By all accounts this year’s Williams Lake Harvest Fair was by far one of the biggest, best and most well-attended fairs the community has ever seen, said organizers and participants.
Coming back strong after last year’s hiatus due to wildfires, the event attracted some 4,350 visitors and more than 1,200 entries in everything from baking to gardening to preserving and, of course, quilting.
“It is the best attendance we have ever had at the fair,” organizer Tammy Tugnum said as displays were being packed away from the curling rink for another year Sunday afternoon.
Free admission to the event was possible through funding from Health Emergency Management B.C., Red Cross B.C., and the Provincial Health Services Authority through the United Way Thompson Nicola Branch. As well, there was a free pancake breakfast served by Rotary members, and made possible through United Way.
Once inside the fair, free entertainment included Hattie and Amos Face Painting and balloons, caricaturist Ted Couling, ventriloquist Kellie and Co. Show, Uncle Chris the Clown, juggler Matt Henry and much more. Food vendors were also on site and the weekend included a cattle sorting competition, Cariboo Kennel Club Rally Obedience and gymkhana.
It takes dozens of volunteers to pull off the mega-event, which Tugnum said she loves to be a part of to help promote a sense of community for Williams Lake and also even for herself.
“I see so many people I know and friends I’ve made and it’s all through volunteering,” she said. “And I think it’s important for the community. It gives everyone a chance to reconnect and visit at the fair.”
That camaraderie even spills over onto the fair participants, who all vie for ribbons in each category.
This year’s grand aggregate winner was awarded to multi-time winner Mary Telfer.
In an interview with the Tribune, Telfer along with fellow fair competitor and past aggregate winner, Cheryl Proctor, said she will start preparing entries for next year’s fair the day after this year’s fair is over.
Both women, who joked that they are known locally as ‘the fair ladies,’ said they have enjoyed being a part of the fair for many years and appreciate the fellowship it offers.
This year Telfer had 154 entries, while Proctor submitted 126.
There was also a robust children’s section this year, with aggregate winners being Kade Ryan, Freyja Dressler and Payton Destree.
For more coverage of the Williams Lake Harvest Fair, see Wednesday’s Williams Lake Tribune and also at www.wltribune.com.