The Sooke Fall Fair is just around the corner and there’s lots in store for the Sept. 9-10 weekend. in store for the community this year.
Ellen Lewers, organizer of the fair, said she is especially excited for the large amount of animals that will be in attendance at the fair.
“We are going to have about 13 pens this year which is great because the animals are such a big attraction,” said Lewers.
The pens will be made up of various animals such as horses, pigs, donkeys, miniature horses, goats, cows, and more.
Sooke resident Janine Wittich, owner of Cherry Lane Equine, will be bringing a large variety of socialized animals to showcase at the fair.
“Since I’ve been collecting more than just horses and have kind of been putting together this little petting zoo, I’ve realized how many people don’t have access or exposure to animals,” said Wittich. “All the animals I’m bringing are hands on so everyone is welcome to pet them.”
For a few years, the fair did not feature any animals due to space limitations, but this year they will all be gathered outside the Sooke Community Hall. There will also be pony cart rides for people to enjoy.
Wittich explained that she wants to do more within the community, and thought bringing the animals would be a good way to contribute to an important Sooke event.
“Animals are life enriching. People can come and just leave their problems behind, and for a few minutes experience something that makes them feel good,” said Wittich. “And there’s no pressure or expectations with animals. You can just leave your problems at the gate and come and enjoy yourself.”
She explained that she is excited to watch both children and adults interact with the animals at the fair.
“It’s always interesting to see people start out a little bit shy and then realize they can touch the animals,” she said. “I also enjoy introducing kids who don’t otherwise have an opportunity to be around animals. That’s the rewarding part for me.”