Photo: Enjoying the local harvest at the Agassiz Fall Fair & Corn Festival. Source: Agassiz Fall Fair.
1. Lillooet Beer & Wine Festival:
If you love beer and wine and you’re looking for a spontaneous road trip, we’ve found the perfect itinerary! Drive up the Fraser Canyon (Hwy 1) to Lillooet for the 2nd Annual Lillooet Beer & Wine Festival.
According to Fort Berens Winery , “the event will be opened by Chief Kevin Whitney of the T’ít’q'et First Nation at noon. Local vendors will display their art, artisan cheese, fresh produce and other local products.” There will be vineyard tours, wine and beer tastings, and for the IPA fans, a tour of the Bitterbine Hops farm!
Beer and wine is just part of the experience as the festival will also feature live music, horse & buggy rides, a cooking contest, and a BBQ prepared by Whistler’s RimRock Cafe and Lillooet’s Texas Creek Ranch.
To complete the weekend, drive back on Sunday along the Sea to Sky (Hwy 99), stopping off at Pemberton Distillery (home of Schramm Vodka) and Howe Sound Brewing in Squamish before making your way back home. Fun times!
When: Saturday, September 17 from 10am to 7pm.
2. Pender Harbour Jazz Festival – Pender Harbour:
Jazz lovers from all over BC, Canada, and the US will be making their way to the Sunshine Coast this weekend for the 15th Annual Pender Harbour Jazz Festival. If you love live jazz in intimate settings, this will definitely be the right festival to attend.
Some of the musical styles to expect are 40′s swing, Gypsy, fusion, straight up, Dixieland, Afro Cuban in addition to others. There will be open jam sessions, free concerts, and ticketed events in tiny venues throughout various Pender Harbour communities.
Spend the weekend there or go for the day – Pender Harbour’s only 2 hours away from Vancouver by ferry and car. If you’re considering flying, Harbour Air is currently offering a 20% discount for people who are attending the Jazz Fest. Full details here.
When: Friday, September 16 to Sunday, September 18:
3. Agassiz Fall Fair & Corn Festival:
Embrace the arrival of fall this weekend in the Fraser Valley! The long-running Agassiz Fall Fair & Corn Festival is taking place Friday and Saturday. It’s the 107th year for the Fair and 63rd year for the Corn Fest, so you know it must be good!
Located 15 minutes south of Harrison Hot Springs (2 hours east of Vancouver), the festivities kick off on Friday afternoon at 4pm when the Midway and Agricultural Hall opens. The beer garden gets going at 5pm, followed with bingo and live music at 6.
The festivities continue on Saturday morning with a continental breakfast at 7:30am until 9:30am. The parade gets going at 10am, followed with a full day’s worth of activities such as 4-H shows, the crowning of the Corn Queen and King, an antique tractor pull, corn husking competitions, live entertainment, beer gardens, and more.
When: Friday, September 16 from 4pm until 9pm, and Saturday, September 17 from 7:30am until 9pm.
4. Bloom Market – Langley:
If you love artisan markets that feature local artists, you’ll want to make your way to the Fort Langley Heritage Hall this Sunday for Bloom Market.
This one-day, indoor market will feature one-of-a-kind clothing, jewelry, accessories, paintings, photography, ceramics, leather goods, bath products, baby items, and more. All of the items for sale are made by 40+ independent artists and designers from around BC.
Bloom Market will also feature an outdoor wine garden this Sunday complete with live music and prepared foods. The wine garden is a faunrsier for the SOS Children’s Village BC, and it’s weather permitting.
When: Sunday, September 18 from 11am until 5pm.
5. Mackin House Museum – Coquitlam:
If fancy yourself a history buff, you’ll want to be Coquitlam this weekend to celebrate the 102nd birthday of Mackin House. Mackin House is a 1909 Edwardian heritage house and a landmark within Coquitlam’s historic neighbourhood of Maillardville. It’s their 3rd annual open house this Saturday.
This year they’re celebrating the past and present multiculturalism that has shaped the community of Maillardville. Although the community’s famous for being one of the largest francophone communities west of Manitoba, many other cultural presences will be represented, including Chinese, Greek, Iranian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, and South Asian.
Some of the activities you can expect this Saturday include origami, music, dance, baking, and calligraphy.
When: Saturday September 17 from 12 noon until 4pm.
6. EAT! Fraser Valley – Abbotsford:
If you want to meet local celebrity chef Rob Feenie this weekend, you’ll want to be in Abbotsford! He as well as hundreds of other food lovers will be at TRADEX this weekend for EAT! Fraser Valley – the largest consumer food, beverage and cooking festival in suburban Vancouver.
One of my favourite things to do at EAT! is to visit the Bite of the Valley Pavilion to try all the tasty morsels from the region’s various restaurants. Some of this year’s participating restaurants include Port Moody’s A Taste of Ukraine, Chilliwack’s Ric’s Grill, Abbotsford’s The Baron Bar & Grill, Mission’s Mr. Mike’s Steakhouse & Bar, and White Rock’s Washington Avenue Grill. Each restaurant will offer appetizer-sized samples ranging from $1 to $4. You can buy a sheet of 10 tickets for $5 or a sheet of sheet of 20 for $10.
Not only will there be food and restaurant samplings, but there will be kitchen goods exhibitors, wineries, breweries, cooking demonstrations, wine and cheese seminars, and cookbook authors. This is definitely a must if you’re passionate about food.
When: Friday, September 16 until Sunday, September 18.
7. Pemberton Stock Car Racing – Pemberton:
The Pemberton Valley may be famous for its potatoes, but did you know that its also home to a speedway? This weekend the Pemberton Speedway is hosting stock car races on both Saturday and Sunday.
As explained on the Pemberton Valley Lodge‘s website, “The track is located about 10km south of Pemberton, just off Highway 99. It is a 1/3 mile clay oval and is situated in a great position in the mountains of the Soo Valley. This is going to be a great weekend and lots of fun for family and friends! Feel the exhilaration of this race, watch the dirt fly around as the rip-roaring sounds fill the air. There will be races for hobby stock, bomber and hornet-class at the track.”
When: Saturday, September 17 at 2pm and on Sunday, September 18 at 11am.
8. BBQ on the Bypass – Langley:
If you love ribs, brisket or just meaty carnivorous goodness in general, you’ll be a happy camper this Sunday at thee 6th Annual BBQ on the Bypass in Langley.
Approximately 30 teams from around the region will be competing for the Grand Championship and the B.C. BBQ Cup, but there’s plenty to do for spectators. Those who show up will enjoy live music and entertainment, concessions, and free BBQ food samples.
As described on the website, “Highlights of the 2011 event will be The JD Farms Ultimate Burger Challenge, The Great B.C. Bake Off, new concessions, BBQ samples, and the crowning of BBQ champions in various categories.”
When: Sunday, September 18 from 10am until 4pm.
9. Steveston Grand Prix of Art – Richmond:
If you’re a fan of painting, you’ll want to venture to the historic fishing village of Steveston this weekend for Steveston Art Workshop‘s second-ever Steveston Grand Prix of Art.
The concept is really cool. As explained on the website, “The concept of the Grand Prix of Art is to promote local arts in a fun and interactive manner. Artists from around the province are invited to participate in a day of Plein Air painting in Steveston. Participating Artists will be allocated a location in Steveston where they will have 3 hours to complete a work of art, before returning them to the shipyards for display. The works will be adjudicated, selecting a Runner-up and the Grand prize winner.”
Saturday is when the painting takes place, and then the artwork will be on display at Britannia Heritage Shipyard.
When: Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18 from 10am until 4pm.
10. Soap Box Derby & Carnival for Kids – Powell River:
In a weekend full of competitive events (stock car races, art competitions, BBQ championships), it kind of feels appropriate to end our Hidden Secrets list with a Soap Box Derby!
The event begins on Saturday morning at Sunset Park in Wildwood with participants setting up and preparing for the trial runs at noon. There will be a concession on site supplied by Kiwanis & Quality Foods and the money raised this year will go to Powell River Kiwanis Club.
On Sunday morning a pancake breakfast will start off the day at 8am. The Carnival for Kids gets under way at 10am and continues until 3pm. The Soap Box Derby official begins with the races starting at noon. Should be a full day of fun for the whole family!
When: Saturday, September 17 from 12pm until 4pm and Sunday, September 18 from 8am until 4pm.