Mary Telfer

Mary Telfer

Family lifestyle celebrated at the Harvest Fair

Mary Telfer, long-time member and volunteer with the Williams Lake Harvest Fair, said that she’s looking forward to the crowds filtering in.

Mary Telfer, long-time member and volunteer with the Williams Lake Harvest Fair, said that she’s looking forward to the crowds filtering in to see the great exhibits and displays.

“I love seeing people enjoy looking at everything and hearing them say, ‘How do they do that?’ We always say, ‘It’s really not that hard.’”

New this year, on Saturday, Sept. 10 will be demonstrations on how to can fruit and bake bread.

Mary’s involvement with the Harvest Fair began approximately 12 years ago.

“Peter Fofonoff asked me to be a vegetable judge and it took off from there,” Telfer said.

Today she is convener of the knitting and sewing category, which also includes crocheting, embroidery and rug hooking.

“We set up the tables at the fair, and on the Friday when the entries come in we make sure they’re in the proper areas and under the right numbers,” she explained. “We organize judges; it’s hard to find them but we always seem to do it.”

In between, she was secretary of the Harvest Fair board, and a judge for four years before that. She was on the board for eight years and this year is a Harvest Fair member.

She also enters a prolific number of items, including cut flowers, potted plants, floral art, vegetables, farm produce, home baking, needlework, arts and crafts, photography and wine.

At last year’s Harvest Fair she won the grand aggregate trophy.

“When you get a ribbon you get a score point, and the judges add up all the points you got, and the person with the most points takes the aggregate,” Telfer explained.

Harvest Fair is a family affair for Telfer.

Last year her daughter Becky volunteered as the arts and crafts convener and entered sewing, baking, arts and crafts and field crops.

“My daughter Marty was the convener for canning and she entered photography, and my granddaughter Sarah won the grand aggregate for 4-H last year and reserve champion steer this year,” Mary said.

“My grandmother and mom always did these things and we just picked up on it: we all do,” Mary continued.

“My granddaughter in Edmonton recently phoned me to ask how to make pickles.

“I’m so glad to see this carrying on. There are a lot more young people entering things in the fair; some young girls are already putting stuff in the adult categories and taking ribbons: we like to see this.”

She said that when she was a little girl her grandmother always had a quilting frame in the living room.

“She would sit around quilting with her friends and my mom, and us kids would sit underneath the frame and poke the needle back up through for them.

“It’s the way we are: make it yourself.”

It’s so important to keep these skills alive, she added.

“I think we’re going to come back to needing to make our own things, such as food, clothes and household items,” she said. “If you’re good at doing something and need a quilt, barter.”

The 2016 Harvest Fair on Saturday and Sunday, September 10 and 11 will include live entertainment, the ranch rodeo, gymkhana and lumberjack shows and displays, as well as great food.

For more information visit

Fair brochures outlining entry categories are also available at the Tribune/Weekend Advisor on First Avenue and at many offices and business outlets around the community.

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