For three days in the middle of summer an elaborate festival pops up in the center of Aldergrove, a suburban and rural-mixed town of 16,000 people in the eastern-most part of Langley Township.
Hundreds, if not thousands swarm in, wide-eyed to the pleasures that lurk inside its gates.
The smell of popcorn, sounds of click-clacking of midway rides, booming mainstage vocals and small-town novelties like old-school cars and tractors.
The summer playground that the Harry Hunt fields have transformed into every July since 1912 is part of a larger community-wide effort.
Businesses big and small also pitch in – some, like Otter Co-op, have done so since their creation in 1922 in an effort to promote agricultural awareness and acquire farming necessities.
In the past three years, a roster of live music has changed the landscape of the Aldergrove Fair, attracting a number of newcomers to the humble fairgrounds.
Long-time Aldergrove resident and owner of the Nicholson Group of Companies Craig Nicholson, is passionate about possibilities the fair could create for Aldergrove.
“Say you’re seven years old, and you go to this fair for ten years and you’re 17, what are you going to remember about growing up here? Every year that fair,” Nicholson emphasized.
“The kiss they got at the concert, or if anything, the fair experience is usually romantic in their memories later on,” he said.
This year, local business Super Steve’s Tire – run by his younger brother Steve – donated well over $100,000 to cover the mainstage costs for the entire weekend.
It’s the business’ third year doing so, and bringing in a headlining band for fair-goers to enjoy and connect over including Trooper in 2017 and 54-40 in 2018.
This year, iconic 1980’s rock band Loverboy will grace the Aldergrove mainstage, Saturday at 8 p.m.
“I feel like we have been born out of the soil of this community, taken care of and nurtured. I wouldn’t be where I am without the people of this community,” Nicholson said.
“So this is our way of giving back,” he said on behalf of his two brothers.
Nicholson admits he hands out water bottles to concert-goers every year during the feature performance, which act as a “reunion of sorts.” He’s witnessed.
The Nicholson family hopes as the fair grows in revenue-generating facets to see something “forever” come out of it – like the construction of a children’s or youth drop-in centre somewhere in town.
The Aldergrove Fair will open Friday (July 19) at 5 p.m. and close Sunday (July 21) at 4 p.m. in the fields behind Aldergrove Community Secondary at 26850 29th Ave.
For more, including a complete entertainment schedule, people can visit the fair website: www.AldergroveFair.ca.