Scenes from recent editions of the Kootenay Lake Fall Fair

Scenes from recent editions of the Kootenay Lake Fall Fair

Creston and Kootenay Lake fall fairs highlight rural heritage

Web Lead

  • Sep. 8, 2011 4:00 p.m.

Thousands of residents are expected to flock to the Creston Valley and Kootenay Lake fall fairs this weekend.

“This is always an exciting time for the Creston Valley,” Creston Valley fair president Randy Meyer said. “We think we will have another great fair this year.”

On the East Shore, residents might have even more cause to celebrate. The Kootenay Lake Fall Fair is 100 years old.

“We have a great team of committed volunteers that have joined together to bring the fall fair to its 100th anniversary,” said president Mike Jeffery. “We became involved because we felt it important to keep this community project going and to keep alive the spirit in which the fair was initiated all those many years ago — to display the local handicrafts, produce, flowers, baking and canning, photography and the children’s exhibits.”

The Kootenay Lake Fall Fair, which embraces communities like Riondel, Kootenay Bay, Crawford Bay, Gray Creek and Boswell, has another reason to strut its stuff in 2011. The B.C. Ministry of Agriculture has honoured the fair with a Century Farm Award. The award acknowledges family farms, businesses and associations that have operated for 100 or more consecutive years.

“The first Crawford Bay Fall Fair was held on Sept. 22, 1911, in a small wooden building which was the new community hall and school,” Jeffery said. “There were 33 classes of fruit, vegetables, and flowers.  Other activities included sports competitions and an evening dance.”

It has been 101 years since that first one, he explained but one was skipped during the Second World War.

A core group of only six sits on the Kootenay Lake Fall Fair committee, he said.

“But this number swells greatly when the Fair approaches — from the volunteers that help set up, to the conveners that organize and assist the judges with each section of entries, the judges from Creston all the way to Kaslo all the many, many people have contributed to make the fall fair a great family event,” said Jeffery. “The number of volunteers over the past 100 years would be impressive and we have appreciated each and every person that has contributed.”

This year, to celebrate the 100th anniversary, there will be a full day of fun and activities, Jeffery said.

“We will open with the Creston Pipe Band and some local long time contributors cutting the ribbon at 10 a.m.,” he said. “The local Lions will put on a barbecue, we will have antique chain saw displays, vintage vehicles, local musicians will be playing outside all day, there will be historical displays from Boswell, Gray Creek, the fall fair and Crawford Bay, as well as Riondel. There will be children’s games and entertainment, the traditional bake sale and the fall fair tea in the afternoon. And, of course, the hundreds and hundreds of entries and exhibits brought to you by the locals.”

The Kootenay Lake Fall Fair runs on Saturday only at the Crawford Bay Hall, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

“So dress up in your old time outfits and come and join us for a fun and memorable day,” said Jeffery.

The Creston Valley Fall Fair is held annually at the Creston and District Community Complex.

“The entry fee helps offset our expenses in putting the fair on,” Meyer said. “It costs $4,000 just to rent the facility for the weekend.”

The Creston fair runs from 2-9 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday. Live entertainment will be presented throughout both days and exhibits will be displayed in both the curling rink and hockey arena.