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The pain of June rain prompts move to Sept. 9 for Surrey festival

Beatles tribute band and more at 19th annual event, at Holland Park
Fab Fourever, a Beatles tribute band, returns to perform at this year’s Surrey Fest Downtown on Saturday, Sept. 9. (File photo)

SURREY — Planners of Surrey Fest Downtown grew weary of mid-June rain, so they moved their annual event to September.

“We got tired of being rained out,” said Bonnie Burnside, festival co-chair. “Five years was enough.”

This year, the “celebration of community” will take place on Saturday, Sept. 9 at Holland Park, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Live music and family-friendly activities are featured at the event, first launched in 1999 as Whalley Community Festival. At the time, Lucie Matich and Sahra-Lea Tosdevine-Tataryn led the effort to hold the event behind North Surrey rec centre, according to Burnside.

Since then, a lot has changed: the green space behind the rec centre has been replaced by Civic Plaza, the event name was changed to Surrey Fest Downtown along the way, and the location moved to Holland Park in 2016. Now the date has shifted to the second Saturday in September.

“I think people are more inclined to get involved in something new in September rather than June – at least I hope so,” Burnside said.

“Our goal is to provide a venue for local community groups, organizations and charities to tell the public about the great work they do in the area. We hope that community members will see what is being done and get engaged in some of the projects.”

Performers on Sept. 9 will include headliner Fab Fourever (a Beatles tribute band, 3 p.m. start), Mazacote (1:30 p.m.), Pat Chessell Band (11:30 a.m.), Bollywood Aerobics (11 a.m.), Sun Hang Do (2:30 p.m.) and Surrey International Dancers.

More than 50 groups and businesses will be on site, including Surrey Food Bank, Surrey Christmas Bureau, Surrey Crime Prevention Society, SFU Surrey, Burns Bog Society, Surrey Libraries, Youth Unlimited and Seniors Come Share Society. VanCity is sponsoring free train rides, Prospera will be giving out free popcorn and Community Savings will be giving out potato chips. New sponsors onsite this year include Hamilton Duncan Law Offices, Shaw Cable and Starbucks.

Also, “Memory Lane” tents will display historical highlights of the Whalley area, Bolivar Family and Stardust Roller Rink.

Holland Park is located at 13428 Old Yale Rd., Surrey. More event details are posted at

Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news for Surrey Now-Leader and Black Press Media
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