Burns Lake organizers are looking ahead to the sunny times of September when the Lakes District Fall Fair will happen.
The Lakes District Fall Fair Association held its annual general meeting on Jan. 24 and the event is scheduled to happen on Sept. 6-8, 2019 at the Eagle Creek Fair Grounds.
Last year’s fair was canceled amid the evacuations caused by the wildfires but fair director Joan McFee is eager to bring the event back this year.
The fair association still has $23,000 in reserve from last year’s corporate sponsorships.
“We asked the donors what they wanted to do after the fair was canceled,” McFee and Fall Fair spokeswoman Naida Hazelton told Lakes District News. “Did they want the donations back or should we keep them in reserve? We were told to keep most of them in reserve.”
In the period leading up to last year’s fair, the organizers had already paid for the advertising and operating costs, and when the event didn’t happen they were left with about $20,000 in losses.
“We were lucky because we hosted the RCMP musical ride last July so we got some income from that. About $24,000,” McFee said.
But even when the fair was canceled, the Burns Lake community has made all the difference.
“Most of our buildings were used for animals and evacuees,” McFee said about last summer. “Sheep, pigs, goats, chickens, cattle, horses. Over 400 large animals were occupying the stalls. Some animals were moved onto people’s properties. The ball diamond was used too. The stalls in barns were filled. We tried to separate them so there wasn’t confusion.”
“We were giving water from a well to the animals. On the second day the well went dry…so a plumber helped to hook up the 3,000 gallon tank and supply it with water and a volunteer brought in water with his truck. The community really helped out. It was a coming together of the community. They just did it,” she said, adding that at least 300 volunteers usually help out at the fair.
September’s fair will include the Children’s Festival and the Music Festival, logger sports, lawnmower races and pure breed cattle shows featuring Angus Gold and Hereford Mark of Excellence.
The Fall Fair is one of only two shows in the province each year that have the Angus Gold, McFee said.
“It’s a big event that brings together the rural community and the town community. The fair would like to express its appreciation for the generosity of the community for the fair.”
The first Lakes District Fall Fair was put on in 1943 and in 2017 about 2,300 people attended.