It's no surprise to some that the sun is finally going to appear just in time for Abbotsford's Berrybeat Festival this weekend.
"I think it's only appropriate the sunshine comes for the berry festival. Of course the right people are shining down on us," said Tina Stewart, executive director of the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association.
"We like to think of Berrybeat as the start of the summer."
It's the 31st year of the annual festival, which takes place in Abbotsford's historic core with Essendene Avenue acting as the backbone for activities, entertainment and displays.
The festival originally catered to the agricultural community but has evolved into a community-wide event, said Stewart.
"It was actually a thank-you to the [agricultural] community for all their efforts during the year. Something the farmers could come out and enjoy," said Stewart.
"But it has morphed into a family fun event people look forward to each year."
This year's festival will feature more free activities, entertainment, vendors, food and than ever before, she said. There will be a carousel, bouncy castle, climbing wall, agricultural displays and face painting for the kids.
There will be non-stop entertainment Saturday and Sunday on the Coast Capital Community Stage, from Korean drummers to a singing mayor, dancer and musicians. For the first time, on Saturday at 1 p.m. the popular Funky Mamas will perform their adult- friendly children's music that is a blend of favourite traditional tunes and folksy originals with a sprinkling of blues, bluegrass, swing and rock.
This year festival goers can also watch or participate in the Berrybeat's first fitness competition.
Abbotsford CrossFit will host the Matt Robic Memorial Barbell Beatdown on Saturday in memory of the young co-pilot from Mission, who died after injuries suffered during a plane crash in Richmond in October 2011.
"It's our version of a Tough Mudder," said Stewart.
"It's a great physical challenge. People can register to participate or just cheer competitors on."
Those with a more leisurely day in mind can partake in the local culinary offerings and drink available from the diverse vendors.
Kids can get involved in Berrybeat early by downloading a colouring sheet to participate in a colouring contest.
Children can bring their Berrybeat coloured sheets to the information booth and exchange them for coupons for goodie bags from various downtown merchants.
The festival is geared to be an event that families can enjoy with little cost, said Stewart.
The Berrybeat Festival is on July 7 and July 8 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. both days.
- For more details or to download the colouring contest form, visit downtownabbotsford.com.