Some of the competitors in last year’s Zucchini Race at the Ashcroft Fair. Some of the zucchinis had better decorations than they had wheels. The competition was fierce but everyone had a good time. The Zucchini Races will be back this year at the Fall Fair.

Some of the competitors in last year’s Zucchini Race at the Ashcroft Fair. Some of the zucchinis had better decorations than they had wheels. The competition was fierce but everyone had a good time. The Zucchini Races will be back this year at the Fall Fair.

Ashcroft Fair perpetuates family values

Passing down traditions and crafts to the younger generation is key to keeping them alive.

There is a good reason that Fall Fairs have been around for over 100 years, promoting agriculture and a rural lifestyle. The further we travel from our roots, the more important that we remember them.

The 2015 Fall Fair booklet is out and that is usually a signal to those of whom the home crafts aren’t lost to get ready. For those who have never placed an entry into a Fall Fair, the booklet lists the many categories to be judged at the Fair. If you can bake a cake, you can choose from among many types of cake – or you can make them all. If you sew or work with wood or have a garden, the options are endless. Likewise if you take photographs or paint or create… Have a look through the booklet for ideas or inspiration. If that doesn’t work, look over the entries at the Fair and challenge yourself to come up with at least one entry for next year.

“It’s important to remember where these things come from,” says Jessica Clement, president of the Ashcroft & District Fall Fair for the past six years. “They’re not being passed down and we’re starting to lose the domestic crafts” that provided the food on the table and the clothes on our backs.

Fall Fairs promote and celebrate these crafts by providing demonstrations and by holding competitions to choose the best of them. Mind you, the prizes aren’t much in terms of spending power, but the First, Second and Third place ribbons say a lot to those who care about such things. And they may inspire others to try their hands at it.

The Ashcroft Fall Fair is a one-day event in September that draws in people from all over the area. A volunteer committee begins planning it in December. Clement says there are a lot of things that the BC Association of Fairs & Exhibitions ( requires them to have done by January, such as the theme for the upcoming Fair.

This year, she says, the committee made it easy on themselves and started with Section A of the booklet – Field Crops, Eggs, Honey, Farm & Dairy Products. This year’s theme is Bee Inspired, and several bee-related categories have been added for this year only, such as the Bee Inspired Planter in Section D, or the Honeycakes in Section E, the Bee in My Bonnet in Section L and just “Bees” in sections O and P – art and photography.

Clement says it was harder coming up with bee-themed activities in the Kids Corner, but they’ll have at least seven. “I like to do children’s crafts that aren’t throwaway,” she says, “so we’ll be doing things like beeswax candles and bee mobiles.”

The AMOOsing Race was popular last year so this year “we’re doing the Bee Edition” she says, with 10 new challenges. The Zucchini Races are back again. There are no imposed bee requirements, but a few orange and black stripes might earn a few more points from the judges. There will also be lots of bee talks and demonstrations, and lots of honey bee displays.

There won’t be any national categories this year. Clement says the one or two entries just weren’t worth the effort made to set them up. She says everything is in a decline at the moment – they come and go. Most of the categories are shrinking. Four years ago they had to add a table for the canning entries, but last year they removed two tables. Sponsorships are down, advertising is down. Even attendance. Last year less than 500 people came to the Fair when in the past they would get 2-3,000 for the day.

“The best part of Fall Fair is learning new things related to the theme and seeing the joy on everyone’s face as they come though the doors,” says Clement. “That’s my payment for all the work.”

This is her sixth year as president of the Ashcroft & District Fall Fair Association. Although the planning committee is small, last year’s event involved about 70 volunteers – from planning to setting up to judging. “This year I’m wearing a pedometer to see how many miles I walk during setup,” she says.

She’d love to see more people coming to the Fair, more people putting entries into the Fair, grandparents passing down their knowledge.

“Family is important to the Fair,” Clement says. Families passed down their knowledge and taught the next generation. She suggests that people challenge their neighbours to enter the Fair, challenge their family – enter in a category they haven’t done before.

“I think it’s a fantastic event and the community needs it,” she says.

The committee is always looking for volunteers, she says. They don’t need to come to meetings. If someone is willing to take on a task, let her know and she’ll put you to work.

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Aerial view of a wildfire at 16 Mile, 11 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, that started on the afternoon of June 15. (Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire at 16 Mile now being held

Wildfire started on the afternoon of June 15 at 16 Mile, east of Highway 97

The Desert Daze Music Festival is doggone good fun, as shown in this photo from the 2019 festival, and it will be back in Spences Bridge this September. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
‘Best Little Fest in the West’ returning to Spences Bridge

Belated 10th anniversary Desert Daze festival going ahead with music, vendors, workshops, and more

Internet speed graphic, no date. Photo credit: Pixabay
Study asks for public input to show actual internet speeds in B.C. communities

Federal maps showing Internet speeds might be inflated, so communities lose out on faster Internet

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

Premier of Manitoba Brian Pallister speaks at a news conference at the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Lipnowski
Provincial leaders want more federal money for health care, plan to meet in fall

Premiers ask Ottawa to increase its share of overall health spending to 35 per cent from 22 per cent

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

Himalayan Life helped finance the construction of Nepal’s Yangri Academic Centre and dormitories after a 2015 earthquake devastated the valley, killing more than 9,000 people. (Screen grab/Peter Schaeublin)
B.C. charity founder pledges to rebuild Nepalese school swept away by flash floods

Six years after an earthquake killed more than 9,000 people, Nepal faces another catastrophy

Most Read