Kids enjoying the Tug of War (Orion Croft photo)

65th Bella Coola Fall Fair not dampened by drizzly day

Despite the dreary weather, many people came out to enjoy the 65th annual Bella Coola Fall Fair.

Despite the dreary weather, many people came out to enjoy the 65th annual Bella Coola Fall Fair. The rain didn’t seem too bad once you had a hot coffee and cheesy burger in your hands! The parade was great. The “Bella Coola Beaver Lodge” went floating by with many little beavers perched atop.

Beautiful and handsome horses and riders trotted by in style, and children dressed in red and white strutted their stuff proudly in honor of Canada’s 150th Birthday. And above it all, a beautiful new flag pole waved our Canadian flag. The flagpole was prepared, donated, and installed by Bella Coola Community Forest.

First place float was “Bella Coola Beaver Lodge” which had about 11 families involved. Children’s parade first place was Nathaniel Schooner, and a second place tie was Camilla Saunders and Alden DeGraaf. Valley Ridge Riders parade results are as follows: Intermediate Best Costume: Isla Hodgson(on Embla) and Morgan Boileau (on Bobby).

Junior Best Costume: “Team Canada”: Rachel Chatham(on Topless) and Ariana DiGuistini(on Chance) Senior Best Costume: Jake Currie (on Aspen) and Senior Best Groomed: Wendy Kingsley(on Cocoa). Thank-You Valley Ridge Riders for your participation!

Then, to officially start off the day, we were treated to the singing of ‘O Canada’ by the Bella Coola Community Choir. They sounded wonderful! While Logger Sports made preparations to begin their events, the kids scampered off to play games and ride the train. Thank-you to Fred Sorensen and the Bella Coola Fire Department for running the train.

The adults bee-lined to the exhibits to see who won. If you had gone into the hall I’m sure you enjoyed looking at everything. Did you see the size of those squash?! What about the amazing quilts and knitting, paintings, and photos. And don’t forget the delectable pies and awesome kids entries. Did you see that teeny-tiny clay art or that adirondack chair? Fantastic work everyone!

Many thanks to all the judges for them time and deliberation with the judging. Thanks to Ilma Matthews for the great lunch. Meanwhile on the grounds, bingo got underway, kids games were rockin’ (and dripping), horseshoes began, food was flying out the vendor windows, and Logger Sports began. I personally didn’t see any of it, but I could sure hear it! Hoots and hollers, laughs and shouts of encouragement, the sound of chain saws revving and the always entertaining M.C. Wayne Levesque.

Many thanks to Hans and Caroline Granander and the Bella Coola Community Forest for the organizing and sponsoring of Logger Sports and also, for the new flagpole. It looks great! Thank-you to all the entrants in Logger Sports who gave us quite a show!

Thank-you to all the food vendors for your hard work and delicious food. Thank-you Alex Boileau and your SAMSS class for running the dunk tank. Thank-you Rick and Donna Ratcliff for donating the corn and apples. Thank-you David Stanger and Jennifer Becerra for painting and sprucing up the dunk tank and entry booth. Thank-you to all the volunteers who ran the kids games; there are too many to list here! Thank-you to the CCRD, Wayne Padgett and the Bella Coola Agricultural Society for having your booths.

Unfortunately, the Agricultural Society didn’t have enough entrants to do the Soup Cook-Off. Hopefully next year! They sponsored a category in the exhibits, which was won by Kristin Carlson and David Stanger.

The exhibition division winners are listed elsewhere in this article. Also listed elsewhere in this article are the results of Logger Sports. The lucky winners of the door prizes were: Gift Certificate to Little Nook Cafe: Adell Robson, Gift Certificate to Bella Coola Mountain Lodge Dining Room: Jeffrey Snow, Gift Certificate to Copper Sun Gallery and Tours: Chantale St.Pierre, one cord of firewood from Totem Sawmill: Carl Siwallace, Fishing Kit and Knife from Hagensborg Shop-Easy: Kim Moore, and Tennis Set: Stephen Saunders

Thank-you to the businesses and individuals who donated door prizes! Thank-you Williams Lake AND District for donating the Canada T-Shirts. At the end of the day, we had a small auction of various exhibits inside of Lobelco Hall. Pies, jams, veggies and other items were bid on and then taken home to be devoured for dinner!

Thank-you to Brenda Smart and Ilma Matthews for your beautiful hand-made items that you donated. Thanks to all the people who stuck around for the auction. As always it is a lot of fun, and the profits go to support the Fair. Throughout the summer, the Flea Market has been operating and bringing in income for the Fair. Without that income we could not host a Fair to the same standards that we are. The cost of printing almost doubled this year, and the cost of everything keeps going up. Next year we hope to have the fall fair book and entry forms available online to cut down on costs.

A big thank-you to everyone who has supported the Flea Market. It will be open till the end of September. Thanks to Barney Kern for the dumpster service on Fair day. I want to personally thank my angels on Fair day: Marissa Blewett, Markus Hembruff, Tanya Moren, Moira McIlwain, Fran Gascoyne, Island Coles, Susan Brooks, my two Odin and Torger, John Morton, and the three guys who helped with heavy lifting. Your help was appreciated! Please note for next year: no dogs (big or small), no food in the exhibit hall, and no smoking inside the grounds. Thanks!

A great day was had by all. It takes a lot of volunteers to make the day run smoothly, so please consider volunteering next year. This year proved that Bella Coola knows how to have a good time, no matter the weather! Till next time.


Little eagle Molly Moren enjoying the parade (Tanya Moren photo)

Cousins Nyomie Newkirk and Ryan Boileau aboard “Bella Coola Beaver Lodge” (Skye Newkirk photo)

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