Bob Donovan poses with his 1950 John Deere AR

Alberni District Fall Fair honours century of farming

Annual Alberni fair celebrates 100 years of urban living created by agriculture with displays, parade, midway.

The Alberni District Fall Fair is celebrating the theme “100 years of urban living created by agriculture”, in keeping with Port Alberni’s centennial. But don’t despair: while the theme is new, many of the same popular features will still be on tap beginning Thursday, Sept. 6 and running until Sunday, Sept. 9.

The parade starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday and runs down the traditional 10th Avenue route, from Burde Street to the end near the fair grounds. Expect to see some vintage material in there, as well as other decorated floats and community groups.

New to the fair this year is the agriculture education building, which has taken over the Van Ipren Building where the rabbits used to be housed. The displays will teach fairgoers about farmers feeding families. The weekend farmers’ market will have a large display as well as AV Transition Town, the regional district’s agriculture plan will be exhibited and there will be information on several of the Valley’s small farms.

The Alberni Valley Museum will have an exhibit on early farming implements as well as its traditional mystery artifact. A threshing display using some vintage equipment takes place throughout the weekend near the tractor pull site.

The animal barns, home crafts and midway all return as well. Since Old Ned the bull died, Farmer Bill Thomson will bring some water buffalo for people to get to know.

Lance Lapointe and Jason Sampson of Revolution Productions have taken over the entertainment for the fall fair, and Siddall said they’ve done a great job this year. Big River and David James perform a Johnny Cash tribute, and Live Rust performs a Neil Young tribute this year.

“They’re doing a really good job,” Siddall said. “It’s been great working with them.”

Also new is a freestyle skateboarding demonstration on Friday and Saturday behind the Kin Hut, which Alberni’s youth will appreciate.

“We’re trying a little bit of everything. It’s great to have the century-old stuff, but young people really don’t care, do they,” she said. “they want to know what’s happening now.”