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

Young Abbotsford cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

Abbotsford parents upset as district gets cohort exemption to maximize class sizes at elementary school

Classes and cohorts shuffled after division eliminated at King Traditional elementary school

B.C. families financially affected by pandemic eligible for grocery gift cards

Program open to struggling families in Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley communities

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

COLUMN: We don’t need an election. But it’s 2020, so we’ll probably get one anyways.

There are only selfish reasons for the NDP to trigger an election this fall

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

VIDEO: Shots fired outside Langley gas station that was scene of 2018 homicide

No reports of injuries in Saturday evening incident

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Most Read