It was the tourists looking down at last year’s Spring Nosh from the double-decker bus to see locals mingling with music, beer and food along Oak Bay Avenue that caught Heather Leary’s attention.
“It’s exciting, people wanted to know what’s going on in Oak Bay,” said Leary, co-organizer of the Spring Nosh.
This Saturday the third annual Spring Nosh festival returns. It’s a celebration of the food district that has emerged at the Foul Bay end of Oak Bay Village.
From 11 a.m to 4 p.m. this Saturday (May 11) the Spring Nosh takes over the closed-off parking lot of Chef on the Run and Oak Bay Seafood, next to The Whole Beast and Village Butcher. It features those food vendors as well as food and products from the Just Matcha Tea Shop, Blighty’s Bistro, Vis-à-Vis and Cobs Bread Oak Bay, all gathered with live music and a beer and cider garden, at 2020 and 2024 Oak Bay Ave.
“There’s an added dimension of food down here,” said Martin Cownden, who’s owned Chef on the Run for 15 years. “This end of the avenue didn’t used to be so vibrant.”
Cownden is also president of the Oak Bay Business Improvement Association, which organizes the event.
“It’s really festive to have all these businesses come together. And it’s free. Just walk up and check it out,” Cownden said.
Spring Nosh offers small plates, or sample bites, for $2 to $3 each, with larger portions available for various prices. The range of food includes charcuterie, seafood, sausage on the barbecue, organic lemonade, bakery items, spot prawns, bite-sized desserts and more.
“Last year I had 250 sausages ready and we sold them all [barbecued],” said Cory Pelan of the Whole Beast, who does artisanal meat curing. “This year we’ll have 300 ready.”
The “Around Back” all-ages beverage garden also returns from last year with Spinnakers craft beer and craft cider from Sea Cider.
Two bands, Los Gringos Locos and Arf the Dog, will perform through the afternoon. Attending the Oak Bay Village Spring Nosh is free though organizers recommended attendees bring cash for food and for beverage tickets. Visit visitoakbayvillage.ca for more information.