Pre-COVID attendance expected at this year’s Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Country Fest – Maple Ridge News

The Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Country Fest is back in full force this year with a new European Festival, Vintage Car Show and Medieval Festival.

Come celebrate is the theme this year of the first full face-to-face festival – including spectators – at the Albion exhibition center since 2019.

Euro Fest BC, as the group is more commonly known, represents 25-30 different countries. Previously, their annual festival was held in Burnaby, but has been canceled for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year Fair Manager Lorraine Bates approached Euro Fest to see if they would be interested in making an appearance.

So far, eight countries have confirmed their attendance at Country Fest, including the Czech Republic, Poland and Ukraine.

Each country that registers will receive a tent that they can decorate with the colors and cultural objects of their country.

The tents will be located on either side of the beer garden. They will also have access to the Golden Ears Winter Club building where they can set up additional items in the market.

Each country will also have to provide a number on the main stage.

Groups will have free entry to the fair.

“We have always been a fair that includes multiculturalism and bilingualism,” noted Bates, saying she is thrilled to have European Festival BC on board for the very first year.

Bates is also delighted to have a vintage car show and medieval festival this year – both outdoors on the fairgrounds.

There are a few hiccups in Bates’ plans that fair organizers are still working on.

They are still trying to book a midway and trying to find someone to organize the pig races.

Bates compared pig racing to the Ferris wheel. “People expect it,” she noted.

However, she says, she’s thrilled the festival is back, especially for the 4-Clubs who come from across the province for the festival — the largest in British Columbia, Bates said. 4-H clubs compete for beef, dairy, llamas, sheep, pigs, goats, poultry and dogs.

Other competitions include photography, cooking, crafts and sewing.

The lineup has not yet been announced for the Canadian Heritage Stage.

The Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows Agricultural Association was formed on June 15, 1901 and established a set of goals and objectives to promote and educate the public about the importance of agriculture in their daily lives. The result has been an annual national and provincial award-winning, family-focused and educational agriculture event and is recognized as one of the best.

In the past, about 20,000 visitors passed through the exhibition center for the free fair.

This year, the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Country Fest will take place on Saturday July 23 and Sunday July 24.

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