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Bowfest 2022: Photos & Video

All the fun from Bowfest's big return last weekend

Bowfest took over the town last Saturday, starting with an animal themed parade down the hill before transitioning over to the festival field for an afternoon and evening of fun, food and activities. Check out the fun in the photo gallery and our video, then enjoy a full recap of all the excitement at the Country Fair Tent with Sarah Haxby.

Sarah Haxby / Slug Race Official

This year’s Bowfest Country Fair was a big hit with monstrous zucchinis, over a dozen fantastic Lego designs and the slug races being so popular we added a fourth race, proving that one of the oldest Bowfest traditions is still as popular as ever! We’ve been racing slugs on Bowen Island since 1977(or possibly even longer, if more historical evidence is unearthed.

Note: if you have any historical photos or Bowfest posters, or records of the earliest festivals, please share them, as I am working on compiling a history of the festival - thank you.)   

Bo the Banana Slug is the mascot of Bowfest and he invites people to slow down to island time and have fun at the community festival which is created by community volunteers for the community! The theme of the Lego design contest was the same as the parade: animals, and over a dozen youth participated in the Lego design contest.

Over 70 votes from fair-goers of all ages were tallied and the slug-themed designs won the hearts of the public and the most votes with Amaya O.’s ‘Bowen Slug Race’ design taking first place, Kellan’s ‘Slug’ took second place, and Tommy’s ‘Toothless the Dragon’ being awarded third place.

Thank you also to James, Zac, Tom, Paisley, Rua, Saxon, Arlo, Lachlan and Makai for contributing Lego designs. Everyone took home ribbons to commemorate the day.   

Lego winner
Amaya Onqa was the winner of the Lego contest, as voters loved her ‘Bowen Slug Race’ recreation. / Jess Onqa

Thirty-two slugs raced down the track and the slug-jockey race teams and throngs of slug-race fans cheered on the Banana and Black slugs (no Leopard slugs were brought to the races this year). The length of each slug race mirrors the length of a ferry ride to Bowen - roughly 20 minutes, and the slug races are much better at maintaining a schedule!     

The first race was won by Henry’s slug named Sherbert, who was notably the only slug of the day to cross the finish line. Sherbert won in a respectable, but not record-breaking 14 minutes. Congratulations to all the participants. And please note, as always: all of the slugs at the slug races were carefully returned to the wilds of Bowen after the races which are all held in fun. 

Slug Race
The opening Slug Race of the day was the only one to produce an actual finisher. Slug jockey Henry gave his steed Sherbert (Lane #4) the necessary motivation to help him cross the finish line. / Lisa Brougham

Biggest (heaviest) Zucchini Contest  

1st Place Home Farm’s Julia Van Walraven grew a 9.5 lb monster squash with the help of Qurban Naismith; 2nd Place Liam E., 8.5 lb; 3rd Place Barking Raven’s David Griffiths, 5.7 lb 


1st Place Livea S., 5.5 lb; 2nd Place Lochlan S., 5 lb; 3rd Place Erin T., Chevy C., 2.5 lb   

Kid zucchini winners
Livea and Lochlan S. placed 1st and 2nd in the Youth Zucchini challenge. / Sheana Stevenson

Slug Race #1, 2:30 pm 

1st Place Sherbert, raced by Henry; 2nd Place Muffin raced by Ellen; 3rd Place Louisville Slugger raced by Kevin & Co. tied with Unicorn raced by Aveline     

Slug Race #2, 3:00 pm 

1st Place Sir Sluggerson III raced by Isaac; 2nd Place Professor Slughorn raced by Olive & Avery; 3rd Place Oscar raced by Cali 

Slug Race #3, 3:30 pm 

1st Place Slorg the Destroyer raced by Anna; 2nd Place Bob the Slug raced by Saxon; 3rd Place Joe raced by Lachlan 

Slug Race #4, 4:00 pm

The most sluggish race on record, with not a single slug making past the starting numbers on the race track! 1st Place Jelly raced by Faith; 2nd Place Turbo raced by Cayden; 3rd Place Rainbow raced by Courtney   

Honourable mention to Racer, Chloe, Mystery Machine, No Brand Name Slug, Blackberry, Fernie, Hold The Salt, Snail, Kosmosis Jones ‘Kozmo’, Super Slug, Comet, KFC Beals, Sluggy, Little Slugger, Jellybean, Moldy Banana, Grossers, Banana, Cornelius, Food For Thought, and all the other slugs that raced!   

Thank you to all the participants in this year’s Country  Fair  Contests, a Bowfest-tradition which was made possible this year thanks to the event’s sponsors, the dedicated Bowfest organizers and the mother-daughter duo Sarah Haxby and Helen Wallwork, as well as assistance from youth artist Hanna Florendo and her marvellous ceramic slug creations.