The skies were sunny, and the faces were smiling at the 69th Annual Bella Coola Fall Fair on Sunday September 11. This yearly event is looked forward to by young and old alike.
The day started off with a parade. Children and horses were dressed up like “Music Icons,” which was the theme for this year’s fair. There was Garth Brooks, John Denver, Joan Jett, Keith Richards, Stevie Nicks, A Country Star, the new band “The Newks”, and many more.
A big thank-you to the Valley Ridge Riders for getting the horses and riders ready and into the parade. It is a big job to put that together. To kick the fair off, we were all treated to the music of Ziggy And The Stardust, a David Bowie tribute band. Wow, thank-you Franco and Gena, that was awesome. It certainly had people smiling and dancing to the beat.
Liz Howard and The Bella Coola Agricultural Society hosted a zucchini race. The race was certainly a big highlight. Zucchini cars raced down the track while everyone cheered them on.
Fastest Heavyweight was Mathais Conley 1st, Alden de Graaf 2nd and Diane Nash 3rd. Fastest Lightweight was Odin Steif 1st, Kato de Graaf 2nd, and Asiixw Tallio 3rd. Best Dressed was Isla and Cedar Dennis 1st, Asiixw Tallio 2nd and Gilles Dionne 3rd. Wildest Ride was Lila and Ivy Gericke 1st, Mackenzie Meeks 2nd and Gilles Dionne 3rd.
Logger Sports and Horseshoes kicked off around 1 p.m. The Bella Coola BC Hydro guys organized the Horseshoe tournament. Several teams competed, with Shane Tuck and Craig Tuck taking 1st place, and Theo Nelson and Kelly Milton taking 2nd place. Way to go guys! Loggers Sports was exciting, as always. Lots of events there, including Nail Driving, Choker Races and the crowd favorite; tug of war! Kids were also able to do tug of war. The little girls and little boys had a go, and after holding their ground for a very long time, the girls were eventually defeated. Great job everyone.
The Bull of the Woods was Eric Collier, and the Lady Of The Woods was Skye Newkirk. The Most Sportsmanlike award went to Marissa Blewett and Travis Young. That award is a memorial award in honour of the late Scott Moody, who was a logger and much loved community member. Thanks to Hans and Caroline Granander and the Bella Coola Community Forest for organizing the Loggers Sports.
The exhibits this year filled Lobelco Hall. So many creative and talented people here in Bella Coola. Huge squashes and pumpkins, fine knitting, artwork, flowers, jams and jellies, photography, baking, and children’s crafts lined the tables. So much to enjoy. Thanks to everyone who entered things. It’s what the heart of the fair is. An agricultural exhibition to showcase the talent and resources here in the beautiful Bella Coola Valley.
There were many games for the kids to play all day. The kids won many great prizes and had a lot of fun. The always popular train was out chugging along with cars full of happy children, until it couldn’t anymore! We knew the engine was on its last legs and the drivers tried to baby it along, but it finally died. So, a 6×6 quad filled in for the rest of the day, and it pulled the cars along just fine! Thanks to Chris Matthews for that.
The food was amazing; burgers hot off the grill, corn on the cob, cotton candy, pie, pizza, sundaes and taquitos to name a few. Thanks to all the cooks, your food was fabulous! There were three door prizes this year. A BBQ donated by the Fair Association was won by Roger Harris, a Patio Set donated by the Fair Association was won by Heather Elliot, and a propane cooker and large canner donated by Sherri and Al at Home Hardware, was won by Blair Hans. Congratulations everyone! Thank you Sherri and Al for your donation. Thank you to Sarita Dennis for bringing the Book Nook to the Fall Fair. Thank you to Brianna Brown and Ahmed Feraouche for bringing the Slime Goldmine to the Fair. The 5 p.m. auction went well, and fundraised some money for the fair. Thanks to everyone who stuck around for that!
Thanks to everyone who helped with the set-up and take-down of the Fair. It is a big job, but many hands make light work! Thanks to all the game volunteers and helpers. Thanks Sunder Green for making the outhouses an enjoyable place to visit! They were fabulous.
Thanks to the board members of the Bella Coola Fair Association, and their families, for your dedication and time to make this event happen. And thanks to everyone who helped in big and little ways. It really takes a community to make this event happen! The Sunday Flea Market will continue through September; every Sunday 10 a.m. This Flea Market helps bring in money for the Fair. Thanks Bella Coola for your support of the Sunday Flea Market. See you next year at the 70th Fall Fair!
Exhibit division winners
Cut Flowers- Ilma Matthews- 28 points.
Potted Plants- tied- Vera Robson and Nigel Robson- 6 points.
Vegetables- Moira McIlwain- 31 points.
Fruit- Lynn Nelson- 12 points.
Canning & Preserves- Ilma Matthews- 37 points.
Dairy Products- tied- Ivy Gericke & Meadow Michalchuk- 3 points.
Home Cooking- Vera Robson- 23 points.
Needlework & Quilting- Helene Harestad- 71 points
Beer & Wine- Christina Hoppe- 10 points.
Photography- Hank Winning- 59 points
Children’s- Nyomie Newkirk- 59 points
Arts, Crafts, Hobbies- Meadow Michalchuk- 7 points
Special Contests- Nyomie Newkirk- 12 points
Overall Child- Nyomie Newkirk- 63 points
Overall Adult- Ilma Matthews- 73 points