Aaron Pritchett will play the Summerfest Country Music Festival in Abbotsford on June 11, as part of this year’s West Coast Women’s Show. (Photo Courtesy of Mary Winspear Centre)

Aaron Pritchett will play the Summerfest Country Music Festival in Abbotsford on June 11, as part of this year’s West Coast Women’s Show. (Photo Courtesy of Mary Winspear Centre)

Aaron Pritchett hits main stage at new country music festival

Summerfest incorporated into women’s show in Abbotsford next month

BCCMA award-winning country singer and former Langley resident Aaron Pritchett is set to headline at the 2022 West Coast Women’s Show.

The country music star, who first moved to Langley in the mid-1980s, shared that the area was known as “the sticks” back then.

“But that exact lifestyle led me to country living and country music loving,” said Pritchett, who recounts working at a gas station on Fraser Highway and 201st Street. And after work, Pritchett would spend his nights playing at Gabby’s Country Cabaret.

He believes his country music roots are strong because of “living life” in Langley.

The singer is coming back with all those beautiful memories, not too far away, performing at Abbotsford Tradex next month.

Pritchett is part of the 20th West Coast Women’s Show, which will run from June 10 to 12. Returning after a three-year hiatus, the show will run alongside Summerfest Country Music Festival, and buying a ticket to one event will get people free admission to the other.

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For show manager Robert Hallahan, to be able to celebrate the festival again in person is a big relief.

He added that the festival is an important event for hundreds of vendors who take part every year. He thanked the vendors for being “loyal,” and joining back after a long break due to COVID. The festival will feature more than 200 vendors, out of which about 15 are Langley-based.

For local entrepreneurs Sheri and Shay Gibb, the show is an opportunity to gain exposure for their business. The mother-daughter-duo runs a boutique, Daisy Pink, which they started in August 2020.

“Doing shows like the West Coast Woman’s Show absolutely helps us promote our brand to many people who otherwise would not know about us,” said Sheri.

Last year, the duo raised $1,000 for the Chilliwack Fire Fighters Charitable Society. Later in the summer, they will also participate in the student summer jobs program by hiring a youth for an eight-week internship.

“Daisy Pink strongly believes in woman supporting woman,” said Sheri.

Another female-led enterprise that will take part in the show is Nuez Acres, an Indigenous-owned business selling organic skincare products.

“It (the show) is a great platform to connect with like-minded people, and a great way to showcase our products and brand to the community and beyond. We are really excited to participate this year and look forward to the connections that will be made,” said Anthony Wingham, co-founder of Nuez Acres.

In addition, to giving space to vendors, the festival will also support charities. Hallahan, who has been part of the event since 2016, shared that the festival has supported multiple charities in the past.

This year, their charity of choice is Mamas For Mamas, a non-profit helping mothers tackling poverty. All of the proceeds from the raffle will benefit the charitable organization.

For Hallahan, the charity holds a special place in his heart as his grandmother was a single mother.

“What they do is really special to me.”

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On the music end of the weekend, the festival lineup includes singer Nearly Neil kicking off the show Friday, June 10 at 2:30 p.m.

Friday night, headliner Aaron Goodvin takes to the stage, and opening for Goodvin, is Nicole Sumerlyn, a country musician.

Saturday night, the stage welcomes Canadian country star Aaron Pritchett.

Also on stage during the weekend will be Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Tess Anderson, musician Ryan McAllister, roots/country band The Promised, singer/songwriter Chris Buck, vocalist Kristin Carter, Vancouver’s hard rock band Redwoods, The Heels, and Nikita Afonso.

Tickets for one day range from $5 for children, to $12 for youth and seniors, and $15 for adults. There are also weekend passes for $25, and tickets that include the headlining concert.

The tickets also give people access to more than 300 vendors, 20 food trucks, beer garden, craft breweries and wineries, and 12 concerts.

For more information, people can visit www.westcoastwomen.net

– With files from the Abbotsford News

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