Sunday, August 2, 2015

Attendance up overall at fair

Every year, organizers of the Rainy River Valley Agricultural Society’s fall fair pray for sunshine for the three-day event held in Emo—and this year they got it.
In fact, the temperature might have been a little too warm on Friday.

“The attendance was down on Friday,” noted Emily Watson, president of the RRVAS, citing the high temperatures that reached almost 30 C (and felt closer to 34 C) could have been a reason.
“But Saturday’s weather certainly cooperated and the overall attendance was up,” she voiced, adding more than 7,200 people entered the fairgrounds on Friday and Saturday.
The fair was also open on Thursday, although no admission free is charged that day and, with no one working the gate, attendance was not recorded.
Watson added Borderland Racing Association was also very pleased with the attendance out at the stock car races Friday and Saturday.
“Everything went pretty well,” she enthused. “The fair was definitely another success.”
However, she admitted there was a couple little “hiccups” throughout the course of the event.
“But nothing we hadn’t planned for or couldn’t handle,” she expressed, noting the biggest problem was with parking.
“With the lagoon work, we lost all that parking,” she voiced.
Watson indicated some fair-goers did not take considerations when they were parking and blocked other vehicles in.
“It’s definitely an issue we have to address for next year,” she reasoned.
Other than that, Watson noted everything else went well.
“We had lots of people saying what a wonderful job was done and how much they enjoyed the fair,” she expressed.
She noted there was a large turnout for the parade on Saturday and many had come out to see Tom and Shirley Morrish be presented with an award for being this year’s “featured family.”
“They were so pleased to get the award,” Watson said. “And they really deserve it. They’ve done so much for the fair over the years.”
Meanwhile, another success was the country band “The Fugitives,” who played both Friday and Saturday afternoon on the small stage.
“We could probably do with a bigger tent,” Watson voiced. “We had to put out extra benches, but they didn’t fit under the tent, so people were sitting out in the hot sun.”
She added there was a large crowd of people who flocked to the stage to take in the old-time music and they will likely consider asking the band back again.
She also suggested the fair board could rent a larger tent next year to be placed in front of the stage and that tent could be used elsewhere.
“We have lots of benches so we could certainly accommodate more people in that location,” she said.
Meanwhile, as in previous years, people enjoyed taking in the midway rides, games, and food, in addition to checking out the exhibition hall and the Farm Progress building.
There was also a horse show and 4-H beef and dairy cattle show, along with the small animal barn with poultry, sheep, swine, pets and goats that people could also visit throughout both days of the fair.
Then at 6 p.m. on Saturday, the truck raffle for a 2014 Dodge RAM 1500 SXT crew cab 4X4 was drawn, with Joe Ruete of Eagle Lake being the winner.
“We’re going to have to try to keep up the raffle—it was quite popular,” enthused Jan Judson, secretary/treasurer for the fair board.
An age-of-majority dance, featuring Centre-Line, wrapped up the fair activities on Saturday night.
“As always, we could always use more volunteers,” Watson stressed. “We had just enough people to work the gates and when someone was sick, it was difficult to find someone to step in.”
She noted she hopes high school students remember that they do offer volunteer hours.
She also would like to see more people getting involved in the fair planning.
“We certainly welcome any ideas and suggestions for next year’s fair,” Watson said, noting the RRVAS contact information is available at
“The hard work of the volunteers and the board make the fair a success every year,” she raved.
Those wishing to get involved with the RRVAS can come out to its annual general meeting in November.

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