People enjoy free concerts that took place at the Albion Fairgrounds over the weekend. (The News files)

People enjoy free concerts that took place at the Albion Fairgrounds over the weekend. (The News files)

Numbers down at Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Country Fest weekend concerts

Agricultural festival a success said fair’s executive director

Another Country Fest has come and gone and the executive director of the local agricultural fair was pleased it went off without a hitch.

Lorraine Bates is also relieved because she was able to organize it given the fluidity of COVID-19 restrictions across the province.

Traditionally the fair is held over a two day weekend at the end of July.

This year, due to the pandemic, the fair was held over nine days, with 4-H clubs descending on the fairgrounds July 17. Split into three groups to help with social distancing, participants competed in their respective categories until July 21. Then over the weekend, July 24-25, there were two full days of live music that guests could attend in-person, but were also live-streamed for those felt more comfortable watching from home.

Bates is still waiting to see how many people took in the weekend concerts. Although, she has been told that numbers were down this year, something she is attributing to the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions allowing people to travel across the province.

And, said Bates, it was also very hot.

“Every bit of shade on the fairgrounds had people under it or in it to watch the concert,” noted Bates, adding that they also didn’t have a beer garden this year.

But, she is still happy she opened up the concert to the community, particularly to support local musicians.

“They just want to play,” she said.

“It was a way for me of paying back those people and to put back some music back in their lives because that’s what they live for,” added Bates.

Many 4-H parents and their children made efforts to thank Bates, personally, at the end of the event this year– something Bates has never experienced before. And she has also received requests that the fair be held in the same format again next year.

However, Bates said, financially it would be impossible to hold it in the exact same way. She is looking forward for a return to normal next year.

For Bates, though, she is glad the fair was ultimately successful and participants appreciated her team’s efforts putting it on.

Not that Bates is looking for appreciation.

“But when it comes it’s well received.”

Local 4-H winners:

4-H Cavy

Reserve Senior Champion Showman- Joseph Peckham from Pitt River Rabbit Club

Champion Short-haired Cavy- Monica Fisher from Pitt River Rabbit Club

4-H Rabbit

Champion Commercial Doe- Harrison Jack from Pitt River Rabbit Club

Reserve Champion Commercial Buck- Eden Braaksma Pitt River Rabbit Club

Champion Doe and Litter- Joseph Peckham from Pitt River Rabbit Club

4-H Goat

Champion Senior Showman- Katie Pearson from Golden Ears Community Club

Reserve Champion Senior Showman- Julie Pitsiaeli from Golden Ears Community Club

Champion Doe with Kids- Hannah Carson from Golden Ears Community Club

Reserve Champion Doe with Kids- Katie Pearson from Golden Ears Community Club

Champion Senior Pack Goat- Victoria Pitsiaeli from Golden Ears Community Club

Reserve Champion Senior Pack Goat- Abigail Carson from Golden Ears Community Club

4-H Llama

Champion Junior Showman- Livia Meszaros from Otter Llama 4H Club

Reserve Champion Junior Showman- Colton Weeks from Otter Llama 4H Club

Champion Senior Showman- Ariella Muncaster from Otter Llama 4H Club

Reserve Champion Senior Showman- Angaelika Dreier from Hatzic Valley Community Club

Champion Junior Llama Public Relations- Zoya Ross from Otter Llama 4H Club

Reserve Champion Junior Llama Public Relations- Colton Weeks from Otter Llama 4H Club

Champion Senior Public Relations- Sophia Hernandez from Otter Llama 4H Club

Reserve Champion Senior Public Relations- Ariella Muncaster from Otter Llama 4H Club

4-H Sheep

Champion Junior Showman- Sadie Urquhart from Pitt River Lamb, Swine and Beef

Champion Ewe Lamb- Sadie Urquhart from Pitt River Lamb, Swine and Beef

4-H Swine results will be added when received


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Agricultural Showmaple ridgePitt Meadows