Abbotsford has the perfect answer for those looking for a "staycation" and event for the whole family that won't bust the summer budget.
The 102nd Agrifair and Mighty Fraser Rodeo is on for five days in mid-summer from Aug. 2 - 6 and is packed with entertainment, activities and displays for all ages.
Not only is it just plain fun for the family, it's a community celebration of the city's agricultural roots, says Agrifair's general manager, Pam Brenner.
In fact, farming generates more than $1 billion in economy activity today for the city, and that is still growing.
"The cornerstone of Agrifair is promoting agriculture and educating our guests about its importance through interactive displays, exhibits and competitive livestock shows," Brenner says.
People seem to be interested - last year, the fair attracted 36,700 people - that's about a quarter of the population of Abbotsford.
A hometown girl herself, Brenner encourages everyone, and especially families, to visit the fair to get up close and personal with fancy rabbits, ducks, pigeons, chickens in the Feather Barn, horses, sheep, cows, llamas, pigs in the Livestock Barn and more.
Kids can watch horseshoeing, cow milking and sheep shearing or try being a farmer for a day - dig potatoes, collect eggs and pick apples, she says.
Those interested in history are invited to drop by the Pioneer Barn, run by Fraser Valley Antique Farm Machinery Association, to watch old machinery at work, and maybe enjoy a bit of berry pie with the friendly volunteers.
Patrons can admire the horse shows, horse pulls, or compare their judging skills with the judges at the 4-H contests, or see the animals up close with their caretakers in one of the many barns.
But Agrifair has become much more, says Brenner.
The fair has lots of activities and shows, ranging from cooking demos to pro wrestling to the midway by West Coast Amusements.
The Abbotsford Agrifair Market Place in the Ag-Rec building features dozens of vendors and artisans, and this is where you will find up to four cooking demos a day by Abbotsford-Mission Times food columnist and celebrity Chef Dez.
Speaking of food, the fair is packed with all manner of eats and drink vendors and venues, and that includes two beer gardens for those who wish to wet their whistles.
The multicultural AbbyFest, which is held in the fall, has a sneak preview of its performers all day on Aug. 4, and rumour has it that it may include an Indian wedding.
Brutus the Barber Beefcake and others from ICW Pro Wrestling, will be smacking the mat and making threatening grimaces in the Cadet Building this year.
For adrenaline seekers, there will be demonstrations all weekend long in the Magnus Extreme Wheels Arena.
For more info visit agrifair.ca.
The gravity-defying Trials Stars Bike Shows return with their amazing bike tricks, and they will be joined in the Extreme Wheels Show by equally dare-devilish skateboarders and the alluring Reign Valley Vixens women's roller derby team.
These groups will be alternating shows each day.
And three times a day, you can exercise your neck muscles and hold your breath watching the Spring Up Trampoline Show.