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

New this year a European festival, a medieval festival, and classic car show
The judge talks to a 4-H participant from Abbotsford during a previous Country Fest. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)

The Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Country Fest is back with a bang this year with a new European festival, a classic car show, and a medieval festival.

Come and Celebrate is the theme this year for the first full in-person festival – including spectators – at the Albion fairgrounds 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 cancelled for the past two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year Lorraine Bates, manager of the fair, approached Euro Fest to see if they would be interested in making an appearance.

So far eight countries have confirmed they will be coming to Country Fest including the Czech Republic, Poland, and Ukraine.

Each country that registers will get a tent that they can decorate in their country’s colours and cultural items.

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 will be able to put up additional displays marketplace items.

Each country will also have to provide an act on the main stage.

The groups will have free entry to the fair.

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

Bates is also excited this year to have a classic car show and a Medieval festival – both outdoors on the fair grounds.

There are a couple of hiccups in Bates’ plans that organizers of the fair are still working on.

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

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

READ MORE: Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Country Fest goes online for 2020

ALSO: Free concerts underway at annual Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Country Fest

However, she said, she is delighted the festival is back, especially for the 4-Clubs that come from across the province for the festival – the biggest one in B.C. said Bates. 4-H Clubs compete in beef, dairy, llama, sheep, swine, goat, poultry, and dogs.

Other competitions include photography, cooking, crafts, and needlework.

The lineup has yet to be announced for the Canadian Heritage Stage.

The Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows Agricultural Association was formed on June 15th, 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 was a national and provincial award winning, family oriented, and agriculturally educational annual event and is recognized as one of the best.

In the past about 20,000 visitors have passed through the fairgrounds for the free fair.

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

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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