Attendance soars at Salmon Arm Fair

Hot Saturday sees more than 6,000 people visit fairgrounds for annual community event

Barb Brouwer

Contributor

Along with the heat, attendance figures at the 122nd Salmon Arm Fair were soaring.

But, an intense thunderstorm that began around 8:15 Saturday night drove a large crowd into the tent by the main stage and forced the closure of the midway.

Longtime president of the host Salmon Arm Fair and Shuswap Lake Agricultural Association Phil Wright, says Friday’s numbers were up by 50 percent, due to a presentation by world-class gardener Brian Minter, Adam Fitzpatrick’s Elvis tribute on the main stage and a very well attended Rotary Barn Dance. The $5 entry fee for those who arrived at the fair before 5 p.m. also helped.

“Saturday crowds were over 6,000 due to hot weather, the large and varied rides offered by the midway and other attractions such as the SuperDogs,” says Wright. “Sunday crowds were reduced by weather but the church service under the big tent was well-attended.”

Thrilled with the fair, new co-ordinator Jan Durocher said she heard positive comments throughout the event, including one vendor who said she sold more product in four hours than she had during the entirety of other events.

Grateful to the pre-fair coverage provided by local media, Durocher said people, who had previously no idea Salmon Arm had a fair, came from several outlying areas.

“One thing that struck me to the core was a gentleman who has six children and said he knew his kids were safe,” she says, pointing out that volunteers were easily identifiable in their reflective vests. “He said they could go on the rides and move around the fair and he didn’t have to worry about them.”

Happy children clustered around the Kids’ Zone and enjoyed the mechanical bull and bouncy slide. And folks of all ages often returned for another look at the hilarious lumberjack show.

“There were no age barriers, it was one of those events where the synergy just happened,” she says. “it’s nice to get that magic, you don’t always get it.”

Read more: In photos: Salmon Arm fall fair Friday and Saturday

Read more: Thunderstorm shuts down Salmon Arm Fall Fair early Saturday night, ignites tree

Read more: Salmon Arm’s 122nd fall fair kicks off this weekend

Meanwhile, grateful for the support of volunteers, exhibitors and the public, Wright called the fair a very successful event, despite the weather.

That certainly was the case at the main stage where under-cover spectators were protected from the weather and enjoyed an eclectic mix of entertainment, thanks to longtime organizer Gil Risling and MC Lori Risling.

As always, ‘Elvis’ drew large and enthusiastic audiences with his tribute performances that have become more polished over the years.

Smaller crowds braved the daytime weather to watch a variety of performers at the Heritage Lane stage.

Always a crowd-pleaser, Shuswap Idol featured talented performers of all ages, some of whom organizer Shelley Desautels believes have a musical career ahead of them.

First place winner in the adult category, Nicia Salmen took home $500 as did Alearia Koch who won first in the junior category.

Mayor Alan Harrison, who with wife, Debby, volunteered as a greeter Saturday afternoon, says the fair is Salmon Arm’s longest-standing tradition.

“It is so important for communities to have traditions, it builds the culture of the region,” he says. “While the Fair is also about our agricultural roots, it is mostly about people from all parts of the region interacting with each other; so Salmon Arm – friendly, humble and fun.”

And Durocher says the vision for the 2020 fair will be set clearly with the theme, “More to See.”


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sniffing out options for expansion of Salmon Arm’s sewage treatment plant

Public presented with nine site possibilities at open house, feedback to help narrow options

CHIME finds four days of noise, twelve days of silence from space

The radio telescope picked up the first recorded pattern in radio signals from space

Summerland’s Justin Kripps picks up back-to-back bronze medals in weekend racing

Canada’s two-man bobsleigh is third in the rankings heading into the World Championships

Video: Shuswap man narrowly avoids accident on Highway 1

Dash camera video clearly records sounds of burning rubber during abrupt stop

Railway carried mail, circus animals and royalty to Salmon Arm

By Deborah Chapman Contributor Imagine how excited the community was when Charles… Continue reading

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Registration opens soon for BC 55+ Games in Richmond

2020 55+ Games have been officially scheduled for Sept. 15 to 19

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Most Read