Plenty to do at the Emo Fair

By Ken Kellar
Staff writer

It’s that time of year again as the Rainy River Valley Agricultural Society Fall Fair, also known as the Emo Fair, returns to town for another weekend of fun, food, and so much more.

Taking place in Emo, from Thursday, August 17 to Saturday, August 19 at the Emo Fairgrounds, this year’s fair brings back everything those in the district love about the fair, and might even have a few new surprises in store as well.

Kicking things off on Thursday, the first official day of fair offerings will see no gate admissions, meaning visitors can get in to see all the happenings for free. While one of the first things many visitors to the fair want to see are the offerings in the exhibition hall, it will be closed at 9 a.m. for judging, upon the completion of which it will reopen so all can see the winners of the dozens of different categories, from quilts to drawings and photographs and, most importantly, the first-place beet.

Thursday at the fair will also feature the acceptance of exhibits for the small animal barn, and while vendors are preparing for a weekend of sales in the Emo Arena, visitors can enjoy the Select Shows Midway beginning at 2 p.m. and running until midnight.

If rides aren’t your thing, don’t forget that Thursday will also have the Mini King and Queen contest beginning at 6 p.m. upstairs at the arena before the Emo Fair Queen contest kicks off at 7 p.m. in the same location. Entry into the Fair Queen contest is $2 or free with your Fair Queen button on display.

Things shift into higher gear on Friday as multiple beloved events return. The first thing to note is that gate admission for Friday and Saturday is $5 this year, with children under five years of age getting in for free! Early on in Friday’s schedule, livestock will begin entering and exiting the grounds at 8 a.m. as they are judged at the barns and main grounds. Equipment displays also open up beginning at 8 a.m. on the main grounds.

For those looking for a spectacle, Friday morning will feature the return of horse show performance classes at the horse arena beginning at 9 a.m., as well as the ever-popular loggers competition at 9:30 a.m. at the grandstands. The vendor market square will open up at 11 a.m. for all of your local shopping needs, and once noon rolls around, both the Fort Frances Lakers beer garden and Select Shows Midway will open to the public.

The beef show begins at 1 p.m. between the grandstands and 4-H barns, and weigh-ins are scheduled for 5 p.m.

For more entertainment, stick around for the Nite Hawk Band as they grace the small stage from 2 to 6 p.m., and then move on over to the grandstands for Emo Fair-weekend stock car racing, courtesy of the Borderland Racing Association.

On what will prove to be a busy Saturday, return to the fairgrounds early that morning for more livestock and equipment viewing beginning at 8 a.m., and take in the 4-H beef show between the grandstands and 4-H barn at 9 a.m. The vendor market reopens at 11 a.m., but keep an eye on the time as 1 p.m. marks the start time for the annual Emo Fair parade, which will begin at the Emo Hospital and make its way along Front Street, turning onto Queen Street, crossing Highway 11/71 and finishing up at the grandstands. Judging for the parade floats will take place before the parade gets underway, at 12:30 p.m.

Once the parade has finished up, it’s time for the horse show’s gymkhana classes, which will prove to be a delight for the whole family at 2 p.m. at the horse arena, with the Nite Hawk Band returning to the small stage at the same time.

One of the biggest events of the weekend, the 4-H steer auction is scheduled to get underway at 4 p.m. on Saturday, giving anyone interested a chance to buy some high-quality beef and support our young agricultural producers. Stock cars, midway games and rides, and a few draws help to round out another excellent fair weekend, so be sure to grab your RRVAS fair raffle tickets from outside the exhibition hall at any point in the preceding three days for your chance to win.