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After a one year hiatus the new version of the Fall Fair was unveiled to an enthusiastic audience last weekend.

With the focus on participation and ensuring that no one was excluded by cost factors, it was wonderful to see the generous contribution of the hall by the Elks Club, display material and baking supplied by the Seventh Day Adventist and Mennonite Communities and a variety of other citizens.

The children’s entries included clay sculptures, beaded book marks, a pirate ship, chocolate chip pancakes, a wax melting, and an owl cake. Each entry was made with little hands, a creative mind, and lots of love.

Despite the short growing season and the cold summer the produce and flowers on display were incredible. The colours of the peppers, carrots, and tomatoes were vibrant and made you want to take a bite. The flowers were eye catching fragrant, and beautiful. The baking, canning, and crafts submitted were of the highest quality and the sewing and quilting displays were on par with those in any big city.

A BBQ lunch was prepared and served by the Elks on Saturday. While all this was going on inside the hall, the children paraded their decorated pets, and bicycles past the judging stand. A little later a horseshoe tournament went on. These last two events happened in spite of the blustery cool fall conditions.

The fair was produced by a committee of only three (Barb Jackson, Muriel Menzies and Karen Dube) and ably assisted by a few key volunteers: Dorothy Simpson, Kelli-Lynn Parker, Dr. Jackson, Jennifer Quam, Kelly Palasian, Margaret Graine, Glenda Thompson, Mike Moseley, Marion Cousineau, Richard Menzies, “Pete the Heat”, Sharon Johnson, Val Marcourtand Donna Hickery.

At the McBride Community Centre there were an outstanding set of displays, including some magnificent quilts, knitting/sewing, paintings, photography, wood carving, trapping displays, live music, and home made soaps all made right here in our valley.

Several of the crafters were working ‘live’ on their products creating things such as wood carvings, knitting and sewing while others spoke about their craft and had hands-on displays. One such display allowed participants to see and touch pelts from marten, beaver, mink, weasel, otter, coyote, and fox among others.

Trapping is a time honoured tradition that was the backbone of the early settlement of Canada. It is now a hobby for some, but still a tradition. Similarly, quilting born out of the necessity to provide warmth during cold winters, has also evolved into an art form.

As I moved around the hall, my ears picked up a variety of ethnic tongues. Listening further revealed the mix of native Canadians, Europeans and even a couple of transplanted Americans. It is from this rich melting of backgrounds that we are privileged to enjoy the gifts and traditions from around the world right here in the Robson Valley.