‘We’re going to have a fair’: North Peace Fall Fair Society

The North Peace Fall Fair Society says they are confident there will still be a fair, and the grounds, despite needing repairs, are not shut down.
The North Peace Fall Fair Society is confident there will still be a fair. (North Peace Fall Fair, Facebook)

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The North Peace Fall Fair Society says they are confident there will still be a fair, and the grounds, despite needing repairs, are not shut down.

Long-time society board member, Bruce Christensen, said the society hopes repair work will be done in time for the fair in August.

“There are some things that we know that we will not be able to use for the fair, but there are other things that we know that we have to have,” Christensen said.

He said that though it’s a “work in progress,” they’re confident that the required buildings and equipment will be in working order for the fair next month.

The main problem lies with the short notice for the repairs needed.

A structural condition and BC Fire Code assessment conducted by engineering firm McElhanney determined “the majority of structures [on the fairgrounds] are in severe disrepair or are completely inadequate in design.”

“Those are old buildings, and yes, they are going to require maintenance, but to the point where we can’t use them after such short notice makes it very difficult,” Christensen said.

He said the society only received the information on the repairs needed at the end of June.

The North Peace Fall Fairgrounds are located within Electoral Area B, owned by the Peace River Regional District (PRRD), and classified as a regional park.

During June 29th’s regional meeting, the PRRD board discussed McElhanney’s assessment and where funds should come from to make the necessary repairs for the fair to proceed, with one director saying the funds should come from the region it’s in, not the entire board.

After discussing funding and the available budget for repairs, it was determined the PRRD did not have the funds needed within their budget to cover the cost of repairs at the NPFF or the necessary timeframe to allocate those funds. 

The board then voted all in favour of financial support for the repairs to come from Electoral Area B.

Randa Braun, society director and social media chair, said the society was “really disappointed in the regional district’s decision.”

“We are very thankful that Jordan Kealy did call an emergency meeting and got some funding so we can go ahead with some of the critical repairs,” Braun said.

Christensen is frustrated by the people who don’t see the value in the North Peace Fall Fair.

“This is one of the largest, most successful functions — 75 years and going,” he said.

Braun said people come from Dawson Creek, Hudson’s Hope and even farther to attend the fall fair.

Braun and Christensen are huge fall fair supporters, but they each have their favourite events.

“My personal favourites are probably the exhibits,  especially the kids’ exhibits; it’s something I grew up doing, it’s something my kids do now, so it really holds a special spot in my heart,” Braun said.

Christensen, on the other hand, favours the tractor pull.

“I’m a farm kid from Saskatchewan, so that’s my first,” he said.

He also enjoys the horse shows, the sheepdogs, the food and, of course, the music.

“You can dance pretty much all day long for two and a half days,” Christensen said.

The North Peace Fall Fair is expected to run from August 18th to 20th. For more information, visit the North Peace Fall Fair’s Facebook page.


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