SURREY - The fifth annual Fusion Festival at Holland Park in Surrey entertained nearly 100,000 people throughout the weekend, bringing residents of all ages out for live music and dance, delicious food and a family-friendly atmosphere.
With 33 cultural pavilions, 10 celebrity chefs, a wide variety of dishes and dozens of multicultural performers, the festival represented the city's diverse population.
"The weather held out and we were full, especially on Saturday afternoon and in front of our headline performer," said Mary Rukavina, manager of special events with the City of Surrey.
Having gained experience from putting on the festival the previous four years, the city said the festival ran smoothly throughout the weekend.
"By now, we really know how to organize the Fusion Festival," she said.
The live entertainment featured Canadian musician Hawksley Workman on Saturday and Laitn rockers Los Lobos on Sunday. Other notable acts included Scotland's Shooglenifty, Ontario's Walk Off the Earth and Vancouver-based Bhangra-Celtic blenders Delhi 2 Dublin.
There were tents for countries from all around the world, including Armenia, Fiji, Ghana and Portugal. The Jamaican Mi Juicy tent was rather popular, pouring tropical fruit smoothies for a lengthy line-up of festival-goers.
Bill Morris came out on Saturday and Sunday with his six-year-old daughter Hailie for some all-ages enjoyment. They first attended the Fusion Festival last year and said they are now hooked.
"I won't miss it," he said of next year's event. "I've been here since this morning and I'll be here until it closes. Same as yesterday."
Rasta Mike of Surrey has attended the festival nearly every year since it started in 2008.
"It's beautiful, Surrey's loving it," said Mike, who brought his six-month-old daughter Jahseena for her first Fusion Festival. "I'm a Surrey boy. It's one of the best things that's happened in the Surrey area.
"Look at the mixture of different people here. No fighting, no arguing - that's how life should be."
Sgt. Drew Grainger said that aside from some public intoxication, there were no serious criminal incidents at this year's festival.
"The crowds were terrific, very well-behaved," he said. "We had a robust and tried-and-true plan in place to deal with public safety issues."
Last year, a stabbing incident occurred on the perimeter of the grounds. This year, the combination of police and a private security firm kept unwanted guests away from the festival.
"We were hyper-vigilant to perimeter issues to mitigate any of that," said Grainger. "The plan worked remarkably well."