The Newsmobile typically shuttles home show visitors from the parking lots to the exhibits. (News files)The Newsmobile will again shuttle Home Show visitors. (Contributed)

Ridge Meadows Home Show returns in 2021

Organizers hoped to simply postpone the spring event, but ultimately had to cancel for 2020

This community’s single largest annual event, Ridge Meadows Home Show, will be back in spring 2021.

But due to the COVID pandemic, this year’s event will not be happening early next month, confirmed president Dave Sheppard.

The event, which has been around for 47 years in a few different incarnations, was set for May 1 through 3 at the Albion Fairgrounds and the adjoining Planet Ice and curling rink facilities.

Typically, there are about 20,000 people who attend the weekend-long event. It typically features close to 400 (primarily home and garden related) exhibitor booths, plus an outdoor family festival complete with midway, a psychic fair, and a food truck festival.

READ MORE: Ridge Meadows Home Show draws more than 22,000

Exhibition space in this year’s show was almost sold out, with less than two dozen spaces left to fill, said project manager Graham Vanstone.

“I’m sure this comes as no surprise, but to make it official,” this year’s show has been cancelled, Vanstone said, speaking to the provincially mandated ban for any gatherings of 50 or more people.

Admittedly, said Sheppard, the home show team was looking at contingency plan back in late January, when word of the outbreak in China first started to hit mainstream media in North America.

Nevertheless, they still clung to some hope that the home show, which Vanstone described as a “huge economic driver” for the community, could proceed.

PAST COVERAGE: Something for everyone at the Ridge Meadows Home Show

Initially, there were hopes, he said, they could simply postponing the show a month or so. But when the municipality banned use of all civic facilities until at least Aug. 31, he said plans for a mid-June show were quashed.

And, as the health crisis continues on, it was realized this year’s show wasn’t to be, Sheppard said. He noted that another major factor in their decision making was the fact that the building is filled with ice for much of the year, thereby limiting the windows of time throughout the year when the show can be held.

Consequently, the official decision was made last week to cancel the 2020 event all together.

Sheppard who is part of the family-owned Haney Appliance & Sound, expressed concern for many local businesses that have come to depend on the home show for exposure, not to mention actual jobs or sales that carry them through the rest of the year. Without that – especially through these unprecedented hard times – many local shops could suffer irreparable loss.

He actually issued a plea to residents of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to remember the local businesses – many who are your neighbours – when people think about making purchases. He implored consumers to “please shop local.”

.

Starting to plan for 2021

At present, the three full-time home show staff are still employed, and working with all the vendors to arrange refunds or defer booth reservations and fees to the 2021 show, Sheppard explained.

“We’d like to keep them working for as long as we can,” he said.

Thankfully, since the home show society was formed back in 1995, one of the fundamental commitments of the organization was to always ensure there was a contingency fund in place, in case some kind of disaster struck.

“You sometimes wonder if it’s necessary,” Sheppard said. But then an unprecedented crisis like this hits, and the necessity for the reserve is apparent.

“I was really hoping this rainy day would never come,” he added. But it has.

He was confident, thanks to the reserves and the support of many of their vendors (who have simply said hold on to their money for next year) that the team will be kept together and be in a good position to start planning for next year’s show soon.

“Ridge Meadows Home Show will be back, bigger and better than ever, in 2021,” Vanstone said, noting next year’s dates are already reserved for April 30, and May 1 and 2.

In the meantime, show executive director Cass Winder pleaded with people to stay safe.

“I hope people realize how serious this is and that people need to stay home,” she said. “Life is going to go back to normal, but for now, it’s up to us as individuals to abide by the health guidelines, and hunker down in our homes.”

.

If there is more to this story, please let us know about it. Email us at editor@mapleridgenews.com. We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusEventsHome & Garden

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension faces potential delays due to COVID-19

Pandemic ‘adversely’ impacting TransLink’s finances; ‘much work’ required to approve next investment plan

Langley City’s Community Day will go virtual

Details are being worked out next week as to what efforts will replace the June 20 festival

Twilight Drive-In reopens with concession sales approved by Fraser Health, owner says

100 cars of people will now watch films, planning to adhere to new provincial health 50-car capacity

Fraser Health takes charge of COVID response at Langley Lodge

Fraser Health is also sending in a germ-killing machine to fight the virus

Asian giant “murder hornets” found in Brookswood

Langley is the farthest east the invasive species has been found so far

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping the Aldergrove Star to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

VIDEO: Police look for suspect seen tripping elderly woman in Burnaby

The elderly woman was walking near the SkyTrain station when she was randomly tripped

Chilliwack teachers, assistants concerned with lack of PPE guidelines ahead of school reopening

As schools get ready to open, many worry measures won’t be enough to protect students from COVID-19

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

Most Read