Candace Linde and Java are preparing for the Pet Parade scheduled for Sunday of the Sooke Fall Fair.

Sooke Fall Fair Pet Parade is 50 years old

Popular event for kids is celebrating a half century

The Sooke Fall Fair is gearing up for it’s 99th annual event, which will run from Saturday, Sept. 8 to Sunday, Sept. 9.

This year’s theme will be ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ in honour of the 50th anniversary of the Pet Parade.

“This year it’s all about fun and family and pets, and people really love to celebrate their animals,” said Candace Linde, Sooke Fall Fair Committee president.

For children who don’t have pets to enter into the parade, baby goats will be made available to dress up, co-ordinate and decorate.

“They are trained baby goats to be on leashes,” Linde said. “If any children are interested, who don’t have an animal to put in the Pet Parade, they could borrow a baby goat.”

Another addition to the fair, fitting the theme of celebrating animals, is the chicken bingo.

“You have a  chicken in a pen, in a big pen, you pick a number and if he happens to plop on that number you win the bingo,” laughed Linde.

There will also be the addition of a youth entry section for teens aged 15-18.

The youth section will span over a variety of events in the fair, which will level the playing field for teens who, before the institution of the category, had to compete with highly skilled adults.

According to Linde, the committee wanted to bridge the gap for teens who felt too “intimidated” to compete against adults after they got too old for the junior’s category, which is restricted to entrants aged 6-14.

“It would be very intimidating as a 16 year old to compete against a 50 or 60 year old who has been quilting for 40 years.”

Linde said over the course of nearly a century, the fair has remained true to its old fashioned roots, celebrating the unique talents of the community in areas like knitting, baking, agriculture and crafts.

Entries for the adult, junior and youth sections are to be dropped off between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Sooke Community Hall on Friday, Sept. 7.

The fair will be open to the public on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 1 p.m., and the opening ceremonies will be at 2 p.m.

Decorating for the Pet Parade will take place at 11 a.m., followed by the actual parade at 1 p.m. outside the Sooke Community Hall on Sunday, Sept. 9. Entry is free and decorating supplies will be made available.

Anyone interested in entering with a baby goat can contact Linde at 250-642-5869.

For information on the Sooke Fall Fair, check out: http://www.sookefallfair.ca/default.html