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The Agassiz Fall Fair and Corn Festival: A Brief History

The Fall Fair has been around for 118 years, practically as long as the District of Kent itself.
The Agassiz Fall Fair and Corn Festival simply wouldn’t be complete without the famous BBQ chicken and corn dinner. (Photo/Agassiz Fall Fair and Corn Festival)

The Fall Fair has been around for 118 years, practically as long as the District of Kent itself.

The First Fall Fair took place in 1901 , originally at the Good Templar’s Hall before it ultimately moved on to its location at the Agassiz Agricultural Hall today. The Kent Agricultural and Horticultural Association (predecessor to the Agassiz Agricultural Horticultural Association) incorporated just two years before.

The Fall Fair has only been cancelled four times throughout its storied history – throughout World War II and during the disastrous 1948 flood.

James Morrow, who was the Reeve at the time, was one of the fair’s original directors and strong supporter of the Agricultural Association. Morrow’s horses were shown at the first fair, in the horse judging ring that once stood where Pioneer Avenue stands today.

For a few years, land west of Dominion Experimental Farm (now known as Agassiz Research and Development Centre) was the site of the fair. It was in 1912 that seven acres of land was purchased in the area for a hefty $3,500; this land is part of the modern fairgrounds.

The Corn Festival itself did not arrive on the scene until 1949; the Agassiz-Harrison Board of Trade was responsible for the creation of the festival. The Board of Trade wanted to capitalize on the chief crop grown in the area. While sweet corn was the original focus, forage corn quickly also became part of the festival as dairy was an equally important staple in Agassiz-Harrison.

A Corn King or Queen is crowned every year, and it’s not by any means a cosmetic title. Among other factors, the crops of the prospective corn royalty were judged on uniformity, use of nitrogen and more.

The board members themselves were also required to show their commitment to the Corn Festival. During the original festival, if any member of the board was seen smoking from anything other than a corn cob pipe, they were fined $1.


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