First sunflower festival in Abbotsford sprouts off this weekend

Growth of Chilliwack and Richmond festivals served as inspiration for Maan Farms

A sold-out sunflower festival would have been unthinkable a decade ago, according to the manager running Abbotsford’s first.

The decision to hold the event comes from the growth in popularity from similar festivals in Chilliwack and Richmond, said Amir Maan of Maan Farms.

“It’s something now that is completely the norm,” he said. “We know there’s a big need for people coming out and enjoying and experiencing agriculture.”

Attendees can find plenty of different spots for photos, to drink wine, collect their own sunflowers at the U-pick field, visit with the farm animals and shop at the family store.

“I think it’s eye-opening for a lot of people who don’t get to spend time on a farm,” Maan said. “You get to see the goats, the pigs, the roosters. My mom makes all the food in there.”

The flowers are grown on the site of a reclaimed mine, which means poor drainage for agriculture. Maan said using the site for the festival was perfect because sunflowers are “like a weed.”

“They are so good at adapting to the heat and the environment,” Maan said. “You don’t even need to water them.”

The three species of sunflowers growing only took 75 days to bloom from germination and have leaves a foot wide.

Tickets for the festival’s opening this weekend are already sold out, but the event is scheduled to run until Sept. 1

Tickets go for $14.95 (plus service fee) on weekends and $11.95 on during the week.

Maan Farms is located at 790 McKenzie Rd. Visit maanfarms.com to purchase tickets.

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