As August’s temperatures drop, the Fall Fair comes to mind. I can almost smell the corn-on-the-cob and the pies. I can nearly hear Country Grocer’s Spin to Win wheel and the local talent on stage. And in my mind, I’m walking through the barn and looking at the exhibits.
This year’s Fall Fair theme is “Party with the Animals!” held on September 16 and 17. According to Marguerite Lee, a director of the Farmers’ Institute, our island’s Fall Fair is “recognized by the BC Fair’s Association as one of the best small fairs, oriented toward family and fun and not toward commercialization.”
It started in 1896, and to this day, the focus of the Fall Fair is "local" ― from the great array of food vendors who sell ethnic and traditional food to the musical talent and all of the community information booths where organizations promote their message or product and services.
The highlight for many is to see all of the exhibitions and a variety of competitions in various categories. These categories range from baking and basketry, to livestock and hobby arts, to vegetables and youth projects. You can link to the entire Fall Fair catalogue to see the entire range.
Every year, people bring in approximately 2000 entries for judging. Youth entries, Youth entries, include hobby arts, models, painting, collections, junior horticulture, and more. With still two weeks left of summer vacation, youngsters still have time to prepare an entry.
Entry forms must be in by September 2 for livestock and September 9 for general classes and cannot be entered at the last minute. Exhibits have to be placed according to the regulations of each section. If you think you’d like to contribute, refer to the rules in the Fall Fair catalogue so that you won’t be disappointed.
Every year, new competitions are being added, so check out the different sections for inspiration. As Marguerite pointed out, “If you don’t enter, there is no competition. If you enter photography for example, and the judge says, ‘There is excellent layout or composition, but you could have better focus,’ this enables you to improve your skills, and it also educates the public.”
In the case of the Fall Fair, education is as good as entertainment.