The Nicola Valley Fall Fair is back after a two year hiatus, with the COVID-19 pandemic that caused the break providing enough time in isolation for locals to have sharpened their canning, baking, and hobby skills. Organizers are working hard to put together the two day exhibition event, happening Saturday and Sunday of this long weekend.
The goal of the Fall Fair is to stimulate interest in the agricultural industry, in particular improving the quality of agricultural and other products, all while collaborating with other non-profit organizations as a part of the 2022 Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo weekend. At the Fall Fair, locals can submit entries in a variety of categories, including canning, baking, fruits and vegetables, homecrafts, photography, livestock, and much more.
Entries are shown to both onlookers and judges over the two day fair, held at the Merritt Exhibition Ground on Lindley Creek Road.
“We’re an old fashion fair, we have canning, baking, photography, and animals outside, so we don’t have a lot of video games and things like that,” said Fall Coordinator Kathy Reimer.
“We’re more agriculturally geared. We want to encourage people to do the canning and all those things that we used to do. With COVID, we’ve had a lot more people interested in doing those types of things. I’m hoping we have a great turnout this year with all these new canners and bakers out there.”
Reimer added that many of the exhibitions at the Nicola Valley Fall Fair focus on the preservation and improvement of food and other necessities, a practice which was once a way of life, and necessary for survival. She added that could once again be the case in the future, and urged locals to attend the Fall Fair to learn more about traditional agricultural practices and history.
The Fall Fair is one of many events taking place as a part of the 2022 Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo weekend. Taking place on the same day as the rodeo and Quilchena Avenue street market, the collaboration between the organizers has been productive. This Labour Day weekend, rodeo goers can enjoy not only the rodeo, but a rodeo dance, the Fall Fair, and a Saturday morning pancake breakfast at Spirit Square.
“Everybody we’ve talked to seems very excited about it, so I’m hoping we have a good turnout for exhibits, and a lot of people coming down to take a look. We’re doing a lot with this rodeo weekend, with the pancake breakfast and the street mall, then back to the rodeo and the Fall Fair. We’re trying to make it an all around weekend that includes everybody,” added Reimer.
Reimer also added that the Nicola Valley Fall Fair is always looking for volunteers, or even someone to lend the occasional hand leading up to the fair. From changing light bulbs and setting up tents, to setting tables and organizing exhibitions, there is no shortage of prep work for the fair. Individuals of all ages are welcome to volunteer, including families.
“The more hands, the easier it is, because it’s a big job. Leading up to the fair, most days we’re here some time during the day. If anybody is interested in volunteering or lending a hand, pop up and look at our schedule. We’re always happy to have new conveners who look after different sections.”
Moving forward, the Nicola Valley Fall Fair will prepare its Merritt Exhibition Grounds, located at 319 Lindley Creek Road, for the two day event. The grounds are due for a major update this fall or coming spring, in the form of a new washroom facility. The fair has received funding from the Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD), and is currently seeking bids for the project.
For more information on the Nicola Valley Fall Fair, visit www.facebook.com/nicolavalleyfallfair.