It’s arguably the most wonderful time of the year in Agassiz.
The time-honoured Fall Fair and Corn Festival draws near once again, heralding the autumn season and drawing hundreds of visitors to the area every year.
Fair Board president Victoria Brookes said this year’s Fall Fair and Corn Festival was one week later than it usually is, arriving on the third weekend in September as opposed to the usual second weekend. This is only because of scheduling with West Coast Amusements, the supplier of all the rides and midway attractions for the big fall event.
Brookes said this year’s festivities includes the biggest farmers market the Fall Fair and Corn Festival has ever had. Events include celebrity goat milking, the BBQ chicken and corn dinner, antique tractor pull and much more.
The Fall Fair has been around since 1901, and the Corn Festival started in 1949. The Fall Fair was orginally at the Good Templar’s Hall becore it moved to the Agassiz Agricultural Hall where it takes place to this day. The Fall Fair has only been canceled four times in its 119-year history: during World War II and the catastrophic Fraser River flood of 1948.
The Corn Festival came about when the Agassiz-Harrison Board of Trade wanted to capialize on the area’s chief crop – corn, of course. Both sweet corn and forage corn qualify area farmers for the annual Corn King or Queen competition.
Last year, for the first time in the Corn Festival’s history, there was both a Corn King and Queen – siblings Kelsea Kielstra and Shaun TeBrinke. The hotly-contested crown belings to the winner or winners of an intensive crop competition, in which judges measure height, weed control, maturing and other factors in a sample of the farmers’ corn.