Delicious food, thrilling rides, the excitement of contests and shows—there’s truly no time like fair time! In less than a month, crowds will be gathering for the Rainy River Valley Agricultural Society Fall Fair (aka the Emo Fair), one of the district’s greatest and oldest exhibitions.
Celebrating the ability to hold grand in-person events is one of the reasons why “there’s no time like fair time” was chosen as this year’s theme, says president Sherri Hay.
Hay says she feels excited now that things are back on track, especially since last year’s fair was focused on returning to how things were run before the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of all, she is looking forward to seeing everyone again.
“They don’t see each other all year and getting a chance to do that is super important,” she says. “The fair is all a lot of fun. It brings the whole community together.”
This year, gate admission is $5.00 per person, per day. Children five years old and under enter for free.
Rides are back this year and will be a surprise until days before the event. There will be new food vendors this year coming from Thunder Bay who were also at this year’s Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championships. Also, the parade starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday rather than at noon to accommodate for the 4-H beef show.
“If they’re trying to do both, if they’re in the Queen contest and they got to be on the float, it’s impossible for them to be in two places at once. So that’s why we’ve made that change,” Hay says.
Another change to note is that the Lakers will be doing the beer gardens on Friday and Saturday at a new location.
“The Lakers are taking that over as a fundraiser,” Hay says. “It’s going to be as soon as you come in the main gates by the Borderland canteen. It’s going to be in that corner now.”
Also, there will be a gymkhana—an equestrian event consisting of speed pattern racing and timed games for riders on horses—instead of a horse show once the parade ends.
“My understanding is it will be held after the parade ends because some like to put their horses in the parade,” Hay says. “They end up back at the fairgrounds then the gymkhana will start after that.”
In charge of musical entertainment for 2 to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday is the Nite Hawk Band. The Beef Show will take place between the Grand stand and 4H Barn between 1 to 3 p.m. on Friday. The 4H Beef Show from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
The Emo Fair Market Square Open will take place from 11 a.m. to around 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday too.
Mini King & Queen pageant will take place on Thursday at 6 p.m. before the Queen Contest and Crowning. Also, Borderland Racing will take place on Friday and Saturday night.
At the exhibition hall, more entries are always welcome and take place from 3 to 8:30 p.m., Hay says.
Raffle tickets for the $25,000 cash draw are selling for $20 per ticket and can be purchased right until 8 p.m. on Saturday night before the draw.
“The exciting thing is we have all the plans drawn. And after the fair this year, the 4H booth and exhibition hall will have been taken down and the new one will be in place for next year,” Hay says. “So that’s what the push for the raffle is. all the money raised is to pay for these buildings.”
Although a survey went out about a potential barbecue competition where individuals could sign up as a grill master, judge, meat sponsor, or to purchase a plate of food, Hay says not enough interest came through and the competition will not be happening this year.
Hay says volunteers are needed to help with set up and clean up. Those interested and contact her at 807-276-0783. Currently, around four volunteers are needed. Hays says she will also sign off for mandatory volunteer hours if high school students are interested.
For more information on the schedule and fair updates visit emofair.weebly.com