Quesnel Fall Fair celebrates 100+ years

This year’s fair will celebrate a Friday night opening for the first time

It may be more than 100 years old, but the Quesnel Fall Fair still has some shiny new tricks up its sleeve.

A free family event, the Quesnel Fall Fair takes place this, weekend (Aug. 23-25) at Alex Fraser Park.

“There will be some new activities and entertainment — along with the traditional events happening this year,” Bonny Morley, president of the Quesnel Fall Fair — Quesnel Agriculture and Exhibition Association, said in a press release. “We are thrilled to have so many talented and dedicated people on the planning committee, as always. Without these volunteers, this event would never happen.”

The Fall Fair will be opening on Friday, Aug. 23 at 5 p.m. featuring new events, including live music, food vendors and a beer tent, as well as a 50/50 draw supporting Shiraoi Twinning Society. This will be the first year the Fall Fair has opened on a Friday.

Rob Borsato will be joined by North Cariboo MLA Coralee Oaks and other dignitaries to officially open the Quesnel Fall Fair at 6:30 p.m. The Akimbo Band will perform at 7 p.m., and the gates will close at 9 p.m.

Earlier in the day, the grounds will be open for the 4-H Swine, Poultry, Goat and Sheep shows, which begin at 9:30 a.m.

Saturday’s events begin at 9 a.m., and gates will close at 10 p.m. Sunday’s fair schedule runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Fall Fair is joining forces once again this year with local 4-H programs.

“This program is educating our future agricultural leaders, and it makes perfect sense for their efforts and skills to be displayed during the Fall Fair,” says Melissa Pollock, a 4-H leader and Quesnel Fall Fair executive board member.

Quesnel and area 4-H members will be having many showings throughout the weekend. The 4-H members will also be hosting their Live Animal Auction Saturday, Aug. 24, beginning with a Buyers Dinner at 6 p.m. The auction, which begins at 7 p.m., is open to the public.

This year’s Fall Fair will also include Church in the Park on Sunday, Aug. 25 at 10 a.m. with music and fellowship led by Brian Dean from New Life Church.

“Everyone is welcome to attend,” says Dean. “We all need some good news — come hear some at Church in the Park.”

Sunday’s events begin with a 4-H Pancake Breakfast by donation at 8 a.m.

The first documented Quesnel Fall Fair was held in 1912, though here have been a few years missed over the last 107 years for a variety of reasons, such as wildfires, according to the press release.

The first Fall Fair in Quesnel was held in the Annex Hall of the Occidental Hotel on Front Street when a group of producers from the surrounding area got together in the fall of 1912 to display and compare their agricultural produce, according to the Fall Fair’s website. In later years as the fair grew in size, it moved to the Quesnel Arena, curling rink and Legion area of Quesnel. During these years, the livestock section of the fair was held in Bouchie Lake.

A more permanent home for the fair became Alex Fraser Park. The park had limited facilities at first, but as the years passed, the facilities became excellent for all aspects of the Fall Fair due to a dedicated volunteer staff, according to the website. All sections of the fair, including the livestock sections, could now be together in one central location.

This weekend, the Quesnel Ambassadors will be greeting Fall Fair visitors at the gate.

There is no cost to enter the park or to enjoy the majority of the events, including the great zucchini race, arts and crafts in the recreation centre, the scarecrow building and the video game party truck.

There will be vendors indoors and outdoors, gymkhana, dog trick shows, mini horse obstacles, animal shows, barrel racing, live music and much more. For a complete list of the events and activities, visit quesnelfallfair.com or look for the event page on Facebook.

READ MORE: Quesnel Fall Fair rejoins forces with 4-H

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