The 115th Agassiz Fall Fair and 71st Corn Festival got off to an overcast, but dry, start on Saturday (Sept. 14).
“The foundation of the fair belongs to the people, because without the people it wouldn’t happen” Seabird Island Chief Clem Seymour said during his official opening for the fair.
“There’s been lots of things over the years that have changed, but the people don’t seem to change. We always come together to take care of something very important to all of us.”
Kent mayor Sylvia Pranger invited many dignitaries to speak at the fair’s opening, including Harrison mayor Leo Facio, Chilliwack mayor Ken Popove, MLA Laurie Throness and Agassiz Agricultural and Horticultural Association president Victoria Brookes.
“Clem said that the fair belongs to the people and it is so true,” Brookes said. “It’s the people that make this fair. So thank you all for your part in making this a successful fair.”
Starting off this year’s Saturday fair, as it does every year, was the parade through the community’s heart.
The parade started at AESS on Cheam Avenue and headed down Pioneer Avenue, to the delight of many who lined the streets in anticipation for the annual event.
The parade featured many floats incorporating this year’s theme — the Year of the Dog — and saw many pups tagging along with their owners down the parade route.
Heading off the parade was this year’s newest Corn King Martin Dinn.
“It’s not based on a pretty face, although there have been some pretty good-looking Corn Kings and Corn Queens,” Brookes said during Dinn’s crowning ceremony. “It’s really based on the management of their farms and how well they are taking care of their farm and their crop.”
According to Brookes, this year was a very tight race between farmers, with only a few points separating the first and fourth place winners.
Dinn took the crown from former Corn King Gord Peterson, who good-naturedly pushed the fabric crown over Dinn’s eyes as he passed on the tradition.
“When we came through the parade, there were lots of people who took note of who the Corn King was for this year,” Brookes said. “We’ve got some excellent farmers here and in the rest of Canada, so we want to promote our farmers and celebrate our farmers, because they are so important in our livelihood.”