From the Centre: Fun at (the other) fall fair

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Even though we are experiencing a delayed summer, certain events remind us that we are drifting toward that change of life know as autumn. The leisure guide is out, school is in and, of course, my favourite event for blocking aisles and talking with friends and acquaintances — the Creston Valley Fall Fair. Unfortunately, this year we were on the road when the Creston Valley Fall Fair was taking place but we had the opportunity to get our fall fair fix by taking in the Kootenay Lake Fall Fair, which happened the same weekend. Hey, talk about timing, this Fall Fair, which is also part of the Regional District of Central Kootenay in Area A along the lake, happened to be celebrating 100 years of existence.

We did preface the Crawford Bay trip with a stop in Riondel where the community was hosting the Brandon Salviulo Memorial Scholarship Weekend, which had slo-pitch, golf, street hockey and many other active sports that I would have liked to participate in but, you know, my old football injury flared up. We were, however, able to support the cause by having a delicious breakfast at the local pub, seeing some slo-pitch, and chatting with a few other Crestonites that were up for the weekend.

Meanwhile, back at Crawford Bay, there were some great exhibits with my favourite being the chainsaw museum, along with some very talented musicians. Very similar to the local fall fair, maybe not in size but certainly scope, the small town atmosphere pervaded as well with the usual visiting, camaraderie and swapping of tales. There were even more than a few familiar faces including some that had helped with the Creston Valley Fall Fair for years and had decided to try something different by helping out up north.

A standard weekend across the province for agriculture based celebrations, it’s nice to know ours ranks up there, despite some hiccups with the arena repair project. It also marks the first year we have covered the ice rather than take it out for the week of the fair, including prep. The material is called Homasote, a mat of compressed and bonded material mostly made of recycled paper ,with the good news being that we borrowed it from our sister facility in Nelson. The stuff has been around since shortly after the turn of the century (the earlier one, 1900) and used to line boxcars and later automobile tops, as well as a wall board until gypsum board came out. The quick removal of the sheets following the fair will enable the ice surface to be used a lot quicker than previous years.

As we drove back to the south, we did catch some great live fall fair radio updates courtesy of CIDO 97.7 FM, our local radio station, and, even though we missed this year, it sounded like the volunteer organizers yet again pulled off another successful event.

Neil Ostafichuk is the recreation supervisor at the Creston and District Community Complex.