The Dîner en Plaid, a lumberjack-themed dinner dance set for Feb. 22 at the Beban Park Social Centre, is a great way to kick off the Francophone Association of Nanaimo’s Maple Sugar Festival. Photo by Dirk Heydemann/HA Photography

Maple Sugar Festival features family fun, francophone-style

Maple bar drinks will be poured through ice luge at festival showcasing French Canadian culture

Drinks and entertainment are being served on ice at this year’s Maple Sugar Festival.

The annual event, hosted by L’Association des Francophones de Nanaimo, happens at Beban Park this weekend, Feb. 22-24, starting Friday when required dinner attire is plaid shirts, jack shirts and jackets for Dîner en Plaid, an evening of feasting on hearty fare and dancing.

“What we’re having new this year with our plaid dinner is we’re going to have a drink luge,” said Catharine Williams, association executive director.

The drink luge is a one-metre-tall ice sculpture created by Nanaimo-based ice sculptor Aaron Grant. The festival’s specialty maple drink will be poured through and chilled to perfection at the bar.

“It’s a luge, so when you’re pouring your drink you’re going to pour it through the ice, so you’ll hold your glass up and it’ll pour into your glass,” Williams said.

Grant will also be chipping away at a 1.5-metre-tall sculpture Saturday of a man tapping a maple tree.

A photo booth has been added to the festival’s kids’ corner this year, complete with props, for all ages and every photo will be printed with a commemorative Maple Sugar Festival logo.

Ziggy Twister returns this year to create his balloon animals. Double the Trouble, Andrew Wells-Oberegger, Laurie Leblanc, Swing, Narissa Young, Vesta Entertainment and Benoit Ranger are just a few of the acts, ranging from on-stage bands and musicians to roving circus performers.

“My favourite thing … I love the dancing music and my kids, of course, they’re all about the kids’ corner. It will have lots of activities and our balloon sculptor is probably one of the most amazing balloon sculptors I’ve ever seen,” Williams said.

The festival also hosts special visits Thursday from local schools to introduce Nanaimo students to French Canadian culture. Last year more than 2,000 students toured the festival.

“We have great traditional food, great music – we have a wonderful lineup this year,” Williams said.

To learn more about opening hours, ticket prices and availability, daily event schedules and other information, visit the Maple Sugar Festival website at this link.

Party en français: You’ll be sweet on the Maple Sugar Festival
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Bastion Street bridge closed for construction work

Span connecting downtown to Old City Quarter closed to vehicle traffic for six weeks

Governor General’s Award-winning author launches her new book

Wendy Phillips’s ‘Baggage’ is told in experimental ‘free verse’ style

Nanaimo city councillors to hold e-town hall meeting on strategic priorities

Meeting will take place May 23 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Nanaimo Heritage Festival helps highlight the long weekend

Parade and family activities took place downtown today, May 19

Crews putting out one of the first wildfires of the season in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Fire Rescue, B.C. Wildfire Service called to Doumont Road fire

Rescuers finally persuade Eiffel Tower climber to come down

The official said the man was ‘under control and out of danger’ on Monday night

City of Parksville buys supportive housing site, now sole owners

With the purchase, the city will not facilitate cold weather shelter, soup kitchen on property

Motorcycle deaths spike 50% since 2017

Riders were most likely fatally crash on the weekends compared with the rest of the week

Nanaimo ferry stops to let bear swim past

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife

Two cats die in house fire in Nanaimo

Fire happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday on Fifth Street, one resident displaced

Mother of accused charged in death of Surrey teen girl found in torched SUV

Manjit Kaur Deo charged with ‘accessory after the fact’ in 2017 death of Surrey teen

Family of B.C. pilot killed in Honduras trying to ‘piece together’ tragedy

Patrick Forseth has a number of friends in the area and was loved by everyone

Justin Trudeau credits immigration for Canada’s growing tech sector

Trudeau stressed that Canada has become a major source of talent for tech all over the world

Feds launch tourism strategy designed to boost sector 25 per cent by 2025

The fund is supposed to back experiences that show off Canada’s strengths

Most Read