake Shop offered cool beverages alongside its signature cupcakes, while 1 Fish 2 Fish highlighted its salmon jerky and refreshing shrimp cocktail sauce just down the road. The eats and treats were abundant amongst the numerous restaurants, cafes and specialty shops, ensuring event-goers need not go home hungry.
For those without extra cash to spend, the infectiously buoyant atmosphere of the family-friendly affair was enough to satisfy all the senses. Just being surrounded by the sights and sounds of an upbeat and thoughtful community gathering made for a truly memorable weekend.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.valleymom.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/photo.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hannah Sutherland is a first-time mom to her lively two-month-old daughter. She grew up in White Rock, where she currently lives with her fiancé and partner of 10 years, as well as their two cats. Hannah has a diploma in journalism, and worked as a community newspaper reporter for five years before pursuing a career working with children with autism. She is currently on maternity leave from her job as an Applied Behaviour Analysis Support Worker with the Surrey school district. This midnight writer now freelances from a rocking chair, typing on her phone with one hand and holding her baby in the other. She looks forward to returning to the computer desk and sharing more stories of her first foray into motherhood.[/author_info] [/author]