The Sooke Fall Fair is already in the planning stages and the organization’s president, Ellen Lewers, positively glows as she describes the proud agricultural traditions at the heart of the event.
“When families came to this area they brought the seeds, roots, cattle and other livestock as well as a lot of knowledge in farming. They shared their knowledge and the indigenous people of the area shared their knowledge as well. Those settlers gained a knowledge of the oceans and the rivers, of fishing and hunting and of traditional medicines and the drying of fish and the gathering of fruit” Lewers said.
“All of that came together at the annual fair where the sharing of knowledge combined with some healthy competition to provide the community with a fabulous event. It’s a tradition that we still embrace.”
The theme of this year’s fall fair is Rooted in Tradition and Lewers is happy with the breadth of the events and competition.
The fair’s activities actually start early on July 14 with the Sooke Car Show.
“[The fall fair committee] started out having the car show as part of the fall fair but before we knew it there were a hundred cars. So in 2015 we gave them their own event, and it’s been growing ever since,” Lewers said.
Lewers is planning to use the car show to help promote the fall fair by creating her own “classic car.” Her show and shine vehicle is a specially decorated golf cart that will be used to create some buzz around town for the upcoming fair. While the vehicle might not be rooted in tradition, it’s certainly an attention grabber.
The fall fair will have almost too many competition classes to mention but it’s fair to say that pretty much everyone will find something of interest as they take in the various competitions – competitions that range from creative writing to large livestock contests. From canning to photography, the eclectic mix of skills and produce will be on full display to demonstrate the wide range of skills that make up Sooke.
“We also have a junior section where young people in the community can compete for prizes demonstrating their skills in raising livestock, photography, baking and growing and much, much more,” Lewers said.
But like any large event, the fall fair organizers are always looking for help.
“We’re really fortunate that we have the cadets and scouts, the business community, and local merchants who offer help and support, but we can always use more assistance in setting up and operating the fair. It’s a huge undertaking and we welcome anyone who is willing to come out and help,” Lewers said.
The fall fair will take place at the Sooke Community Hall on Sept. 7 and 8.
Anyone wishing to volunteer their time can contact Lewers by emailing the fall fair at email@example.com.
That same email will give interested parties a chance to get more information on the full range of activities associated with the fair.