Country Fest was still signing up 4-H groups on Monday - as its reputation as a premier agricultural fair continues to spread across the province.
Despite being referred to as the suburbs, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows still maintain a strong agricultural component - evidenced in the popularity of Country Fest, which runs Saturday and Sunday.
Country Fest began as an agricultural fair in 1901 and has continued every year, except for during the Second World War when its venue, the Aggie Hall, was used by the Westminster Regiment.
Through all those years, the fair has maintained its strong farming focus.
"People love it here - it looks like a country fair," said fair manager Lorraine Bates.
The entire fairgrounds - including Planet Ice - will be taken over by Country Fest.
While agriculture is the main focus, the fair has also incorporated other elements into its schedule - with carnival food, a flyball dog tournament, a roller derby, skating club demonstrations, a chef's competition, and entertainment on both days.
The curling club will host poultry and rabbits, and the various buildings will be filled with home arts, gardening, swine, llama, beef, and horses. The gravel parking lot will be transformed into a midway, and commercial vendors will take over part of the grassy area.
Agricultural demonstrations include barrel racing, sheep shearing, spinning and fleecing, flour milling - by bicycle - milking demonstrations, and horseshoeing.
Highlighting how urbanites can grow their own food, there will be presentations about backyard farming - fairgoers can learn to compost, grow chickens, or keep bees.
The fair is free, but parking at the Albion sports fields (on 104th Avenue off 240th Street) is $2 with shuttles to the fair.
For a full schedule and other faor information, go to www. mrpmcountryfest.com.
. See other stories about Country Fest on pages A3, A5, A6, A7, A8, A13, A14, A20 and online at www.mrtimes.com.