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Grand Forks and District Fall Fair set to go this weekend

Long-standing festival to feature borscht cookoff, exhibits, vendors and petting farm
The 2023 edition of the Grand Forks and District Fall Fair will kick off Saturday and runs all weekend with a parade, exhibits, live music and much more family-friendly fun. Peter Kalasz Photo

The region is saying goodbye to summer and celebrating the bounty of the growing season at the annual Grand Forks and District Fall Fair.

This year, the fair is being held this Saturday and Sunday, with celebrations kicking off Saturday morning with the fairground gates and exhibit hall opening at 9 a.m. The kickoff parade is planned to start at 9:30 in front of Selkirk College. The kids zucchini races start at 10 and opening ceremonies are at 10:50 a.m., followed by several live acts until 9 p.m., including Les Folles Jambettes, Hardy Nuts, 4th Street Band and Grand Forks Performing Arts.

The fair reopens Sunday at 9 a.m. with gates and the exhibition hall opening and an interdenominational church service, followed by the car show. More live music gets started at 9:45 a.m. and the annual Borscht-off judging starts at noon in the Curling rink lobby.

There will also be kickboxing demonstrations both days.

Food trucks will be on the grounds offering up street food, as well as the fair selling corn on the cob, hotdogs and soft drinks. Grand Forks Brewing Co., is running the beer garden.

A petting farm will also be running for the weekend. However, there will be no livestock demonstrations or competitions due to regulations on mixing live animals from different producers.

Vendors will be setting up a market, which will include baking, jewelry and other handmade goods.

Everything wraps at 3 p.m. on Sunday with trophy presentations.

While the fair has been an annual tradition, Doreen Sorensen, exhibit hall coordinator said they are starting anew because several members resigned since last year.

In addition, they didn’t have an official annual general meeting and a late start to getting the handbook together.

The organization did have a meeting in May, with many new people turning out to get involved.

“They did a ton of work and I got the handbook done, which usually takes me months, but I did it in three weeks,” she said. “It’s going to be a packed couple of days.”

With the fair organized and ready to go, Sorensen said they are looking forward to seeing families enjoying the events.

“If you bring your kids, it’s a lot of fun for them,” she said. “We will have the world-famous zucchini races and crafts. I’m really hoping kids get involved in the colouring contest and art exhibits.”

The fair was able to give prizes to all the children that entered their colouring projects last year, Sorensen added.

As the exhibit hall coordinator, she said she hopes more people bring out their produce, canning, baking, homemade beer and wine.

They are also encouraging people to check out the Kettle Valley Food Co-op Harvest Fest, which runs Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

As always, the organizing committee is looking for new members and volunteers to help out for the next fair. There will be a booth set up at the fair where people can register if they are interested in getting involved in planning, board memberships and volunteering.

About the Author: Karen McKinley

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