The 2018 fair includes a Saturday evening concert by 54-40. (Mark Maryanovich photo)

Aldergrove Fair snags top rock band for entertainment line-up

The fair honours its agricultural roots but also features new activities and attractions.

By Bob Groeneveld/Special to the Langley Advance

There’s a busy weekend of fun and entertainment shaping up in Aldergrove.

With everything from cars to small engines, from chili cooking to gold panning, from fast guns to kids on garden tractors, there’s a lot going on at the Harry Hunt Fields and the Aldergrove Kinsmen Community Centre from Friday, July 20, through Sunday, July 22.

The Aldergrove Fair is back for its 106th annual incarnation, and in the words of co-organizer Karen Long, “Everything’s good at the fair this year. We’ve got some amazing entertainment.”

It’s hard to argue the point with her. The performance list includes 54-40, a Tsawwassen band that has been serving up popular music for its large following since the early 1980s. Leading into the alternative rock band’s Friday evening performance, The Hip Show, a Tragically Hip tribute band, takes the stage at 5:45 p.m.

Saturday’s line-up includes a number of tribute bands showcasing the music of Heart, Bad Company, and Pat Benatar.

On Sunday, the Fraser Valley Blues Society will being choosing a band and a solo or duo act to represent the region at the 35th International Blues Festival in Memphis, Tennessee, next January.

“Sunday is blues all day,” said Bob Long. “Cowboy church in the morning, and from 10 o’clock on it’s the blues competition.”

In the time-honoured spirit of country fairs, there’s eclectic offerings far beyond the music.

“Somebody told us we also had to have noise and dirt to have a good fair,” said Bob. “We’ve got noise and dirt with the tractor pull. That is a rare event that you don’t see anymore.”

“Also, to involve the kids,” Karen picked up where Bob left off, “we’ll have a garden tractor pull. We’ll have garden tractors there, or the kids can bring their own garden tractors.”

“It’s a kind of a miniature version of the tractor pull,” Bob clarified.

For more conventional automobile enthusiasts, the whole fair starts Friday with a show ‘n shine in the high school parking lot next to the Kinsmen Centre.

And to take vehicles in yet another direction, the BC Farm Machinery Museum Association has partnered with the Aldergrove Fair Society.

“They’re filling up the Kinsmen Hall as well as bringing some big machinery for out on the fairgrounds,” Karen noted.

“And the small engines,” added Bob. “Don’t forget them.”

“Oh, my word!”Karen enthused. “We have the Valley Antique Small Engines. Holy!”

“Those little putt-putt things, you know? They’re fascinating to watch,” Bob said. “Tony Wheeler is quite excited about bringing a bunch of those engines down.”

“More noise and more dirt!” Karen laughed.

There will be more noise when the Thunderbird Fast Draw gunfighters pick off balloons in competition with some of the fastest guns in North America through the weekend.

For those who want a break from the “noise and dirt,” the West Coast Artisan Collective will have 60 artists and artisans showing their homemade and hand-made goods.

“And oh my gosh,” interjected Karen, “we have Yukon Dan the gold panner, and everybody gets to go away with something. It’s awesome.”

“We also have Aldor Acres coming down with some animals, like goats, chickens, rabbits,” said Bob.

“And Poultry in Motion, with all the little chicks and chickens,” continued Karen, “to show what happens in the life of a chicken.”

The only thing missing this year is the parade… “We moved the parade to Canada Day,” explained Bob. “That kind of helps with the volunteers, because it’s an awful lot to do on one day. It was pretty well attended on Canada Day, and it will get better and better. On the fair weekend we’ll just concentrate more on the fair.”

“We can always use more volunteers,” said Karen, “mostly for grounds maintenance and parking.”

“But hey can do anything they like,” added Bob. “We never have too many volunteers. Whoever wants to help can just show up and we’ll find a job.”

Ask for Bob or Karen Long or Mike Robinson on site.

AldergroveAldergrove Fair

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The 2018 fair includes a Saturday evening concert by 54-40. (Mark Maryanovich photo)

The 2018 fair includes a Saturday evening concert by 54-40. (Mark Maryanovich photo)

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