In 2019, one of the longest-running events in Lower Mainland – Aldergrove Fair Days – celebrated its 107th year. The following year, when the pandemic hit, the organizers quickly moved to a virtual setting, offering its audience a four-hour YouTube show. In 2021, shifting gears again, organizers presented the community with a one-of-a-kind drive-through event.
Now entering its 110th year, the community event truly has seen its fair share of ups and downs.
One person who has been part of the more than century-old tradition is Geoff Dueck, the production and entertainment coordinator.
It has been more than 30 years for him managing artists and everything around show production. He started in the late 1990s and has seen the event growing every year – featuring big names like the iconic 1980s rock band Loverboy, among many.
This time, with pandemic restrictions creating uncertainty around the return of in-person events, Dueck said the team had a late start on sponsorships and other planning and hence couldn’t book some of the top artists like they usually do.
“We had to re-find our sponsors after COVID… we had to restart from ground zero again,” he said.
Also reminding the people about this year’s long and talented lineup, Dueck said, “the fair is… loaded with unique world-class fun.”
With this year’s theme, ‘Past and Future: We’re All Connected,’ the 2022 fair will focus on “connecting the traditions of past with the potential of dreams to build a great future.”
For Dueck, a long-time event management professional, the theme meant creating an entertainment lineup that focuses on industry veterans and up-and-coming artists like Where We Wander, a local music band.
In addition, the event will feature Brazilian jazz artists Rossi, music band Long Run, Penny PomPom, comedians Mike Battie and Sand Northrup, a four-piece band called Headroom, dance group Dance Mob, Juno nominated musician Kadooh and many more.
In total, about 40 performances are planned.
When asked about his favourite, Dueck said as an artist booker, it is hard for him to comment.
“From the first morning performance to the last one at the end of the day… I am looking forward to all,” he shared.
On Thursday, July 14, Aldergrove Fair Days will also have its first movie night, playing The Bad Guys and Guardians of the Galaxy on the big screen.
The movie is suitable for kids of all ages.
After a musical and movie evening, the organizers will return with their popular Show’ N Shine Car Show on Friday, featuring hotrods, classics, and customs automobiles.
The whole Saturday morning is planned, keeping in mind the kids in the community. With mascots of sports teams, jugglers, kids DJs, and stilt walkers coming down, the kids’ zone would be a fun spot to hang out for those coming with families. After back-to-back music performances, the evening will end with fireworks celebrations at 10:20 p.m.
On Sunday as well, about eight music performances are scheduled to take place.
With more than 15,000 people expected to join for the four-day event, Dueck and the team is expecting a packed venue. Amongst the crowd will also be Dueck, running around the stage at Aldergrove Athletic Park, making sure everything runs smoothly.
He is ready for a few “very busy” days.
An experienced event management professional, Dueck said he does production work for a living, too, but Aldergrove Fair Days is his “passion.”
“It [the fair] is a big part of my live. I spend many many hours a year with my team on this.”
As the event is expanding every year, Dueck said the team needs to expand as well. He is hoping for young community members to join the team and help them with anything they enjoy doing.
“We are in dire need of young and community spirited volunteers,” he said.
“I want our Aldergrove community to walk out saying… wow! this is Aldergrove. We did this,” Dueck concluded.
The four-day Aldergrove Fair starts Thursday, July 14, at 3 p.m. For the full lineup and more information, people can visit aldergrovefair.ca.
Aldergrove Athletic Park is located at 26845 27th Ave., Aldergrove.
Is there more to the story? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.