Sunflowers, hot rods, and airplanes: the Fraser Valley’s go-to August events

From aerial airshows to mouth watering rib festivals, these are some of the must-do events in the Fraser Valley this month.

By Grace Kennedy | July 29, 2022 |5:00 am

Summer vacation may be nearing its denouement, but the action in the Fraser Valley certainly isn’t.

Some of that action may see you reaching for a moist toilette, as you wipe rib sauce away from your mouth. Or you may be squinting up at the sky to catch the aerial acrobatics of military and civilian planes. Regardless of what your interests are, the month of August is full of interesting, unusual, and informative events—no matter where you are in the Fraser Valley.

With careful planning, you may be able to fit it all in before the weather turns—or you can just pick and choose your favourite activities, and drink in some summer relaxation before heading back to the grind.

Whatever your plan, you can find some good suggestions in our curated list of Fraser Valley activities and events for the month of August.

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Take to the skies in Abbotsford

Kicking off the month of August is the renowned Abbotsford International Airshow, which will take over the Abbotsford Airport Aug. 5 to 7. Shows will feature the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, the USAF Thunderbirds, an RCAF search and rescue demonstration, and others. Tickets are available online or at the door. (Can’t get enough airplanes? Chilliwack Flight Fest is also touching down at the Chilliwack Airport on Aug. 21. That event is free for all.)

A girl in a red plaid shirt crouches over her white goat in the rain at the Chilliwack Fair. In the background, a young boy blows his nose.
Not everyone wanted to head out into the rain during the 2021 Chilliwack fair. 📸 Grace Kennedy

150 years of Fraser Valley fairs

The Chilliwack Fair is gearing up to celebrate its 150th anniversary this year. The fair starts with a special 150th anniversary concert on Aug. 4, and continues until Aug. 7. Although the fair will feature traditional entertainment like the rodeo, it will also have a historic fashion show and a tank crushing demonstration. Tickets for the kick-off concert are available online (and it’s recommended you get them in advance). Tickets for the fair itself are available both online and at the door.

Want to learn more about the history of Fraser Valley fairs before you go? Check out our series from last year on decades of fair fun, the pivot to virtual experiences, and the bounce back from COVID.

Discover Indigenous history

Ever wanted to learn more about Stó:lō history? The X̱á:ytem Interpretive Centre in Hatzic (35087 Lougheed Hwy) is open for guided tours on Aug. 4 and 18. The National Historic Site features an ancient transformer stone, and visitors will get a chance to learn about the Xe:xals, or Stó:lō transformers who came to help make things right. On Aug. 9 and 23, the Coqualeetza Longhouse in Chilliwack (7201 Vedder Rd) will also be open for tours by donation. The Fraser Valley’s two residential school sites will also be open for guided tours: Mission’s St. Mary’s Residential School (34110 Lougheed Hwy) on Aug. 2 and 16, and the Coqualeetza grounds (7201 Vedder Rd) on Aug. 11. All tours are by donation and begin at 10:30am.

Dig into ribs in Langley

If you’re feeling the need for barbecue, check out Langley’s three-day Ribfest from Aug. 12 to 14. But, as the website proclaims, it’s not just about the ribs. The festival will be taking place in McLeod Park and feature both delicious food and live music, along with a Nintendo Switch experience. Admission is by donation, and all proceeds will go to support rotary activities and service providers in Langley.

Kilby’s Behind the Gate Theatre Company will be performing a musical reenactment of Anne of Green Gables this month. 📸 Kilby Historic Site

Anne of Green Gables comes to Kilby

The Kilby Historic Site in Harrison Mills is one of BC’s best preserved rural museums—and this month, it will be home to a reenactment of one of Canada’s most beloved stories. Kilby’s Behind the Gate Theatre Company will be performing a musical reenactment of Anne of Green Gables on Aug. 18 through 20. Regular admission to the historic site will apply and seating is limited.

Celebrate art in Langley and Chilliwack

More than 200 artists will be descending on downtown Langley’s McBurney Plaza for the 27th annual Arts Alive Festival on Aug. 20. Featuring both visual and performing artists, the festival runs from 10am to 5pm with food trucks, live music, vendors, and a children’s activity zone. Arts Alive is free for all, so simply head over to Fraser Highway between 204th and 206th Streets. Can’t get enough art that day? The Chilliwack Mural Festival is also happening on Aug. 20, and will feature music, dancing, and live mural painting. Fraser Valley Current readers might also spot something (or someone) familiar lurking around the area.

Turn up the heat with hot rods

For the first time, four different hot rod associations will be coming together to show off their classic cars on Aug. 27 during the Historic Hot Rod Reunion of BC. Mission Raceway Park will be lined with custom cars, race cars, and restored collectors vehicles throughout the day. If you want to show off your own car, you can purchase a ticket online—or you can head down to the raceway on the day to check out the automobile extravaganza.

Test out geocaching in Abbotsford

Modern day treasure hunters will be descending on Abbotsford from around the world to participate in an international geocaching event—and you can join them. GeoWoodstock will be in the community on Aug. 13, with side event both preceding and following the event. Locals and visitors can use their GPS knowledge to find geocaches across the Fraser Valley. There’s no need to register to participate.

The Chilliwack Sunflower Festival will be returning this August. 📸 Rachel Barkman Photography via Chilliwack Sunflower Festival/Facebook

Celebrate sunflower season

Nothing says summer like a tranquil walk through rows of sunflowers—and grabbing pictures for Instagram while you’re at it. The Chilliwack Sunflower Festival and the Lakeland Flowers Sunflower Festival are both back again this year starting this month. The exact opening date for the Chilliwack festival is dependent on when the flowers bloom, and you can check on the festival’s social channels for more exact details. Abbotsford’s Lakeland Flowers is already open to the public. Tickets are available online for both, and both festivals will have a u-pick section so you can take your own bouquet home with you.

The trail

This month’s featured hike is the Hope Lookout Trail—Hope’s version of the Grouse Grind. The trailhead is located just off Highway 1 on the southwest side of town, and involves a fairly steep climb to start. Once you make it up the hill, the trail spends much of its time under trees and away from the direct sunlight. At the top, you’ll get glorious views of both the Fraser River and the town of Hope. Just remember to pack enough water—the hike is best for people looking for an intermediate challenge, and takes roughly two-and-a-half hours to complete.

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Grace Kennedy

Reporter at Fraser Valley Current

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