A delicious remaking of a comforting tradition:


by Jacqueline Wedge

September 15 will mark the 101st Kootenay Lake Fall Fair. Though it has had other names, been hosted at various locations on the East Shore, and been organized by a diverse and ever-changing group of volunteers, the century-long Fall Fair fever is hanging on. As many of you know, it was pretty much on the chopping block. The floofie dresses were given away, the board members all retired, and rumours are still circulating that it isn’t really happening for 2012.

Well… IT IS… at that fateful Fall Fair AGM held last October, four of us (Nicole Schreiber, Marion Johnson, K’Arlee Morison, and Jacqueline Wedge) put our hands up rather tentatively, rolling eyes at each other, bemoaning the probable plethora of volunteer hours it would take to attempt another year/century of the event. FoodRoots was and is a forum established to bring folks and groups together in our love of food and food security/sustainability, so it just made sense for the Fall Fair to take up the challenge and keep the celebration of the harvest alive and strong in our communities. With a smattering of inputs from the community, we made some decisions about the direction the fair should be taking in these challenging agricultural times.

The changes we’ve made for this year’s fair include interactive and educational booths (how to make yoghurt, kombuchi, and kimchee, how to raise chickens (a cute chicken will be on site to answer any queries as to how cute and addictive chickens are…) and other amazingly fun and simple activities;  a farmer’s market (contact us if you have extra garden bounty to sell/share/trade, you can use a spot on the FoodRoots table); a scarecrow exhibit (judge them, pick your favourite); a food-oriented mandala to help paint; a dunk tank (take advantage of the opportunity… dunk your chefs, your employers, your parents, your teachers, even your best friend); soccer shoot-outs and hilarious food competitions to bring out your rambunctious side; LOTS of great prizes and gifts to make you feel special, and a wonderful occasion to network and make new foodie contacts. (“Oh my, I didn’t know you grew such elegant herbs! I must bake you a delectable banana loaf in exchange for some.”… That kind of thing.

We’ll still have the same categories for judging, more-or-less (a few things were added and others taken away, to contemporize it all and keep you all on your toes!). There will be a “Mad Hatters Tea Party” (bring a funky hat, or make one at the fair: prizes will be popping up everywhere). There will be lots for the kids to do, with a craft tent, balloons, clowns, and live music. Of course the famous photography room will be there, with some of the best photos ever taken on this planet.

Help us out – become a volunteer! Contact me at 227-6803 if you can – “Like” our Facebook page (kootenay lake fall fair), and if you can’t find a booklet anywhere (Crawford Bay Market, Gray Creek Store, The Lakeview Store, Riondel Market), save a tree and go on-line to see/print it at kootenaylakefoodroots.wordpress.com. We sincerely hope to see the regular attendees there as well as new faces. This is YOUR food celebration. Come take a bite.



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