The popular animal exhibits and the rest of the Saanich Fair are cancelled for this year due to COVID restrictions around public gatherings. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich Fair takes an online turn, keeps the kids in mind

A community staple since the 1860s, Labour Day weekend icon keeps low profile due to COVID

When the Labour Day long weekend draws near, many families around the Saanich Peninsula and Greater Victoria anticipate a trip to the Saanich Fair.

The 2020 version of this iconic agricultural exhibition, which draws upwards of 45,000 visitors, is taking a much different form than past years due to COVID-related restrictions against large gatherings. While the popular midway, musical performances, livestock showings, craft displays and food trucks are off the table this year, fair organizers are keeping the kids in mind.

RELATED STORY: COVID-19 scales back Saanich Fair

A modified junior section for participants aged three to 16 features a contest with categories for visual arts, creative writing, photography, calligraphy and other forms. Up to 10 family pass admissions to the 2021 fair will also be awarded to contest winners. A separate contest will offer a chance to have a winning creation featured on the cover of the 2021 Saanich Fair catalogue.

Families can find more information about the contest on saanichfair.ca and by following the Fair on Facebook and Instagram.

“It was a really hard decision for us to not hold the fair this year,” says longtime fair volunteer Catriona McHattie. “But we would love the public to come out and support us next year in droves. Next year we’ll put on a great show!”

ALSO READ: Clara Knight has attended Saanich Fair since 1947

After the COVID restrictions were put in place and the chances of the Saanich Fair happening as usual appeared non-existent, fair organizers looked into hosting a family-oriented animal safari with local 4H clubs. But restrictions being adhered to by the clubs prevented such an event from happening.

The fairgrounds won’t be entirely without activity over the long weekend.

The Peninsula Country Market, in combination with the Direct Farm Market that operates onsite at the fairgrounds, is staging a farmers’ market on Saturday, Sept. 5, the same day as the Saanich 4-H Lamb Club hosts an all-day private event.


 

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The sights and sounds of the midway at the Saanich Fair will be absent this year. (Courtesy Saanich Fair)

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