Janet Day/Talk of the Valley Spring wasn’t just a figment of our imaginations after all
May 28, 2008
Finally. Daffodils are blooming, fox kits are playing on the patios of unoccupied homes, restaurants are opening their decks and fat tire tracks are appearing on the slowly clearing trails. Spring has at last arrived in the Fraser Valley.And with it come all kinds of plans for the next three months. Living up here means never wasting a weekend.There’s plenty going on this summer. A few old favorites are returning after a year off, including the Fat Tire Classic, which now is a partnership between the American Red Cross and National Sports Center for the Disabled and will be held June 27-29. Bigger bikes also are returning to the area with the resurrection of HawgFest, to be held at the resort in conjunction with the Salute to American Veterans rally in town Aug. 15-17.Musically, the always-popular Blues from the Top is back at Hideaway Park June 27-29 with some local favorites Johnny Winter, Joe Bonamassa and more. But there’s no Folk Fest this year, despite positive response to last year’s event featuring Shawn Colvin and some thunderstorms.The Winter Park Alpine ArtAffair will be held again in July in conjunction with Arts Week featuring the Plein Air (outdoors) painters who annually set up easel and brush around the area. Crankworx, which I thought was a blast last summer, is back again this year with seemingly insane bicycle acrobats flipping and spinning off of some seriously tall jumps.New this summer is the Sonic Bloom festival at Winter Park Resort on June 19-21 with a lot of music into the wee hours of the morning and an Italian Circus Festival at the resort base July 11-13 (no elephants, but plenty of entertainment, I’m told)Food Finds. All that activity can work up an appetite. For a quick and filling fill-up, head to the Fraser Deli & Mexican Grill inside the Fraser Quick Stop. It isn’t fancy just a corner of the market and it’s take-out only, but the made-to-order burritos have put an end to my whining about getting a Chipotle in the area. My test meal for any Mexican restaurant is the carnitas. I like my pig cooked until it falls apart, isn’t dried out, isn’t swimming in grease and has a little spice but not enough to mask the pork flavor. The Grill’s carnitas passed the test. The vegetarian burrito is pretty good too with peppers, onions and mushrooms grilled for each order then piled high with fixings that include rice, beans, a choice of salsas and cheese or sour cream. The Pico de Gallo is made fresh but to my taste could use some more heat. The Grill also makes breakfast burritos, deli sandwiches, salads and tamales (Friday and Saturday only).My friends Jon and Alyda Parker, the talent behind the terrific tamales, brisket and more of JR’s Grill, have a great new venture starting soon in Winter Park. Stay tuned for details about the natural and organic offerings they’ll be serving.Feathered Friends. Birds need to eat too, and Jenn deBerge reminded me to get the hummingbird feeder out since the little winged wonders are back in the valley. This spring’s continuing snow squalls can’t be good for hummingbirds and they’re going to need all the nectar they can get. As soon as I hung my feeder on the deck, three hummingbirds buzzed by.Wake Up Call. Forgive your friends who live at Hi Country Haus if they’re a little cranky lately. They haven’t been getting much sleep. Workers at the townhomes being built on Rendezvous property behind High County Haus have been starting work early real early. Residents tell me that the clang and clatter of construction work has been starting as early as 5:30 some mornings.The townhomes are very nice looking, as is just about everything at Rendezvous, but they’d be just as attractive if the work started a little later.Keep in Touch: What’s got your attention around the area? Let me know. I’ll try to find the answer or spread the news. Send it all to JDayQuilts@msn.com.