Surrey and White Rock celebrated Bhangra music, gay pride, sidewalk chalk art, Christmas, blueberries and pumpkins with numerous festivals throughout 2012. From White Rock's Uptown Street Festival to Surrey Fest Downtown, there was always somewhere to go for fun.
Here's a recap of some of the biggest parties south of the Fraser River.
For the first time since 1989, the 2012 B.C. Summer Games returned to Surrey in July and brought more than 2,500 athletes and 800 coaches for four days of limit-pushing sports across 15 city venues.
The volunteer-run event ran smoothly and was expected to generate as much as $3 million for the local economy. There were also satellite events in the surrounding cities of Abbotsford, Pitt Meadows and the Corporation of Delta.
It was also a year of firsts: the HSBC City of Bhangra festival made its Surrey debut and the inaugural Surrey International World Music Marathon took to the streets in September.
The 42-kilometre race combined athleticism with multicultural musical acts at every mile, representing such countries as Jamaica, China, India, Germany and Guinea. There was also a half marathon, Mayor Dianne Watts' five-kilometre and a series of relays. By the way, registration for next year's Surrey marathon opens on Jan. 1.
In May, the annual Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair drew about 70,000 people, despite wet weather during the latter half of the four-day event.
In July, Fusion Festival celebrated its fifth year of multicultural entertainment, drawing nearly 100,000 locals to Holland Park for live music and dance, delicious food and a family-friendly atmosphere.
Thirty-three cultural pavilions and 10 celebrity chefs dished out a wide variety of foods and flavours. The performance stages featured such acts as Hawksley Workman, Los Lobos, Shooglenifty, Walk Off the Earth and Vancouver-based Bhangra-Celtic blenders Delhi 2 Dublin.
About 80,000 people attended the Canada Day celebrations in Cloverdale throughout July 1, with 35,000 taking in the concerts and staying for the fireworks. In North Delta, the sky cleared and up to 4,000 people went to Chalmers Park for the festivities. In White Rock, thousands lined the pier and the promenade to take in live music, free food, face painting, a sandcastle competition and more.
In early August, White Rock's Spirit of the Sea brought 40,000 people to the beach over the four-day festival. Paddleboard races, delicious food and the parade along Marine Drive were a hit, though festival organizers were hoping for a turnout of 60,000 people.
August's annual Cloverdale Blueberry Festival was also a big hit, drawing in visitors from around the Lower Mainland. While attendance was down a bit this year - under 10,000 - the free annual one-day festival drew car enthusiasts from well beyond Surrey.