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Squamish’s Soccerfest getting ready to kick it up a notch

74 soccer teams participating in the annual event April 15 and 16.

It is a unique local sports tournament that draws adult athletes from near and far. 

Soccerfest began in Squamish in the ate 1990s. 

This year, the tournament will be held April 15 and 16, with 74 soccer teams participating, 

That is two more teams than the usual 72. 

With 74 teams, an expected 1,500 to  2,000 people will be coming to town for the festival. 

Clint Levett, a member of the executive board for Soccerfest, said they have never had Soccerfest book up so quickly. 

“I've been sold out for a week, and registration closes on [March] 26th. It's been unbelievable,” he said. 

They had to turn down a dozen teams so far because they are already at full capacity. 

Teams will be coming from Kelowna, Kamloops, the Okanagan, the Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island, Chilliwack, Abbotsford, quite a few teams from Vancouver, and a team from Whistler.

The tournament be made up of half Ladies' teams, and half Men's teams. Soccer games run from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day. 

Along with soccer, there’s a beer garden and costume contest at the festival. 

The costume contest will be held in the beer garden on Saturday night. To qualify, at least seven members from each participating team must dress up and the best team costume will be judged by the crowd. 

The winning team receives 50% off their team's registration for Soccerfest next year. 

“There was always some sort of a party, shall we say?”  Levett said, referring to the annual Soccerfest after event. 

This year, the “Soccerfest After Social 2023” will be held on April 15, at Peckinpah with music by DJ Andrew Storie. 

Tickets for the event are being sold online on eventbrite.

Levett says that Soccerfest affects the Squamish community in a positive way by bringing business to the hotels, restaurants, and shops. 

Money raised through Soccerfest funded the now well-used artificial turf field in Squamish,  Levett noted. 

Soccerfest is currently working on putting a second turf field in Squamish. This would allow for 90 teams to participate in Soccerfest, and ideally could bring the BC games to Squamish, he said. 

A committee of only eight people runs the event, as well as support from sponsors and volunteers.  Levett stated they are always in the market for new volunteers to join. 

“We are definitely looking for more people because we're not getting any younger.”

To find out more about this event, go to the Squamish Soccer Association website.