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Posted: September 7, 2020

Kootenay Country Fair 2020: what might have been

The 43rd annual Kootenay Country Fair would have taken place September 13, but alas, it is not to be, like the Grey Cup, for the first time since 1919, not being awarded in 2020.

Fair organizers (Gwen Cupples,  Marg Hall, Marj Hansen, Trudy Larsen, Sylvia Lizotte, Donna Morrison, Shirley Neil, Janice Pelletier, Roberta Rodgers, Rhonda Sheridan, Yvonne Thompson and Laura Volk) made the call to cancel the fair, earlier this year, when COVID-19 was shutting down the region, the province, the country, the world.

Much of the behind the scenes work to put on the Kootenay Country Fair is done by a dedicated group of volunteers who start this process in January each year at the first organizing committee meeting. In the spring the organizers start meeting monthly in preparation for September.

Gwen Cupples would have approached businesses about advertising in the catalogue and done the preliminary set up of the catalogue for printing then distribution in late July. Posters would have been printed and posted to let the community know of the upcoming event. If you came across the catalogue about the Fair at the various outlets (Top Crop in Cranbrook and Top Crop Too in Kimberley, Cranbrook Photo and The Cottage Restaurant in Cranbrook) you would find a list of events taking place such as: exhibits, fair auction, face painting, zucchini races, demonstrations, entertainers, commercial tables, wagon rides and children’s games.

The Organizing Committee thanks all those who support the Kootenay Country Fair in whatever capacity. You have made the fair what it is over the 43 years, hip, hip hurrah!

By late August everyone is in full preparation for the fair.

Convenors, making sure they have their information to the organizers about the number of tables or display boards they need and are finding volunteers to help set up and take down on the weekend of the event, at Fort Steele Heritage Town.

Entries coming in for each of the sections for adult and children’s projects (Garden Produce, Family Dog Show, Cut Flowers, Adult and Junior home baking, Preserves, relish, jam, jelly, eggs, butter, wine/beer, Junior preserves, Adult needlework/crafts/quilting, Junior crafts and needlework, adult and junior arts, adult and junior photography, reduce/reuse/recycle, and the BCAAFE Member Choice Awards). Judges for the sections would be in place or close to committing to judge.

The treasurer would be putting together the money that is given as prizes. Performer’s would have signed up for a location on site and the vendors would have purchased their tables or stalls. Presale tickets would have been ready for purchase at the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce and The Choice in Cranbrook and The Snowdrift Café in Kimberley.

As you see, there would have been much happening to welcome the community to Fort Steele Heritage Town for the 43rd Annual Kootenay Country Fair.

If all goes well, the 43rd Annual Kootenay Country Fair will hope to take place September 12, 2021. If you would like to get involved in the organizing of the Fair please check the KCF website for contact information.

Stay tuned.

Lead image: This gentleman, a fixture at the fair every year, is a spinner of wool, a rare and dying art. Photo submitted


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