The Sooke Fall Fair stayed true to its roots and when the party was over, it was obvious that the traditional approach taken by the fair’s organizers was just what the community wanted.
After last year’s slight decline in attendance, the organizers chose to stay true to that traditional approach and it paid off. The Fair showed record attendance and a record number of entries in the competitions.
The weekend was characterized by a traditional mix of agricultural competitions for fruits and vegetables and flowers as well as the eclectic mix of other traditional skills like knitting, sewing, quilting and embroidery.
And, of course, there were baking competitions.
But there were other contests that allowed entrants off all ages to show off their talents in photography, writing, and artistic expression in more ways than most folks could even imagine.
“Even if the competition was in things, like photography, that might not have been around when the fair started more than 100 years ago, there’s always been a chance to show off the artistic talents in the community. That was a tradition, too,” said fall fair president Ellen Lewers.
Lewers said that one of the most heartening things about the fair was the enthusiasm of children and young people for the traditional approach.
“The loved the pony cart rides and the pet parade and, oh my, they loved all the races,” said Lewers.
Apparently even Premier John Horgan got into the excitement, competing in the egg race. (He didn’t win, but seemed happy anyway.)
“People still care about their roots and what made this community so wonderful in the first place, and we’ll be continuing to offer a traditional fair in years to come,” Lewers said.