Continuing to build its post COVID-19 pandemic restriction return, the Nicola Valley Fall Fair will hold its annual exhibition this week once again.
The two-day event, held at the Merritt Exhibition Grounds on Lindley Creek Road, is an iconic part of Merritt history and the Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo weekend. The fall fair provides an opportunity for entrants to exhibit their agriculture skills, and other hobbies, to the community.
The fair looks to raise interest in the agricultural industry, in particular improving the quality of agricultural and other products. While focusing on the exhibition of the community’s projects, it also puts emphasize on preservation and improvement of food and other necessities, a practice which was once a way of life, and necessary for survival.
With hundreds of exhibits displaying varying subjects, the preparation that goes into putting on such an event is extensive.
“I have a binder, and I have it written down on each page what needs to be done that day, and what we’re going to do the next day,” said Kathy Reimer, convener and long-time volunteer with the fall fair. “It all, of course, depends on help. Right now there is six or seven of us working up here.”
As a volunteer driven event, Reimer said even an hour help from community members is greatly appreciated. From the ironing of table cloths, to maintenance of the Exhibition Grounds, there is something to do for volunteers of all ages. The same can be said for the actual exhibition, too.
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. Reimer hopes the fair will attract younger generations, keeping the tradition alive.
“We again have the colouring contest for kids, so hopefully they get more involved this year,” added Reimer. “We had some last year, but it would be nice if we had lots of kids. We need them to be interested.”
Those attending the fall fair also have the option of visiting other nearby attractions, such as the Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo happening right next door to the Merritt Exhibition Grounds. Stock cars from the Merritt Speedway will be on hand for viewing, along with the rodeo, and a planned ‘vendor village.’ The rodeo parade and rodeo dance will also return this weekend as a part of the festivities.
For the fall fair, the coming days are their busiest, besides the flow of traffic through the event over the weekend. Thursday and Friday will see the bulk of entries be submitted in preparation for the weekend, although Reimer said the sooner the entries are submitted, the better. Entries are open now, and can be changed later to add more items.
Reimer and her fellow volunteers look forward to greeting the community this Saturday and Sunday, beginning at noon and 9:30 a.m., respectively.
“When you open the door and everybody comes in, I think it’s the best feeling,” she noted.
The Fall Fair will take place on September 2 and 3 at the Merritt Exhibition Grounds, located at 319 Lindley Creek Rd. For more information on the Nicola Valley Fall Fair, visit www.facebook.com/nicolavalleyfallfair. To get involved, contact Reimer at 250-378-7270.