The 70th annual Rock Creek Fall Fair began on a cool, moist Saturday morning last weekend. By the time it concluded on Sunday afternoon, the fair had once again shown why it’s perennially one of the hottest tickets in the Boundary.
While attendance was down slightly from 2014’s event, due perhaps to a chilly and rainy opening day, the fair still attracted nearly 8,000 visitors, who were treated to a classic country fair, featuring farm animal displays and competitions, a multitude of equine events, the razzle-dazzle of freestyle motocross and an impressive array of music, dance and comedy.
This year, Duane Harfman and long time Rock Creek resident Margaret Eek, who, starting in 1946, has attended all 70 exhibitions, officially opened the fair. Also in attendance at the opening ceremonies were fair association president Bill Bosovich, regional district Area E director Vicki Gee and outgoing MP Alex Atamanenko. The national anthem was performed by BCSS alumni Calvin Metcalf, and emcee for the opening day was Midway mayor Randy Kappes.
Despite the steady drizzle on opening day, spirits were high, as fairgoers seemed to actually enjoy the weather, certainly a welcome respite from the drought conditions the region experienced throughout the summer. The air was clear and fresh, and the recent wildfire season appeared to fade into memory, as the fair heralded a return to normalcy for many area residents.
All of the classic fair events were well represented this year, including sheep and beef competitions, animal displays, gymkhana events and heavy horse exhibitions. Agriculture, arts and crafts and culinary arts were also on display, as entries from all parts of the Southern Interior impressed both judges and visitors alike.
The entertainment lineup was nothing short of spectacular, as the main stage was constantly abuzz with the likes of musical acts The Trips, Willie and the Poorboys and country artist Lisa Nicole. Also there to entertain were ventriloquist Neale Bacon (“Canada’s only full-time professional ventriloquist”), Grand Forks’ Borderline swing band, rockers Devon Coyote and dance troupe Les Folles Jambettes, who performed a raucous set of Cancan, a style that was common in the Boundary throughout the boomtown mining days.
New to the fair this year was a talent competition, which attracted ten brave performers looking to showcase their vocal and instrumental prowess.
The winner of the youth category was 11-year-old Laura Close, while Christina Lake’s Damien Alblas was voted the best teen performer. Alblas’ father Jay took first prize in the adult section with a heartfelt rendition of Don Henley’s Long Way Home.
Wowing the crowd in the arena was the Global FMX freestyle motocross show, which is the only production in Canada featuring former X-Games athletes. Global FMX athletes are among the top motorcycle riders in the world, and executed numerous motocross tricks, including back flips, with ease.
There was a clown, lots of games for the kids, the iconic lawn mower race and a host of other attractions to keep visitors entertained for hours, during what turned out to be, perhaps against all odds, the best ever Rock Creek Fall Fair.