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Rambo ‘First Blood’ anniversary, harvest celebrations, and Halloween fun: the Fraser Valley’s go-to October events

Soon the valley will be blanketed in shades of gold, orange, and crimson.

October is the month when autumn begins to show its true colours. It’s also the season of all things pumpkin-spiced: beverages, pastries, ice cream, and apparently deodorant, lip balm, and dog treats as well. (Just to name a few.)

October is also when daylight begins to vanish into night much sooner than in the summer months. But the shorter days don’t mean there is a shortage of things to do in October.

Here is the best of what’s to come in the upcoming month.

First annual Salmon and Cranberry Harvest Celebration

The Kwantlen First Nation is hosting its first Salmon and Cranberry Harvest Celebration on Oct. 1. The event will be held at McMillian Island Park in Fort Langley from 10am to 3pm. Free parking will be available and entrance to the event is by donation. The celebration will feature Indigenous and First Nation vendors, Salish drummers and Plains powwow performances, along with cranberry bannock, cranberry frybread and BBQ salmon kebabs. Learn more about the event here. 

Zombies, scary stories, cranberries, and scarecrows

The Fort Langley National Historic Site is hosting a variety of unique events this month to appeal to all ages. To start, you can learn how to survive a zombie apocalypse. Visit the fort on Oct. 1 from 6 to 10pm for A Survivalist’s Guide to a Zombie Apocalypse—an adults-only event. Registration must be done in advance.

Later in the month, the ever-popular Grave Tales kicks off at the fort on Oct. 14. Expert story-tellers guide you through Fort Langley at night to share some of the village’s spooky history. Tours are two or three hours and will be offered on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays until Nov. 6. There are separate tours available for youth and adults but you need to register in advance.

Other events include a cranberry festival on Oct. 8 where attendees can learn the history of local uses of native cranberries by Indigenous people, and a “Scarecrow Showcase” throughout much of the month during which the public can visit the community-decorated scarecrows and vote for their favourite. A list of all the events at the fort and details on how to register can be found on their website. 

Girls Fly 2 

The Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too is back at the Abbotsford airport from 9am to 5pm from Oct. 1 to 2. The free event aims to inspire future female leaders in aviation and takes place on the International Day of the Girl. All ages, regardless of gender or citizenship, are welcome to attend. Visitors can meet a NASA astronaut and first time female fliers will have an opportunity to experience their first flight. There are two ways to earn a free flight: a social media contest or treasure map. Details on how to enter and information about the weekend event can be found online here. 

Run for the Cure

The Canadian Cancer Society CIBC Run for the Cure returns in-person. The Run for the Cure in the Fraser Valley is happening in Abbotsford on Oct. 2 at Mill Lake Park. Registration opens at 8am with the opening ceremony kicking off at 9:30am. Sign-up online to start your own team, join a team, or even take part in the run on your own. If you’re not interested in running or walking the 5 or 10km route, there are also opportunities to volunteer. All the details can be found here. 

Diyet and the Love Soldiers

On Oct. 7, Diyet and the Love Soldiers will be at the Harrison Memorial Hall. Diyet sings in both English and her native Southern Tutchone. She is backed by her husband and collaborator Robert van Lieshout on acoustic guitar, drums, and percussion; and Juno Award winning producer Bob Hamilton on electric guitar, pedal steel and mandolin. Doors open at 6:30pm and the show will begin at 7:30pm. The show will be two 45-minute sets with an intermission. A bar and concession will be available at the venue. Tickets can be purchased online here. 

40th anniversary of Rambo First Blood

This month, Hope is celebrating 40 years since First Blood was filmed in the small town. The movie, starring Slyvester Stallone as Rambo, was released in 1982. Fans of the legendary film will have a chance to celebrate the milestone in Hope from Oct. 7 to 10. The four-day event features skateboarding, art shows, a walking tour of film locations, paintball, appearances by actors from the film, a screening of First Blood, a costume contest, and a celebration at Mountainview Brewing Co. For a complete list of the schedule and tickets, check out the event website here. 

Learn about shifts in gardening

Chilliwack-based horticulturist and BC’s garden expert Brian Minter is hosting a free talk on sustainable garden practices. The event will take place on Oct. 13 from 7 to 8:30pm at the Yarrow Library. Learn about regenerative soil management and sustainable planting. Register online. 

October is Islamic History Month

The Abbotsford Islamic Centre is hosting a discussion in honour of Islamic History Month. The discussion, titled “The Shattering of the Muslim World and Those Who Resisted,” will focus on the consequences of the Second World War and the division of the empire between the British and French. The event will run from 1:30 to 3:30pm on Oct. 8 at the Matsqui Centennial Hall. Register by texting 604-751-5032 or 778-549-2258. Free snacks and refreshments will be provided.

West Coast Women’s Show

Get ready for a girl’s weekend. The West Coast Women’s Show returned to the Abbotsford Tradex from Oct. 14 to 16. This year’s event will include four celebrity speakers. Hear from ET Canada’s Cheryl Hickey, Peter Bergman from The Young and the Restless, rockstar and humanitarian Bif Naked, and Canadian Olympic gold medalist Stephanie Labbé. The show boasts 250-plus boutiques, a fashion show, information seminars on health and wellness, and live entertainment. Find a complete schedule of events and ticket information online. 

Grape stomp

Get competitive about stomping on, but not destroying, fruit. The Township 7 Vineyards in Langley is hosting a grape stomp on Oct. 22 and 23 from 11am to 4pm. Teams of six to eight people will have an opportunity to compete for best costume, best stomp, and best team spirit. The event is in support of Ronald McDonald House and will also include food trucks and live music. Find out how to register online. 

Hockey returns

October is the month hockey returns in force, with teams hopeful that this year will be the year. The BCHL season has already started, and the Chilliwack Chiefs host their first home game Oct. 1 when they host the Cowichan Valley Capitals. The Langley Rivermen are also already in action, as are local Pacific Junior Hockey League teams—the Chilliwack Jets, Mission City Outlaws, Aldergrove Kodiaks, and Langley Sappers. As for the pros, the Abbotsford Canucks kick off their second season in the Fraser Valley in mid-month, but the team’s first home game won’t come until Oct. 28. That’s when the Canucks host the San Diego Gulls (the farm team of the Anaheim Ducks).

Season of the Wild

The Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival no longer exists but the spirit of the event is very much alive. Harrison Tourism is hosting Season of the Wild. Each year, salmon swim up the Harrison River to lay their eggs. Spawning season typically begins mid-October, which contributes to the large gathering of bald eagles seen in the area from October through January. Season of the Wild features guided tours along the Harrison River, a storytelling night at the Sasquatch Pub, and a speaker series at the Agassiz Harrison Museum. The Current spoke to the event coordinator last year. (You can read that story here.) Find out more about this year’s Season of the Wild here.


There are many spirited events to celebrate Halloween happening across the Fraser Valley. Here are a few select ones to help you commemorate the spooky holiday.

Mission’s Red Mountain is set to be invaded by zombies. Zombie Invasion is happening on Oct. 30 at 2pm. Participants can choose to be a zombie or a human. The goal is for the humans to reach the finish line without getting infected by the flesh-eating zombies. At the finish line will be an after party with music, drinks and treats. Details can be found online. 

At the end of the month, young ghosts and goblins are invited to trick-or-treat at participating businesses in Abbotsford and Langley. In downtown Abbotsford, kiddies in costume can visit participating businesses on Oct. 29 from 1 to 5pm to receive a treat.

In Langley, the Willowbrook Shopping Centre is hosting a trick-or-treat event on Halloween from 4 to 6pm. The first 1,000 kids in costume to visit the concierge will receive a special loot bag before they begin visiting participating shops for treats. Details online. 

October’s trail

September was remarkably dry, so before the cold weather hits, we recommend you hike the Steelhead Falls and Stave Dam Forest Interpretation Trail. Mission parks and recreation staff are leading a one- to two-hour walk on Oct. 16 for beginners and intermediate hikers. The hike begins at 10am. Staff will meet hikers at the Steelhead Falls parking Lot on Dewdney Trunk Road. Find all the details here.

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