Powell River’s annual Fall Fair will go ahead as planned this year despite an unfortunate health situation that has forced lead organizer Val Wigton to relinquish her duties.
Cathy McLean, one of the fair’s long-time vendors and volunteers, has stepped in as acting coordinator while Wigton remains hospitalized. With the support of Powell River and District Agricultural Association and other members of the community, McLean will ensure the event runs as usual.
Much help is still needed from outside volunteers to assist with the event. “Market vendors can only do so much and obviously they can’t volunteer the days of [the fair],” said McLean. “They’re too busy manning their booths and selling their products.”
McLean has assembled a list of tasks and is looking for section heads to oversee volunteers in a variety of areas. Dishwashing, table bussing, entertainment booking, garbage disposal, recycling, parking, publicity, safety, maintenance, signage, washrooms, raffle tickets, set-up and take-down are all areas in need of assistance.
One major job in particular is preparing the exhibition hall for all of the quilters, bakers and growers of produce who will enter their creations for awards in various categories. McLean said that judging is “yet another huge area that needs a lot of people.
Powell River Open Air Market coordinator Jesse Black echoed McLean’s call for support. “We are not in a state of chaos or anything, the fair will go on, but it certainly is a lot of work and help is appreciated.”
Fall Fair and Open Air Market handbags are currently on sale at the market and other summer events to help offset some of the upfront costs. A raffle has been set up as an additional fundraiser.
While organizers raise a significant amount of funds locally, the majority of financing for the fair is determined by a report made by a visiting jury of BC Association of Agricultural Fairs and Exhibitions, the non-profit governing body of all provincial events of this kind. “We are evaluated on signage, information, overall presentation of exhibits and grounds, decorating, safety issues, whether we are lacking in some areas or if we have added something new,” said McLean “Everything counts toward a good evaluation and possible grant money.”
This year’s fair will take place Saturday, September 24 and Sunday, September 25 at Paradise Valley Exhibition Grounds. Readers interested in helping can contact McLean at 604.414.0701.