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AGASSIZ FALL FAIR: Fall fair celebrates family and farming

  - The Observer files
— image credit: The Observer files

During the upcoming Fall Fair and Corn Festival, attendees get to experience the feels of an old-time fair, welcome the autumn season, and re-discover the tastes and culture of farming and agriculture.

With returning favourites like the 4H shows, antique tractor pulls, and parade community members of all ages can enjoy the company of family and friends during the weekend-event – or what fair organizer Rita Bruneski calls "the homecoming."

"Lots of people come to the fair to connect with family and friends that they have not seen for some time,” she said. "There are class reunions held each year at the fair.”

And while learning a bit more about country-living, attendees can listen to the sounds of local singer Adam Briscoe and Funk Romance and Orion on Friday, followed by Essence of Elvis – a tribute to Elvis by Jeff Bodner on Saturday evening.

In addition to perennial favourites – like the crowning of Corn King and Queen – this year’s fair will include a few new family-friendly events, Bruneski added.

The Rotary Club of Chilliwack will be organizing a small train, giving rides to and from the fairgrounds, she continued.

Similarly, the celebrity milking contest is back after a year hiatus – with celebrity milkers including District of Kent Mayor John Van Laerhoven and Harrison Hot Springs Mayor Leo Facio, as well as a few surprise guests.

As well, to commemorate the year of the pumpkin – this year’s theme – a competition for the biggest pumpkin will take place on the event stage Saturday afternoon.

In the Spring, Allenby's Farm Store Ltd. donated pumpkin seeds to residents, for them to plant in their own backyards.

This weekend, the local store will be giving away a $100 grand prize to the grower responsible for the biggest pumpkin – the biggest cash reward in fair history for a contest like this, said Victoria Brookes, president of the Agassiz Agricultural and Horticultural Association.

"Even the prize for the smallest [pumpkin] will be ten dollars,” she continued.

Something old, something new

With the fair remaining one of Agassiz’s oldest, continuous traditions, and the corn festival celebrating its 68th year, it’s safe to say a lot is going right for festival organizers year after year.

Brookes said the key to successful fair is to feature some of the “old” events and themes that bring nostalgia to community members, but also offer “new” features to keep the people returning.

She's been volunteering with the organization for 45 years, she explained, with the smiling faces of the attendees always ensuring she returns for another season.

And to keep the kids smiling, a Kids Zone with facepainting, pony rides, and a bouncy castle will be running throughout the day on Saturday.

New this year – also directed at the youngsters, “we will have a rubber duck hand water pump contest for the kids,” Brookes continued, as a dedication of all the volunteers.

Overall, as event organizers and volunteers work hard behind the scenes to make the fair possible for a 112th year, Brookes can’t think of a better way to say goodbye to summer, and hello to a new season.

"It starts the fall off right,” she concluded.

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