Before Southlands became Canada's largest agri-hood, Century Group's president Sean Hodgins decided the best way to introduce the project to the community was to have people ride over to the imagined Market Square on bikes for an up-close and personal show and tell.
In 2013, the first Southlands Bike-In was held when it was just the barn and few pop-up tents.
“In those first years, everyone met at Tsawwassen Town Centre and cycled down 56th Street and came into Southlands,” Hodgins said. “We needed to get people into the mindset that this was something we could make part of the community.”
Eventually, the Bike-Ins had to pause for a few years as servicing work and construction began on the Southlands site. Now, to celebrate the opening of Southlands Drive and its adjacent 4-metre pathway, the Bike-In has returned and will be held this Saturday, Sept. 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This new access road and multi-use path connects Upper Tsawwassen with Boundary Bay, Centennial Beach, and Southlands’ Market Square.
Last Saturday (Aug. 21), Southlands commemorated the opening of the road with a ribbon cutting by Mayor George Harvie and Hodgins along with South Delta MLA Ian Paton, Coun. Dylan Kruger, and incumbent Liberal MP Carla Qualtrough.
“While the event on Sept. 4 is being held to celebrate the opening of Southlands Drive, we actually made the decision to close the road to vehicles during the festival and are reserving the new road for visitors on bikes and on foot during the event,” Hodgins said.
Market Square at Southlands, the site of the event, will remain accessible to vehicles from Boundary Bay Road and there will be plenty of public parking for everyone.
There will be activities and food for everyone to enjoy.
Downlow Chicken Shack, will join the event with a food truck, and a beer garden will be hosted by Four Winds. The family-friendly event will also include activities for the kids such as face painting, a rock climbing wall, stilt walkers, balloon art, lawn games and a bike decoration station. Southland’s weekly Saturday Farmers’ Market will be running as normal, featuring produce from Southland’s farmers as well as local artisan goods.
Southlands recently completed Red Barn is also available for visitors to check out.
“We are thrilled to celebrate the opening of Southlands Drive by inviting the community to bike in with us,” said Southlands Destination Manager, Christine Grange. “Southlands Drive will be an integral part of connecting Southlands with the broader Delta community and we are excited to welcome visitors to experience our farm to table lifestyle and see the transformation in our community.”