Abbotsford celebrates Canada Day with a morning parade and then festival activities including free concerts and fireworks at Abbotsford Exhibition Park.
Celebrations in 2021 took place in a drive-thru format due to COVID-19. In 2022 the Canada Day event returned with in-person celebrations. The 2023 event is likely to be an in-person celebration as well.
Abbotsford on July 1st
Abbotsford hosts a number of great events throughout the year including the Abbotsford Agrifair (on the August Long Weekend) and Abbotsford Airshow (in mid-August). Another great event is the Canada Day parade and festival on July 1st each year.
Canada Day celebrations in Abbotsford normally begin with the parade along South Fraser Way. Local residents then make their way to Abbotsford Exhibition Park for live entertainment and family-friendly activities. The festivities finish with fireworks.
Canada Day in Abbotsford
The 2020 event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in 2021 the festivities took place as a drive-thru event at the Abbotsford TRADEX Centre. In 2022 Canada Day celebrations in Abbotsford returned to normal. In 2023 the day begins with a parade at 11:00 am followed by fun family-friendly activities at Abbotsford Exhibition Park from 1:00 pm to 10:00 pm. There are interactive play zones, food trucks and live music and entertainment to enjoy. Festivities conclude with a fireworks display at 10:00 pm.
Except for the parade, everything takes place at Abbotsford Exhibition Park which is located at 32470 Haida Drive.
Abbotsford Exhibition Park is a big venue bordered by Haida Drive, Trethewey Street and Maclure Road. Most of the festival activities usually take place in the south half of the park (so closer to Maclure Road than to Haida Drive).
Abbotsford Canada Day Parade
In 2023 the Abbotsford Canada Day parade begins at 11:00 am at the corner of South Fraser Way and Ware Street. In 2022 the parade route went west from there along South Fraser Way, turned north up Trethewey Street and then finished at Maclure Road near Exhibition Park. There’s a slight change to the parade route in 2023. This year the parade route ends at South Fraser Way and Trethewey Street and not at Maclure Road.
The parade typically includes classic cars, vintage farm equipment, street performers, clowns, local politicians waving at the crowd, marching bands and the occasional float. It’s a relatively large parade, with entries fairly spread out along the route. The parade and its participants always have a distinctly agricultural and “farm community” flavour to it.
In 2022 the parade was also available to watch from home, which was great for folks who wanted to celebrate remotely. The parade was scheduled to be livestreamed on the City of Abbotsford‘s YouTube Channel.
Canada Day Festival
After the parade, from 1:00 pm until 10:00 pm, Abbotsford Exhibition Park usually gets filled with people, vendors and community organization stalls, and activities for all ages.
In 2022 the venue was divided into a number of areas that included the following. Exact activity details for 2023’s festivities are still to be confirmed.
- Abbotsford Canucks Zone – an opportunity to meet some players from the team.
- Agrifair Zone – a promotional area for the Abbotsford Agrifair where folks could go on hay rides, admire a demolition derby car and more.
- Blackwood Sand Zone – an area where folks could make their own sandcastles and play in the sand from 1:00 pm until 5:00 pm.
- Prospera Cool Zone – a fun area with competitive board games like Jenga, checkers and more.
- Read. Learn. Play Zone – where people could find representatives from the local public library as well as crafts and book-related activities.
- Recycle Zone – an area to learn and participate in recycling and composting activities.
Other areas on the festival grounds included the Jump Zone, Dinozone, Dog Zone, Slide Zone and Airshow Zone (where you could make and test paper planes).
Community Stage Schedule
In addition to the above festival activities, the Canada Day celebrations at Abbotsford Exhibition Park feature free outdoor cultural entertainment in the afternoon and concerts in the evening.
Below is a list of the entertainers and groups who performed on the Community Stage in 2022. The lineup of performers for 2023’s festivities is still to be confirmed.
- 1:15 pm – Jenna Alamwala
- 1:30 pm – Barry Wilson
- 2:00 pm – Navdeep Talhan Randhawa
- 2:30 pm – Thistle Dew
- 3:00 pm – Shilpa Shankar
- 3:30 pm – Sherry Duggal
- 4:00 pm – Mark Sullivan and Andy Hillhouse
- 4:30 pm – Brander Raven McDonald
- 6:30 pm – The Springmans
- 7:15 pm – JML
- 8:30 pm – Ashley Pater
- 9:15 pm – Mauvey
Abbotsford Canada Day Fireworks
A number of Canada Day celebrations in the Lower Mainland feature evening fireworks. There are usually pyrotechnic shows in Vancouver off a barge near Canada Place (although not in 2022), as well as at July 1st events in Burnaby, Coquitlam, and Surrey.
Abbotsford too finishes its Canada Day event with its own fireworks displays starting at 10:00 pm.
For further details about the July 1st event at Exhibition Park, click Abbotsford Canada Day.
- To learn more about the town and surrounding area, click Abbotsford or Fraser Valley.
- For a list of August Long Weekend events in other parts of the Lower Mainland, click Vancouver Canada Day Events.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver events in June, July and August
- Lower Mainland Activities for Children
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Vancouver Summer Activities