See below for a brief background description of the city followed by a list of some of its most popular events and places of interest.
The City of Abbotsford
With over 130,000 residents, Abbotsford is one of the largest municipalities in British Columbia by both population and land area. In the Lower Mainland it has a larger population than Coquitlam (125,000+) and Delta (around 100,000), and has one of the highest proportions of visible minorities in the country.
Abbotsford is also in what some consider part of Canada’s “Bible Belt,” and its citizens are some of the country’s most generous as far as donating to charities.
Where is Abbotsford
Abbotsford is located along the Trans-Canada Highway about an hour’s drive southeast of Vancouver in good traffic. It’s directly south of Mission on the other side of the Fraser River and about halfway between Langley and Chilliwack. The community also borders Washington in the United States to the south.
Abbotsford is home to a number of significant festivals and events including the following that happen during normal years in winter, spring, summer and fall.
Early Winter and Spring Events
- Vancouver Motorcycle Show – a motorcycle trade show at Tradex in January.
- Vancouver Pet Lover Show – a trade show for pets and their owners at the Tradex Centre in February.
- Abbotsford Tulip Festival – a giant and highly colourful field of tulips located at 36737 North Parallel Road and open for viewing most years between April and the beginning of May. (Note: 2019 was the final year for this event. It was cancelled in 2020 because of COVID-19 and in 2021 it is moving to the Okanagan.)
Summer Events in Abbotsford
- Abbotsford Canada Day Event – the community celebrates July 1st with a parade along South Fraser Way and a festival at Abbotsford Exhibition Park.
- Abbotsford Agrifair – a country fair with carnival rides, animals, a car derby and motocross shows at Exhibition Park on the August Long Weekend.
- Abbotsford Airshow – Western Canada’s largest airshow takes place at the Abbotsford airport in mid-August.
- Abbotsford Farm and Country Market – a Saturday morning farmers market that takes place most years from around 9 am until 1 pm from late April or early May until the end of October.
- Abbotsford Flea Market – a massive market featuring as many as a couple of hundred vendors at Abbotsford Exhibition Park almost every Sunday of the year.
- Abbotsford Sunflower Festival – sunflowers, a corn maze and kid-friendly activities from mid-August until mid-September at Maan Farms.
Fall and Winter Events in Abbotsford
- Olde Farmhouse Vintage Market – an event featuring over a hundred vendors selling antiques and collectibles at the Tradex Centre on a weekend in April and November.
- Kickoff to Christmas Makers Market – a major winter holiday artisan market in November.
- West Coast Christmas Show – one of the Lower Mainland’s largest Christmas craft fairs that takes place at TRADEX near the Abbotsford Airport in mid-November.
- Glow Abbotsford – a major indoor Christmas attraction at the Tradex Exhibition Centre in December.
TIP: Parking at TRADEX costs about $6 or $7 which is good for all day with in-and-out privileges. Parking next door at the airport, however, costs around $2 for the first hour and $1 for each subsequent hour (but only up to a maximum of 3 hours in the short-term parking area).
Abbotsford Places & Attractions
In addition to the above festivals and events, Abbotsford is also home to a number of places of interest including the following:
- Abbotsford Airport (YXX) – the Lower Mainland’s second largest airport.
- Castle Fun Park – a family-friendly attraction that features go carts, bumper cars, batting cages and both indoor and outdoor mini-golf.
- Exhibition Park – a large sports and recreation park with a running track and facilities for major events including the annual Abbotsford Agrifair in August.
- Maan Farms – a fruit and vegetable stand, petting zoo, seasonal corn maze and miscellaneous family-friendly activities that are open in the spring, summer and fall at 790 McKenzie Road.
- Mill Lake Park – a nice city park with trails, a small lake to walk around and an outdoor swimming pool in the summer (located at 2310 Emerson Street).
- Taves Family Farm & Applebarn – a farm that hosts family-friendly activities and seasonal events at various times of the year.
- TRADEX – located at 1190 Cornell Street near the Abbotsford Airport, the Fraser Valley Trade and Exhibition Centre is the second largest building of its kind in the province. Numerous different kinds of trade shows and events are held there every year.
Fraser Valley Gas Prices
Whenever passing through the Fraser Valley it’s good to remember that gas prices there are always cheaper than in other places throughout Metro Vancouver. That’s because Metro Vancouver has an extra gas tax to help pay for its transit system, and Fraser Valley municipalities like Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Mission are outside the Metro Vancouver region.
If you’re in Abbotsford or other Fraser Valley municipalities that aren’t part of Metro Vancouver, be sure to fill up your vehicle’s gas tank. The savings can be as high as 10 cents per litre on good days!
For information about Abbotsford and the surrounding region, check out any of the following:
- City of Abbotsford’s website
- Tourism Abbotsford
- Abbotsford Airport
- Fraser Valley
- Metro Vancouver
- Abbotsford Airshow