The pies are baked, the stalls are booked and all of Qualicum Beach is gearing up for one of the biggest market days of the summer with next weekend’s 42nd annual St. Mark’s Fair.
The Holy Rollers did their fifth and final day of baking last Wednesday, using 280 pounds of apples (half donated by Qualicum Foods), 90 kg of floor and 100 pounds of lard to create 300 pies that may sell out in less than an hour again this year.
“Everyone does what they can, the whole church community, it’s a very heroic effort,” said convener Perry Perry during their final baking day. “We all get together like a family event, or a quilting bee.”
Fair day is Saturday, July 26, starting with the traditional pancake breakfast at 8:30 a.m., by which time people are usually lined up at the community hall to buy their two-pie maximum.
The famous pies are just the tip of the food iceberg with plenty of food available all day with entertainment, burgers and hot dogs at both the Legion and curling club and food trucks, specialty foods and vendors throughout the fair and around town.
While the fair is centred on Vetrans Way, the day’s activities have expanded across town with the complimentary Grand Prix d’Art, the Art in Action Art Fair beside TOSH and the regular Saturday farmer’s market. See A22 for more on those.
The fair itself includes a white elephant sale in the curling rink, organ music at The Gardens, a children’s corner and more than 140 booths full of quality crafts, art, plants, novelties, books, clothes and more.
Organizers estimate more than 10,000 people pass through the fair, so go early and look for a pie, in a wide variety of flavours and combinations including apple, rhubarb, pecan, blueberry, loganberry, raspberry and more. All of the money raised goes back into the community.
As always there will be entertainment on every corner so check the schedule and information booth at the main Memorial Avenue entrance to make sure you don’t miss anything.
Organizers remind people of the large parking lots behind Kwalikum Secondary School and at the Civic Centre, with regular electric shuttles offered by the Town of Qualicum Beach.
Check www.stmarksqualicum.bc.ca for more information.