by Jeff Stackhouse
The Berry Beat Festival takes place in downtown Abbotsford each year on the first weekend in July and attracts approximately 30,000 people to the historic downtown core.
This year’s fest was improved due to the addition of a Farmer’s Market, The Vancouver Busker’s Festival, and the addition of new musical stages.
Fresh organic produce was found at the Farmer’s Market, while the Busker Fest brought in talented performers such as Lisa Lottie from Amsterdam. She did a great job entertaining a large crowd with body contortions and thrilling hoola-hoop tricks.
The festival’s 4 musical stages (up 2 stages from last year) created a great sense of happiness throughout the fair grounds. There was a market stage, CiVL Radio stage, Jam n’ Jubilee stage and the main stage. With four musical acts performing at once it was enjoyably difficult to decide which performers to watch. I was fortunate to witness some great performances by Cambree Lovsey , Kianna Marie, Big City Soul and Horizon. There was certainly something for everyone’s musical taste.
Speaking of taste, one of the primary intentions of the festival is to showcase Abbotsford’s great berries. I was lucky to be able to enjoy a sample of our locally grown organic blueberries and they are clearly some of the most delicious berries on the planet!
The fair also places an emphasis on activities for children. They have bouncy castles, rides, carnival games, and LEGO. They could even view (or if brave, hold) a variety of awesome reptiles courtesy of “The Reptile Guy”. On stage programming for children included science experiments by Science World, cheerleading teams, dancers, and musical acts. They could also play games at various stations to win prizes.