With constant provincial lockdowns and fluctuating case numbers in the region, it was uncertain what this summer would look like for events, but the Emo Fair will go ahead this year with some exceptions.
James Gibson, president of the Rainy River Valley Agricultural Society (RRVAS), said there will be no midway this summer as the cost of insurance is too great compared to the number of fairs happening in Ontario.
Gibson adds that they are looking into other ways to make up for it, but for now, he does know that they will have the 4H program, stock car races, fair queen and mini king and queen this year which many are looking forward to.
“Especially for the 4H children that work with their animals all summer. They train them and feed them all year and then if you don’t have it, where you can have a good audience, it’s kind of a letdown,” Gibson said.
Gibson said despite not having the fair last year, the 4H program was able to sell off all their animals.
As for the exhibition hall, which is usually full of different vendors that offer handmade crafts and local produce, Gibson said he is unsure of what will be offered there at this point.
Gibson said he is hoping to have it sorted at their next board meeting so they can begin planning the fair. He adds that he is also hoping members on the board will have some ideas of what they can do to make up for the midway.
Gibson said they are still figuring out what they can and cannot do as the Emo Fair is a large attraction and garners attendees from all over the district. He adds that vaccination rates in the region gives them some hope as to the number of people that will be able to come through the fair.
Gibson said with the last-minute decision to have the fair this year, planning will be a bit of a scramble as some of the events such as the fair queen usually goes all summer.
“It’s going to take some time to get that together. That being said, everybody’s been locked down, everybody’s scrambling for something to do so they don’t have much else for entertainment,” Gibson said.
The fair will likely run from August 19 to 21, but those dates are subject to change depending on COVID restrictions, Gibson adds.