Return of the rodeo. Tank crushing. Two centuries of fashion.
The Chilliwack Fair is back and offering up a whole slew of attractions, and some history, celebrating 150 years of the country-themed event.
After a virtual fair in 2020 and a scaled-down version in 2021 – which meant no Chilliwack Rodeo – the 150th annual fair returns to Chilliwack Heritage Park Aug. 5 to 7.
To kick off the sesquicentennial celebration, Canadian rock band Default will be performing on Thursday, Aug. 4. The Vancouver-based post-grunge/hard rock band formed in 1999 and all the original band members will be in Chilliwack to perform live that night.
Then on Friday, Aug. 5, gates will open at 10 a.m.
People can take in the Heritage Walk, where images and artifacts defining the past 150 years of the Chilliwack Fair will be on display.
A section called ‘fashion through time’ with Ivan Sayers will include original and reproduction clothing from the mid-19th century to the present. Sayers is a fashion historian who specializes in the study of women’s, men’s, and children’s fashions from 1700 to the present.
Other entertainment includes vehicles that will be crushed by tanks, professional gold panner Dan Moore (aka Yukon Dan), mural painters, a motocross show, Kiwanis Mutt Show and tribute bands The Hip Show and Fo Fighters.
There will be lots of food trucks, 4-H competitions, carnival games, heritage games, a marketplace, artists’ corner (screen print your own tote bag for a fee), the Chilliwack Model Railway Club, a free photo booth and loads more.
The 34th annual Chilliwack Rodeo is also back after a two-year absence. Folks can catch bull riding, bareback riding, saddle bronc, barrel racing and more starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.
A special logo was designed by Indigenous artist Bon Graham from Hope to commemorate “the rich and resilient culture and heritage of the Chilliwack Fair over the past 150 years, as well as celebrate the growth that the event and community have had together as we seamlessly connect to the future,” the Chilliwack and District Agricultural Society said in a press release.
The colourful logo features a woman on horseback and a young girl holding a balloon. Behind them are Indigenous welcome figures, Mount Cheam and Heritage Park’s signature red barns.
“I wanted the design to pay tribute to the 150 years of this fun-filled community event,” Graham said. “Chilliwack’s mountainous surroundings, the sun rising over Mt. Cheam, watching over the green lush valley, bringing a new day; and welcome figures for our deep Indigenous roots. Colourful, fun and welcoming to everyone. I chose some of the key elements of the fair over the years; the rodeo, the rides, the animals and of course the children’s enjoyment and families making memories for years to come.”
Folks can enter items they’ve made or grown into the fair with a chance to win cash prizes. For more, go to chilliwackfair.com/enter-the-fair.
The 150th annual Chilliwack Fair is Friday, Aug. 5 to Sunday, Aug. 7 at Chilliwack Heritage Park. Gates open at 10 a.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The red barns are open until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Stick around Friday and Saturday after the rodeo as live entertainment starts around 9 p.m. with The Hip Show (Aug. 5) and Fo Fighters (Aug. 6).
Tickets are available at the gate and online at chilliwackfair.com/event-info. Prices are: $12 for adults (19+), $10 for youth/seniors, free admission for kids age six and under. A three-day pass is $25, and exhibitor weekend pass is $20. There’s a special rate of $8 on Friday for youth (age 7 to 18) and seniors.
Default will kick off the 150th Chilliwack Fair at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 4 (gates open at 6 p.m.). Tickets for the concert are $20 for adults and $10 for children 7-18. Admission for kids 6 and under is free.
For more info, including a full schedule, go to chilliwackfair.com or call 604-824-8191.