Nine things to do in the Fraser Valley this June

From festivals to free jazz, we've broken down what to do in each Fraser Valley community this month

Sasquatch Days, a Father’s Day car show, and free jazz in Fort Langley are all on the list for things to do this month. 📷 Tourism Harrison/Facebook; Gene Gallin/Unsplash; Julio Lopez/Unsplash

This story first appeared in the May 31st edition of the Fraser Valley Current newsletter. Subscribe for free to get Fraser Valley news in your email every weekday morning.

School is out—or just about—and summer fun is ready to begin.

June will be chock full of festivals, concerts, history, games, and community. From a revitalized Sasquatch Festival in Harrison and a celebration of Black resilience on Juneteenth to a repair cafe for broken bikes or an afternoon of butter churning, there’s lots to do across the Fraser Valley.

We’re trying something new this time, and breaking down your must-do events by location. So whether you’re in Langley, Abbotsford-Mission, or the Eastern Fraser Valley, we have something for you to explore this June.

Langley

Langley is embracing moving, grooving, and fixing this month, with events that celebrate community of all kinds. 

Juneteenth Community Festival

On Saturday June 22, Langley’s Bez Arts Hub will be opening its parking lot for a community celebration of Black music and culture. The Juneteenth Community Festival is being held in honour of the American holiday Juneteenth, which celebrates the day that a quarter-million Black men and women were freed from slavery in Texas back in 1865. The celebration grew from its community roots in the 19th century to a national American holiday in 2021.

This year, Bez Arts Hub is celebrating the occasion with gospel music. Texas-born gospel singer Marcus Mosely will perform, along with Sister J’s Soul Summit and the Bez Gospel Choir. The parking lot party kicks off at 1pm, and tickets are available online.

If you want to know more about Black history in British Columbia, you can check out the Fort Langley National Historic Site, which is hosting an exhibit on the contributions of Black British Columbians through history until Dec. 12. The exhibit, presented by the BC Black History Awareness Society, features both audio recordings and artwork that focus on Black belonging and resilience.

Jazz Fest: Youth Concert Showcase Series

Free jazz in a beautiful setting. That’s what the Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival will be showcasing each Sunday afternoon through June and early July. The Youth Concert Showcase Series will feature young jazz artists for a two-hour concert starting at 1pm at the Fort Langley Heritage CN railway station gardens. Some visual artists will have work on display as well.

On Sunday, June 2, pianist Max Holmes will bring his quintet to the stage to play jazz that fuses innovation with tradition. It won’t be his first performance with the festival: he debuted at the Fort Langley festival in 2019, when he was just 13. On Sunday, June 9, concert-goers will hear Richmond’s SMURF quartet, whose Miles Davis-inspired sound taps into Gen Z ideas of digital expression. 

On Sunday, June 16, the Ben Wayne Kyle trio will perform their original jazz, folk, fusion, and rock music. Sunday, June 23 will feature 14-year-old blues prodigy James Vickers, and finally, Jazz Orchestra of the 49th Parallel will take the stage with their big band tunes on Sunday, June 30. 

Repair Café

Why throw something away when you could fix it? That’s the idea behind Langley City’s upcoming repair cafĂ©, taking place at the Langley City Library on Saturday, June 15. Volunteers will be at the library from 10am to 2pm to help people fix everything from broken microwaves to torn sweaters, decapitated Barbies to dented pots. 

Supplies will be provided for the repairs, but if you know you’ll need a specific piece, you should bring that with you. Bicycles will be repaired outside by the library’s north entrance—everything else can be taken inside.

Abbotsford-Mission

Abbotsford and Mission are getting wild this June with exotic animals, fantasy adventures, and butter churning.

Wildlife Festival

Sloths and wallaroos and porcupines, oh my! Those animals and many more will be at the Abbotsford Exhibition Park from Friday, June 14 to Sunday, June 16 with the Wildlife Festival. Over the course of the weekend, the festival will be demonstrating different kinds of exotic animals in two stage shows, with opportunities to meet and feed the animals in between. 

The event opens at 1pm on Friday, with a special adults-only evening starting at 7pm. The weekend event begins at 11am on Saturday, with a special sensitivity hour from 10 to 11am for kids who have difficulty with crowds or noise. Sunday kicks off at 10am, and finishes at 5pm. Tickets are available online and at the door, and kids under three are free. 

Dungeons and Dragons

Grab your swords and shields, Boardwalk CafĂ© and Games is hosting a Dungeon and Dragons day on Sunday, June 10 for those wanting to learn how to play the role playing game. Players will get dice and character sheets to learn how to make a character and play the game. Whether you choose a dwarf fighter, an elf ranger, a human bard, or something else entirely, you’ll get to keep your character and the dice for future D&D adventures. 

If you can’t get enough of the fantasy, Boardwalk Café and Games is also hosting a Lord of the Rings trivia night on Thursday, June 13 at 6:30pm. Go with a team of up to six people, and show off your Tolkien prowess. Winning teams get stickers; everyone gets a fun, nerdy night out.

Want to get in on roleplaying, but live too far east or west of Abbotsford? The Agassiz Library has a casual D&D adventure at noon on Saturday, June 22; the Murrayville Library also has adventures for teens and adults this month, although both of those events have a waitlist.

Butter churning

The Mission Museum’s second Porch Series event of the year will be diving into the history of butter on Thursday, June 13. You will get to churn their way through time as you learn about the history of butter-making on the Museum’s front porch, and taste test some butter that you made yourself. 

The butter churning event costs $20, which includes everything you’ll need to make your own butter. Participants must register ahead of time online, and should only come to the class if they get a confirmation email. (It’s a small front porch, and too many avid butter fans will make it too crowded.)

If you want more butter, you can check out the Father’s Day event happening at the Kilby Historic Site on Sunday, June 16.

Eastern Fraser Valley

Heading out to Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison, and Hope, it’s all about celebration, community, and history. 

Yarrow Days

For the 52nd year in a row, Yarrow is inviting everyone to come and celebrate small town spirit during Yarrow Days. Starting at 5pm on Friday, May 31, visitors can peruse the Yarrow Farm Market in Pioneer Park, or join the Fun Run and Fun Walk for drinks, snacks, and prizes. 

Most of the events happen on Saturday, June 1, however. A free pancake breakfast kicks off the day at 8am at Yarrow Reformed Church, followed by what organizers call “the greatest small-town parade left standing” at 10am. (You’ll want to get a spot along the parade route early—Yarrow Central Road can get pretty busy.) After the parade, check out the firehall open house, the Hazelnut Inn grand opening, a boat show, and a show and shine. The Party in the Park will feature Bhangra dancers, Disney princesses, kids games, and a vendor village, while the 5pm dinner and dance at the community centre will get everyone kicking their heels. (Tickets for that are available in advance online.)

Yarrow Days winds down on Sunday, June 2 with a $6 brunch for everyone at the Yarrow Community Centre and a non-denominational church service in the park. 

Chillcouture: Shxwthit’awkw’

On Friday, June 21, roughly 30 Indigenous models will be heading down the runway, showcasing designs by three local designers. Chillcouture: Shxwthit’awkw’ is an Indigenous Fashion, Arts, and Music gala. Taking place at the Shxwá:y Cultural Centre, the event will showcase Indigenous fashion on the runway, as well as art, music, and food. (If you want to know more about Indigenous fashion before you go, check out our interview with designer Rebecca Baker-Grenier here.)

The gala begins at 6pm on Friday, June 21, and tickets are available online in advance.

The fashion show, which takes place on National Indigenous Peoples Day, isn’t the only way to celebrate Indigenous culture in Chilliwack. Coast Salish artist Carrielynn Victor will be discussing her art with Bigger Than Me Podcast at Cowork Chilliwack downtown. Although the live taping is sold out, you’ll be able to catch it afterwards here.  

Sasquatch Days

In May 1938, more than 2,000 Indigenous people from across Canada and the United States came to Harrison Hot Springs to celebrate the first Sasquatch Days, hosted by the Sts’ailes Nation. But the Sasq’ets mask worn at the celebration was taken and the ceremony disappeared. 

Now, Sasquatch Days is back, happening this year on Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23. Hosted by both the Sts’ailes First Nation and Tourism Harrison River Valley for the last 12 years, the event features canoe races, a salmon barbecue, medicine walks, and a Sasquatch procession down to the civic plaza. The procession will feature the long-missing Sasq’ets mask, which was returned to the nation in 2014, as well as a newly-carved Sasquatch mask.

Sasquatch Days begins with the 9am procession on Saturday, June 22, and ends with a closing prayer at 3pm on Sunday, June 23. The full schedule of events is available online.

Father’s Day

Don’t know where to take your dad for Father’s Day? We’ve got you covered.

My Dad Can Do That

For dads who like getting their hands dirty, the Kilby Historic Site is hosting its My Dad Can Do That father’s day event on Sunday, June 16. Families can take a step into history and explore the general store, visit the farm animals, and take part in hands-on homesteading activities. Plus, dads and kids of all ages participate in a butter-churning and ice cream-making competition at 1pm. It may be dads against the kids, but everyone wins because samples will be available for all. 

The historic site opens at 11am, and the Father’s Day event goes until 3pm. 

Old Car Sunday

Autophile dads will love a day at Mission’s 31st annual Old Car Sunday in the Park. Taking place at the Fraser River Heritage Park on Sunday, June 16, the show will feature cars and motorcycles from all eras, as well as live music, food trucks, and a small market. The event is hosted by the Mission Firefighters Charitable Society and helps support local community groups like the Mission Hospice Society, the BC Professional Firefighters’ Burn Fund, and Kids-Sport Mission.

If your dad has a vehicle he wants to enter, registration is still available online. If he just wants to look at classic cars and custom hot rods, admission is free between 10am and 3:30pm. 

BBQ Brunch Buffet

Barbecue and brunch might not always go together—but not every day is Father’s Day. Cascades Casino in Langley is hosting a Father’s Day BBQ Brunch Buffet on Sunday, June 16 in its ballroom. Dads—and their families—will get to enjoy slow-cooked beef brisket, barbecue pulled pork, tender baby back ribs, barbecue wings, and all the traditional brunch favourites. 

The casino is offering two seating times, one at 10am and the other at 12:45pm. The meal is roughly $50 for adults, $40 for seniors, and $25 for kids. (Children three and under are free.) Reservations are required, and the details are online.

This story first appeared in the May 31 edition of the Fraser Valley Current newsletter. Subscribe for free to get Fraser Valley news in your email every weekday morning.

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