Salt Spring Fall fair set to mark 125th milestone

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Salt Spring Islanders and visitors can look forward to the return of the fall fair this year as it marks the 125th year since the first fair was held in 1896. 

The event will proceed at the Farmers’ Institute grounds under COVID-19 regulations in effect for the Sept. 18-19 weekend.

In order to ensure the halls are filled with exhibits, people are encouraged to get a copy of the 2021 fall fair catalogue to determine if they have anything to enter. Flowers, produce, preserves and hobby arts are just a few of the items included. 

Farmers’ Institute president Marguerite Lee said it’s hard to know what the indoor exhibits will look like because of the drought’s impact on island gardens this year. 

“We are encouraging people to exhibit no matter what their entry looks like,” she said.

The fall fair catalogue contains descriptions of all the categories, entry forms (with submission deadline dates) and regulations. It is  available on the Driftwood website at www.gulfislandsdriftwood.com under the Publications tab.  

The catalogue also contains the preliminary event schedule. It usually doesn’t change much from the final version, which will be published in the Sept. 15 issue of the Driftwood.

At this point it is not known if the province’s “vaccine passport” will be required for fair entry, said Lee, as no details are yet available from the provincial government. 

“I have spoken to other fairs and they don’t have any more information, so it is a wait-and-see game,” she said on Sunday. 

Masks will definitely be required to enter buildings on the grounds, she said. 

How many people will attend the fair is obviously still a question mark. 

“We don’t know whether people are going to be reluctant to come or whether they are just ready to break out of Dodge, or if everybody wants to attend and visit and catch up with people. WorkSafeBC has given us a go-ahead and we are very fortunate because our buildings are so open air.” 

Some changes have also been made to the layout of the fair to reduce the possibility of crowding, said Lee.

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