It was a picture perfect day at the Bella Coola Fall Fair grounds for the 62nd annual Fall Fair. The community came out in droves to spectate, participate, and enjoy the atmosphere.
The fair began with the parade which saw decorated bikes, floats, and horses all decked out in the ‘fairytale’ theme. Fair organizers were thrilled with the two floats were entered in the parade with the first place prize going to a beautifully done ‘Frozen’ themed float created by Luke Bittner, Emma Brown, Morgan Nelson and their parents. Centennial Pool’s cleverly designed pool float took second place.
“We loved seeing the two floats entered, they were both very well-done,” said Fair organizer Sarah Matthews. “We hope this encourages more people to enter floats next year.” Parent Abra Silver, whose ‘Frozen’ float took top honours, agrees. “It was a really fun experience and the kids had a great time,” she said. “I recommend more people do it!”
In the Children’s Parade first place went to Molly Moren, Ava MacDonald was second and Cora Harestad was third. In the Family Category first place went to Jerome White, Camilla Saunders and Della Saunders. Second was William and Ben Dishkin and third was Josiah and Naomi den Otter.
There were also almost a dozen horses entered in the competition, with kudos going to Caroline Granander and Vickie Tuck for all of their hard work creating costumes for the riders. First place in the Horse Parade Pee-Wee Division went to Isla Hodgson riding Embla, first place Intermediate went to Tamara Robson and second place to Ryder Mudry. In the Junior Division Rachel Chatham won first place for Best Groomed with Seri Vosgurgh in first for Best Costume. In the Adult Open Division Wendy Kingsley won first place for Best Groomed and Annika Granander was first for Best Costume.
Exhibit Division Winners were Ilma Matthews (Cut Flowers), Cindy Nygaard (Potted Plants), Rick Ratcliff (Vegetables), and a three-way tie for Fruit (Rick Ratcliff, Skye Newkirk and Adell Robson). Adell Robson also won Canning and Preserves and Home Cooking, and Alison Sayers won Dairy Products. Needlework and Quilting went to Doreen Underhill, while Erin Chapman and Ray McIlwain won for Beer and Wine.
Photography went to Cindy Nygaard and Ray McIlwain won Arts, Crafts and Hobbies and Special Contests. Camilla Saunders was a big winner, taking both the Children’s Section top spot and the Overall Child. Overall Adult went to Cindy Nygaard.
The Logger Sports were once again a big hit with the crowd with some fierce competition between the ladies this year. For perhaps the first time, female entrants outnumbered the males (watch out boys, these Bella Coola women are tough!)
There were several first-time competitors in both the male and female divisions, with Gary Edgar defending his title as Bull of the Woods for the umpteenth time (I have lost count). Lindsay Gericke was the one to watch this year in the female competition, take first place in the Ladies Choker Race, the Axe Throw (deadly aim) and the Nail Driving. The competition concluded with a nail-biter of a finish: an axe throw to determine the Lady of the Woods between two very tough competitors (and great friends) Lindsay Gericke and Abra Silver.
Gericke took the win and was crowned her first title as Lady of the Woods. Alongside Cody Robson, she also received the Scott Moody Memorial ‘Most Sportsmanlike Logger’ award.
Thanks once again to the Bella Coola Fall Fair Association for a wonderful day and to the Bella Coola Community Forest for organizing the Logger Sports. It was a great day to be in Bella Coola!