Thousands of visitors will flock once again to Rock Creek Fall Fair

By on September 14, 2016
The 72nd Annual Rock Creek Fall Fair is set to go once again with thousands expected to attend the Rock Creek Fairgrounds on Saturday and Sunday for a weekend of family fun, music, good food, carnival rides and meeting old friends. After the recent devastating wildfires that destroyed more than 30 homes in or near Rock Creek, organizers say local residents could use a break from the heartache and are looking forward to having some fun. (Photo supplied)

The 71st Annual Rock Creek Fall Fair is set to go once again with thousands expected to attend the Rock Creek Fairgrounds on Sept. 17 and 18 for a weekend of family fun, music, good food, carnival rides and meeting old friends. (Photo supplied)

Affectionately known as “The biggest little country fair around,” the Rock Creek Fall Fair is once again expected to draw close to 9,000 people to the Rock Creek Fairgrounds.

“Over the last few years, we’ve drawn anywhere from 8,500 to 9,300 people, which is pretty impressive for a small community like ours,” said Lisa Sims, treasurer with the Rock Creek Boundary Fair Association, which acts as the official host of the popular event.

This year’s fair will take place on Saturday, Sept. 17 and Sunday, Sept. 18, with gates set to open at 6:30 a.m. both days, said Sims.

This is the 71st annual Rock Creek Fall Fair and thousands of people who grew up in and around Rock Creek make sure to take an annual pilgrimage to return home for the fair, she said.

The fair allows all participants to experience a truly rural, agricultural fair that is packed with horse events, free live entertainment, midway, lawn mower races, exhibit classes in agriculture, horticulture, arts, crafts, baking and a great selection of food and commercial vendors, she said.

Shooting Star Amusements will once again present the midway with numerous carnival rides and games of chance for all members of the family.

“All of the kids from around here really look forward to the midway coming each year because it’s the only time many of them ever get a chance to go on rides like this,” she said.

A new attraction this year is called the Laughing Logger – Good as Wood exhibit that will be held inside the arena with shows on Saturday and Sunday.

“It will be a logging sports show featuring traditional events like pole climbing, axe throwing and chainsaw carving, but it will also feature a bit of comedy and family entertainment,” said Sims. “We think this is going to be a real hit.”

Participants in this show will then show off their skills in chainsaw carving and axe throwing in the vendors’ field throughout the day on Saturday, she said.

Another event sure to attract hundreds is a gold panning exhibit in the vendors’ field where participants can pan for gold.

“There will be an area for parents to pan for gold as well as one for the kids,” she said. “We’re also holding a gold nugget contest where the winner will be able to find and keep a gold nugget.

“There will be another area where experts will be able to identify gems and rocks brought by members of the public. It’s basically an exhibit having everything to do with panning for gold. It will take place both days and we have some major mining companies on board as sponsors.”

Another hit should be the 50 by 70 foot Hedge Maze that will be erected in the vendors’ field and be open to the public both days, she said.

In order to track where visitors to the fair are coming from, organizers will be asking participants to fill out a brief survey when they arrive this year, said Sims.

“We will be asking them where they’re from, if they’ve been to the fair before, what they would like to see and those sort of questions,” she said. “We want to get a much better handle on where people are coming from to attend the fair. One lucky visitor will win a cash prize for filling our the survey.”

It wouldn’t be the Rock Creek Fall Fair without some fantastic live music and organizers are proud of the musical lineup for this year’s fair, she said.

Willy & The Poorboys, who play a tribute to the legendary American band Creedence Clearwater Revival, will return as the Saturday night headliners at 7 p.m.

“We brought them in last year and we had such a fantastic response that we had to bring them back,” said Sims.

Ben Klick, a young country musician from B.C. who garnered five B.C. Country Music Association nominations, including Guitar Player of the Year, is sure to attract a large crowd for his one-hour set beginning Saturday at 2 p.m.

Les Folles Jambettes, a group of dancers from Grand Forks who specialize in old-style Cancan dancing, will perform Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

Jay Albas and his son Damien, winners in the Adult and Teen category at the 2015 Rock Creek Fall Fair Talent Show, have been signed as a paid act and will perform rock and folk tunes Saturday at 3:30 and Sunday at 2 p.m.

The popular bluegrass band The Trips have also been invited back from last year and will perform Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.

The traditional Cuban band El Grup Cubano will perform salsa, cumbia, bachata and a capella tunes Sunday at noon.

The homegrown Rock Creek blues-rock-country group Cost of Dying will kick off the musical festivities Saturday at 11:15 a.m.

A group of 100 volunteers is on hand to set up the fairground site in the days leading up to the festival and between 400 and 500 volunteers give of their time to ensure each Rock Creek Fall Fair is a resounding success, said Sims.

“We simply couldn’t do it without them,” she said. “We’re in very good shape financially, but that certainly wouldn’t be the case if we had to pay everyone, so we can’t thank our group of dedicated volunteers enough.

“Not all of them can make it out to our regular meetings, but they are there when we need them the most on fair weekend.”

Jodi Klein, who helps co-ordinate most aspects of the fair and grounds manager Larry Funnell, who ensures the fairgrounds property is well maintained throughout the year, have once again done a fantastic job, said Sims.

Admission to the fair remains very affordable for all members of the family as adults pay $12 on Saturday and $10 on Sunday. Children between the ages of 6 and 12 pay $5 each day and children under age six can attend for free.

The majority of visitors stay at campgrounds and RV parks in or around Rock Creek, said Sims.

A full list of campgrounds and RV sites in and around Rock Creek can be found on the Rock Creek Fall Fair website at www.rockcreekfallfair.ca.

KEITH LACEY

Osoyoos Times

 

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