110th fall fair declared success

Dave Ogilvie

Thanks to some fantastic weather and an attendance level that exceeded previous years, the 110th Rainy River Valley Agricultural Fall Fair was declared a success.
RRVAS president Emily Watson was extremely pleased with the weather, the attendance, and the overall success of this year’s fair.
“It was wonderful,” she enthused Monday morning.
“Sure, there were some hiccups along the way,” she admitted. “But the members of the board worked together to solve the problems.”
A representative from Select Shows, which operates the midway, also was pleased with this year’s fair, stating it was “the best fair” that he could remember.
The overall attendance at the gate was well over 7,000, with many more entering late into the evening, making parking for some people extremely difficult.
The Farm Progress Building, the 4-H booth, the Bingo and all other booths welcomed the crowd, however.
The 30th anniversary of the Farm Progress Building was a great success, attracting a steady crowd to the arena.
“It was our best year ever,” remarked Linda Armstrong. “All of our booths were filled, and everyone seemed to have a great time.”
“Maple the Cow” was a welcome addition to this year’s displays, challenging many to display their milking skills.
The Bingo booth was also a success thanks to the efforts of RRVAS secretary/treasurer Jan Judson, who rounded up enough workers to keep it open for two days.
Monies raised from this year’s Bingo will go to the Emo Toy Library.
Back by popular demand this year was the Emo Legion beer garden, which was held in the air-conditioned hall upstairs at the arena.
Legion workers served up a variety of foods, including an excellent cold plate on Friday and another fantastic fish fry on Saturday evening.
The 4-H food booth also was a popular location. Even with the addition of an extra fryer, the young 4-H members were kept extremely busy serving up burgers, fries, and other food to the hungry visitors.
The 110th fair really did have something for everyone. The stock car races on Friday and Saturday evening were well-attended while the family “Country Jam” dance on Friday and the age of majority dance on Saturday evening, featuring live music by “Nighthawk,” were popular with many people.
Another popular location was the exhibition hall, which was filled with a wide variety of produce, crafts, and artistic creations.
One highlight for many visitors was the 2009 memory book, which was full of pictures from last year’s fair.
Meanwhile, the annual loggers’ competition Friday morning again proved popular with many visitors to the fair.
Ten loggers, including three “rookies,” competed for the coveted awards of “Safe Logger,” “Rookie of the year,” and “Champion Logger.”
The go-kart races also were a popular event, at least for the family and friends of the young racers. These skillful young drivers are extremely competitive and provide a great deal of excitement as they speed around the track.
The highlight of each fair for some people is always the parade. This year’s parade, featuring the theme of “Get Fresh, Eat Local, Go Wild” was a great success and roundly applauded by those seated in the grandstand.
Despite the success of this year’s fair, RRVAS members already are thinking about next year’s fair. They are determined to build on this year’s success and make next year’s fair even better.
“We had two empty booths this year that we would love to see filled next year,” noted Judson.
The fair board also will be looking for more people to assist with parking, operation of the midway, and other various duties.
Despite the fact that these are paid positions, finding people to fill them is sometimes difficult.
The success of the fall fair in Emo over the last 110 years has been the result of a lot of hard work by the members of the fair board.
If you would like to help plan next year’s fair, the board always is looking for new members.
Interested individuals from across the district also can assist the fair board by purchasing a membership, entering exhibits in the hall, constructing a float for the parade, renting a booth, and volunteering their time.