The Pender Island Fall Fair is an annual event put on by the Pender Island Farmers Institute that takes place usually at the end of August at the Community Hall. A fun family event, the Fall Fair features a showcase of Pender Island agriculture, arts and crafts, and community organizations brought together by locals of all ages.
First off every year it starts with a parade, and few things are more charming than a small town parade!
Once the parade is finished the fairground gates open! Featuring activities for kids, live music, sheep sheering and other animal demonstrations, there is also some serious competition between growers and makers among the locals. Who grew the tastiest tomatoes? Just who does make the finest pies? Oh to have the job as taste-tester at the Pender Island Fall Fair!
The competition for first place ribbons and awards doesn't stop there. There are competitive exhibitions for chickens, needlecrafts, scarecrows, photography, wines, beers, and spirits, bread, flowers, and childrens' creations running the gamut from electrical inventions to hand-felted fairies to epic lego scenes.
Many community organizations set up information booths from our local Marine Search and Rescue team to the Pender Ocean Defenders, it's a wonderful opportunity to learn about ways to get involved while meeting fascinating and interesting local people. There are also various fine arts and crafts people to meet and greet, this is a very creative community!
When you get bored of local people, you can head over to meet the local animals. Usually there are baby chicks peep-peep-peeping and sheep gently baa-ing and goats muttering and children all around giggling!
There are speakers that touch on important issues such as farming and our environment on Pender Island, intermixed with musical performances by talented local performers.
There is always eating to be done whether it's the pork roast dinner (a pig slowly roasted on the grounds), vegetarian curries and sushi, pulled pork sandwiches and ice cream and meat and veggie burgers and dogs, and every year the kids' baseball team runs a popular ice cream stand to raise money for their team uniforms and equipment. For the thirsty there's pop and juice and the ever-popular beer garden where the locals gather to wag their tongues and reminisce about good times in Pender Island years.
While the world changes so quickly all around us, the Fall Fair evokes an older-fashioned sense of peace and timelessness, a celebration of rural community, grounding traditions, and simpler pleasures; quintessentially Pender Island.