Go quackers at the fall agricultual fair

It’s the 99th year of the Coombs Fair this weekend and organizers say everything is just ducky.

The 99th annual Coombs Fair takes place Saturday and Sunday

The 99th annual Coombs Fair takes place Saturday and Sunday

Come out for a true agricultural experience this weekend, as the 99th annual Coombs Fair fills the Fairgrounds with ducks, chickens, horses, jug bands, goats, art, crafts and more.

This year the theme is ducks and fair manager with the Arrowsmith Agricultural Association (AAA), Janet Boley, said people will “go quackers at the Coombs Fair.”

“Everything is ducks,” she said, explaining exhibitors will compete for the best duck-related entry, as well as the best agricultural entry.

The Coombs Fair is the first fair on the Island and has one of the largest 4H shows around.

New this year is the Children’s Free Zone where little ones can colour and play with friendly supervision, or enjoy the bouncy castle and merry-go-swing.

Fair-goers will also enjoy Bobby “The Wizard” Cole this year, who will be doing magic and balloon-art both days.

And then there’s the usual popular events like the 4H Horse and open English horse shows, chicken and duck races, horse and oddstock races, pet parade and the ever-popular Ladies Nail Driving Competition, which has been divided into junior and adult this year.

There are educational displays and even interactive ones, like the Vancouver Island Blacksmiths, Needle Arts Guild and the local Weavers and Spinners Guild.

Feast your eyes on the area’s finest Spring lamb, best looking garden hat, tastiest sticky bun or most impressive hooked rug, among many other entries in a slew of categories.

The B.C. Association of Agricultural Fairs and Exhibitions have put up some prize money this year for a few categories, including a Members’ Choice Award for best photo of a farm yard animal in the youth-under 17 category. The winner will go on to compete in the B.C. Fair’s convention in October.

The music stage will feature live local music and entertainment, including the Coombs Old Time Fiddlers, the Rainbow Stew Cloggers, and the newly-formed jug bands in the area will show what they’ve been working on, led by artistic director and well known musician, Gerry Barnum.

There will be no shortage of food at the fair, including the Tea House with bun-wiches and homemade pies, concession by AAA and a number of food vendors.

Boley said last year the event had about 8,400 people over the weekend, attributing the success to a large number of tourists, and locals who make a point of attending to catch up and socialize. And this year the Minister of Agriculture will also attend with his family.

The Coombs Fair happens Saturday, Aug. 11 and Sunday, Aug. 12 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, starting with a pancake breakfast. It takes place at the Coombs Fairgrounds, located at 1014 Ford Rd, behind the Coombs General Store. Entry is $5 a day or $8 for both days. Students and seniors pay $3 a day, or $5 for the weekend, children 6-12, pay $1 per day and 5 and under are free.

Parking is $2 and can be a problem around the grounds, but free parking is available at the Coombs Rodeo Grounds, with a free shuttle running back and forth every 15 minutes.

For more information visit www.coombsfair.com.