Tea festival expects thousands

Everything from brewed tea ales to oolong steeped with fresh fern needles are on hand at the Victoria Tea Festival this weekend.

This is the fifth year of the festival, which grew from a one-day event that drew about 200 people to a two-day festival that could attract up to 4,000. The event touts itself as the largest public tea exhibition in North America.

“Victoria has such a rich heritage of tea, so many people come to Victoria (for that) … and we designed (the festival) as a weekend destination,” said festival organizer Lisa Stekelenburg.

“It’s a celebration of all things tea. From our end of things, it’s not just a tea celebration of the traditional types of tea, but also the trends of tea.”

At noon on Sunday, the Urasenke Nagomi Tea Circle will host a traditional Japanese tea ceremony for attendees.

“There will be lots of very interesting things I will want to play with,” Stekelenburg said.

The festival runs noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday (Feb. 12) and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday (Feb. 13). Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door, at the Crystal Garden, 713 Douglas St.

For more information, go to www.victoriateafestival.com.


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