The Lakes District Fall Fair has been cancelled for the second year in a row and the Fall Fair Association’s newly elected President Nadia Hazelton told Lakes District News the reasoning behind the cancellation.
The Fall Fair Association begins drawing plans for the upcoming fair at the beginning of February each year and the fair is hosted after the Labour Day long weekend in September.
“We have many moving parts in the planning stages of the Fair and for the past year our main concern has, of course. been the Covid 19 pandemic. When we canceled the Fair in 2020 we were all upset but really felt that we would be able to host it again in 2021. We all felt that surely the pandemic would have been conquered by then and life would be back to normal,” said Hazelton.
The association, earlier in January this year decided to postpone making a decision over the fair by the end of May hoping things would normalize by then enough to hold the fair. However, things starting to take a turn for worst instead of improving and many more cases of COVID were being reported. The association was in touch with other fairs in the province and watched them cancel their fairs one by one.
“So at the beginning of April the decision was made unanimously by the association to cancel our Fair once again. We felt that it would be unsafe for us to host the 2021 Fair with the number of cases in BC on the rise and with the variants now becoming an even greater risk,” said Hazelton.
“People come to our Fair from as far away as Vancouver and Prince Rupert and many places in between and we felt that we could not risk the health and well being of Fair participants due to this virus. We would be heart sick if we hosted the Fair and even one person ended up with Covid because they had attended. We are trying to do our part in keeping our community safe.”
The Fall Fair has been aroundsince 1943 and in all these years the fair had to be cancelled once before in 2018 due to the wildfires. The Fair grounds were then used as a refuge for animals that were being evacuated from farms around the area, said Hazelton. This year’s cancellation is the third time that the fair has had to be cancelled.
“The Lakes District Fall Fair means a great deal to everyone in the area. The excitement really begins as soon as our prize book is published and hits all the business in town. Folks start planning what they will enter in the exhibit hall, which livestock they will show, what music will be played during the Music Festival and every child can hardly wait for the Children’s Festival,” she said.
This year, one of the new things planned for the fair was pigs races and the Fall Fair Association plans to have something new and exciting for 2022.
“Even though we are saddened by the decision to cancel the Fair for the second time due to the Covid 19 Pandemic, we feel that the health and well being of everyone in our community is of the utmost importance and we could not risk anyone becoming ill from having attended the Fall Fair,” said Hazelton.