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Fall Fair returns to normal with addition of parade

With B.C. now in Step 3 of its Restart Plan, fairs and festivals are back on track
A group of kids go for a spin on one of the rides at the Fall Fair in Smithers in 2019. (Archive photo)

It’s starting to feel a lot more like a normal year in the Bulkley Valley with the return of the Fall Fair August 26 - 29.

Appropriately themed “Full Steam Ahead” announcements from the 102nd Bulkley Valley Exhibition (BVX) have been coming fast and furious over the past week or so.

In celebration of the return, the fair is even offering a post-COVID special admission discount. Tickets to the 2021 BVX are only $10 with all children under 12 getting in for free.

Most recently, the fair announced its lineup for the main stage. Eagle Eyes, Friday night’s headliner, is billed as “‘the’ tribute to the legendary California country-rock band” The Eagles.

Hailing from Vancouver, the quartet features a repertoire of Eagles hits spanning the decades complete with the original band’s signature four-part harmonies.

On Saturday night, it’s the Bulkley Valley’s own Mark Perry and his band Northwest who will take to the stage. Expect selections from an upcoming new album from which he has already released two singles.

Also last week, the fair’s prize book was published. The seminal Fall Fair publication is available both online and in area businesses and contains a one-stop guide for everything attendees need to know about BVX 2021.

It also became official that there will be a parade this year on Wednesday, August 25.

BVX general manager Jan McLary said following the provincial health officer’s easing of restrictions July 1, she approached the Town of Smithers for permission to run the parade and it was granted completing the comeback to almost full normalcy for the fair.

“We are really excited about it,” she said.

The exhibition will be accepting entries to the parade all the way up to the day before, Tuesday, August 24. The fee is $10 and applications can be dropped off at RE/MAX Bulkley Valley in Smithers.

With the return of the parade and an earlier announcement that the rodeo is on, the fair will be returning to its full glory this year after COVID-19 forced its cancellation last year.

There will be some pandemic-related protocols in place, however. Although having a written COVID-19 Safety Plan in place festivals and fairs are expected to practice communicable disease prevention guidelines, which include measures such as providing hand sanitizing stations, maintaining a clean environment and communicating those measures to attendees.

Thom Barker

About the Author: Thom Barker

After graduating with a geology degree from Carleton University and taking a detour through the high tech business, Thom started his journalism career as a fact-checker for a magazine in Ottawa in 2002.
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