100 years of fall fair fun

This year is the 100th anniversary of the Creston Valley Fall Fair

The sow and her babies were the fair’s big hit out of the many attractions that appeared at last year’s fair.

The sow and her babies were the fair’s big hit out of the many attractions that appeared at last year’s fair. — Photo courtesy Creston Valley Fall Fair

There is a buzz in the air throughout the Creston Valley. This is a year of celebration, as the community winds up to commemorate its fall fair’s anniversary: 100 years in the making. The Creston Valley Fall Fair is set to celebrate its centennial with all the usual fixings and more, including the most-sought after events, markets and concerts around. While much about the fair has changed over the last 100 years, some things have stayed the same. The one special ingredient that gives this fair its flair year after year is the people of the Creston Valley.

“What makes the fair what it is now and what it’s always been is community involvement,” said Randy Meyer, president of the Creston Valley Fall Fair. “Over the years I have been with the fair, which are many, I have seen plenty of changes, but being a traditional country fair there are things that have stood the test of time.”

Another thing that stays the same is the element of surprise. One never knows until a few days before the event begins what entries will come in or what may be the "hit" that catches everyone's eye.

If the area’s growing season is exceptional, the fair will tend to get more entries in the fruit, vegetable and flower sections. Sometimes the “hit” might be in the quilt or needlework section displays.

“Last year, a sow and her many baby piglets drew a lot of attention,” said Meyer.

Changing culture and cultivation

Over the years, the local agriculture has changed and subsequently changed what fair events people participate in. One of the biggest differences Meyer sees is the apple displays, baking and homemade preserves.

The area no longer has the extensive apple orchards that it was once known for. The apple entries that make appearances at the fair are fewer and of a different variety than those that were once entered.

“Canning and baking displays had diminished over the years,” said Meyer, “but are increasing again as people rediscover and do more of these activities in their homes.”

Being a milestone year, the fair’s committee is planning extra events for visitors to enjoy. The local museum will be putting together historical displays of fairs from years past, and an anniversary cake will be served to those who attend the fair.

“There will be an antique tractor display that should bring back memories for some of the older crowd,” Meyer said. “Our awesome farmers market will relocate to the fair site on the Saturday with many vendors offering a wide array of local produce and crafts.”

4-H displays and demonstrations will be ongoing in the livestock area. A local "Food Feast"  will be put on as the fair wraps up, featuring all locally sourced foods and beverages along with some special entertainment provided by The Heels (a Vancouver-based country band). The following day will feature tribute bands. First is an Abba tribute followed by the same group doing a Fleetwood Mac show.

Facing the fair’s future

The future of the fair depends on the community and the people that make this event happen. As long as the Creston Valley has enough people willing to give their time and continue to value what the Fall Fair represents, it will be around for future generations to enjoy.

“I've been on this committee for 30 years now,” Meyer said. “It has really become part of what life is for this community at this time of year. I want to see and encourage the agriculture awareness that is a part of the fair.

“Many people now are so far removed from agriculture and where food comes from that those directly involved with farm activities need to take every opportunity to bring the country to town.”

The fair committee is hoping for a great turnout this year and expects the Creston and District Community Complex to be a very busy place all weekend long as Creston celebrates this special event, 100 years in the making.

To stay in the loop of what going on at the Fall Fair this September, like the Fair’s Facebook page, and visit their website.

The annual quilt show at the Creston Valley Fall Fair

The annual CV Fall Fair's Quilt Show brings quilters of all ages to the fair grounds. — Photo courtesy Creston Valley Fall Fair

Zoë Dupley

Zoë Dupley hopes to share her love of storytelling, and properly communicate the passions of those she interviews. When she isn't hiking in the Rocky Mountains, she is working on her latest sewing project or reading The Lord of the Rings. View all of Zoë Dupley’s articles

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