Jesse Wegenast, seen here with his five-year-old daughter Anika, has started the Cultus Lake Flower Festival at his home on Wilson Road. The event kicks off Aug. 10. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

The fabulous frivolity of a forest of flowers in Chilliwack

Eclectic flowers beckon with new festival set to open August 10 in Yarrow

Gorgeous flowers as far as the eye can see will undoubtedly speak for themselves.

Dahlias, zinnias, sunflowers and oh-so-many wildflowers will be coming up as part of the new Cultus Lake Flower Festival in Yarrow.

Opening on Aug. 10, the eclectic flower-powered festival is the brainchild of Jesse Wegenast.

He describes his handiwork as a “forest” of flowers, planted on about 3.5 acres.

A pastor and homeless advocate who works in Abbotsford, Wegenast and his wife Sharalin, moved to a seven-acre farm property in Yarrow two years ago to share with his in-laws.

His father-in-law, who is a horticulturist by trade, always maintained a huge garden. Wegenast said he’d wanted to use part of the back five acres to grow flowers, on land that was leased out to another farmer last year.

“This year I wanted to give it a go.”

Why flowers?

“I love how frivolous flowers are,” Wegenast said. “They have no real purpose except to be beautiful. So to be able to create something so beautiful as fields of flowers and to be able to share it with others is just so fantastic.”

He named the festival after “Cultus Lake” even though it is in nearby Yarrow to tie it to a well-known geographical destination that is Cultus for the wider public. The hope is that all of the exciting activities in the area will create some mutual interest.

“Yarrow in the summertime thrives on that Cultus Lake traffic.”

They’ve created a beautiful backdrop to allow people to experience the flower festival however they want to.

“We’re hoping people come, and take some time in the flowers,” Wegenast said.

They can take all the selfies and photos they like. Or they may opt to just soak in the beauty. They can bring the kids, a picnic lunch, or get a treat at the concession stand.

His family has been very encouraging, as he slogged away, “two feet and a heartbeat” creating pathways to make the flowers stand out. Most days it was Wegenast and his cat, Duke, working away in the future field of flowers.

“Because when you create something like this, and work very hard, you’re always doing it with no promise of any return,” he noted.

He bought the seeds and planned the garden. More recently he’s been pulling weeds, and dragging around the flat hose to keep the blooms coming, all without really knowing how many will come to enjoy it.

“That’s when you say, you have to let the work speak for itself,” Wegenast said. “We can enjoy the work for what it is. If nobody comes other than the few hundred tickets sold so far, I feel great. I’ve been saying it will be a spectacular success or failure, but either way it’s going to be spectacular.”

Tickets must be pre-purchased online, $15/carload on weekdays, $20/carload on the weekend, 4215 Wilson Road, Yarrow.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Jesse Wegenast, seen here with his five-year-old daughter Anika, has started the Cultus Lake Flower Festival at his home on Wilson Road. The event kicks off Aug. 10. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Bees buzz around a sunflower in a field at the inaugural Cultus Lake Flower Festival. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

A sunflower stands out amongst the others in a field at the inaugural Cultus Lake Flower Festival. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Just Posted

Stolen Chevy used in Chilliwack crime spree over the weekend

RCMP in Chilliwack asking the public to keep an eye out for the red truck used in thefts

Senior shelter cat, Hercules, needs your vote to help Chilliwack Animal Safe Haven

The 12-year-old cat is one of 12 ‘underdog’ finalists in the North American contest which ends today

Chilliwack youth coach sexual touching decision scheduled for Monday

BC Supreme Court justice scheduled to rule on Codie Anderson case Feb. 24

Chilliwack wades into backyard chickens in urban areas

Permit came with several conditions and can be reconsidered by council

Big Bar Landslide saw long awaited blasting this week

Pressure has been on senior governments working with First Nations to remove blockage for months

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Two scout leaders missing near Sooke after swollen creek traps troop

Third leader and scouts located, while search continues for two leaders who’d gone for help

Snowfall warning in effect for the Coquihalla Highway

An unstable airmass is producing heavy flurries over parts of the southern highway passes

B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

Fraser Health warns some schools of possible COVID-19 exposure

A sixth COVID-19 patient is a woman in her 30s in the Fraser Health region who recently returned from Iran

Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sex crimes in landmark #MeToo trial

The cases against the Hollywood mogul started the #MeToo movement

Initial police report of 2015 accident was ‘inaccurate’ Langley RCMP say

Online statement issued to clarify that victim was not in the middle of the road

CRA puts focus on paper returns as tax-filing season opens

The federal tax collector expects to handle about two million paper returns this calendar year out of roughly 26 million filings

Teck withdraws application for Frontier mine, citing discourse over climate change

The Vancouver-based company said it will take a $1.13-billion writedown on the Frontier project in Alberta

Most Read