Emo Fair hailed as another success

Nicholas Donaldson

Another Emo fall fair is in the books, and perhaps the biggest sign of success is that nothing major went wrong during the Aug. 17-19 event.
“It went well, really well I would say,” Rainy River Valley Agricultural Society chairman James Gibson told the Times.
“No big glitches. Not really any little ones, either, which makes my life easier,” he remarked.
Gibson said he wasn’t sure yet what the attendance figures were, but he thought it looked like a good amount of people were out at the Emo fairgrounds over the three days.
“Last year we had 9,700 and that was the most we had ever had,” he noted.
“I thought this year might have been more.”
The Emo Fair once again had all the usual attractions, including the fair queen contest, loggers’ competition, small animal exhibits, midway, equipment displays, exhibition hall, Farm Progress Building, cattle and horse shows, food booths, Bingo, stock car races, the parade, and a dance.
“We have a really good board and everyone does their bit to help,” Gibson said, adding he had been hearing a lot of good things from people and only a few complaints.
“But you always get people who are unhappy about something,” he laughed.
One aspect of the event that made many people happy was the return of the beer gardens to the fairgrounds.
“People have been asking me to do that ever since it was moved,” said Gibson.
The beer gardens were moved off of the fairgrounds a few years ago, with two new locations being tried: the Emo Sportsfield and upstairs at the Emo-La Vallee Arena.
This year they moved back onto the grounds inside the giant white tent.
“There are always concerns but we didn’t have any problems this year,” noted Gibson.
“People like being on the grounds; nobody wants to sit upstairs where they can’t see anything,” he reasoned.
Also new this year was the freshly-built office next to the horse ring for the horse show announcers, timers, and judges.
Gibson said now that the office is built, the fair board will start looking at the other side of the fairgrounds as it hopes to renovate the food booths and the washrooms for future years.
Gibson also noted the RRVAS had one of its best years with the truck raffle, selling an impressive number of tickets.
“I thought we were going to have to give it a rest for a couple years but I guess not,” he remarked.
Rob Langlais of Fort Frances was the lucky winner of the 2017 Dodge Ram 1500.
Gibson also mentioned the “Catch the Ace” draw, which sold 1,903 tickets during the week of the Emo Fair.
It was won by Elaine Fischer of Fort Frances, who she received $761.20.
However, the progressive pot of $7,433.40 was not won because Fischer chose envelope #22, which contained the two of spades.
With the ace of spades still not found, the progressive pot is expected to reach close to $7,900 by the time of this week’s draw, which is slated for Saturday (Aug. 26) at 3 p.m. at the Stratton sales barn.
For this year’s “Guess the Weight” contest, “Calvin” the steer weighed in at 1,010 pounds.
Although four guesses were within one pound, only Marlene McQuaker guessed the correct weight to win the $100 prize.
Gibson said the loggers’ competition Friday morning was enjoyed as always while the 4-H market steer auction Saturday afternoon saw some pretty good prices overall, especially with Andrea Schram’s grand champion selling for $6.40/pound.
He also had heard good things about the Farm Progress Building and the exhibition hall, but didn’t really have time to enjoy them as he usually is running around during the fair making sure everything runs smoothly.