Sinead Strijack

Cows are the big stars this year at the Coombs Fair

The 102nd annual fair is set for August 8-9 in Coombs

Have an udderly amazing time at the Coombs Fair,’ is the tag line highlighting the cow as the featured animal at this year’s 102th annual Coombs Fair.

Held August 8-9 at the Coombs Fairgrounds, the fair includes all the expected displays and hands on activities with some new features to keep the traditional event fresh.

“This year we have a new feature venue taking up about a third of our main hall, called Farmers Feed Families,” said manager Janet Boley.

“Through some big barn doors it will be set up like a farm with animals for the kids and featuring farmers,” she said.

“We’ll have root bags, they’re awesome!” she exclaimed, listing off favourite features, explaining the special bags that you can plant almost anything in, almost anywhere, like on balconies.

Both days kick off at 8 a.m. with the popular pancake breakfast, setting a theme of abundant food throughout the weekend between concessions and the fair’s own tea house with homemade pies, bunwiches and other wholesome food in a relaxed setting.

The static displays are judged Friday, so people can wander through and see the best of the area’s produce, arts, crafts, photography, needlework and domestic sciences, then catch the livestock and other animal shows throughout the weekend at one of the biggest 4H fairs on the Island.

“It’s the first fair of the season, so we get a lot of 4H displays, and non-4H kids as well,” Boley said, adding that many use it as a chance to sharpen their skills for the season.

There will be lots of interactive events with zucchini, chicken and duck races — not at the same time, and there will be the popular ladies nail driving contest and the wacky gardening hat contest.

People can try their hand at everything from rock and soapstone polishing and carving, to milking a cow, separating the cream and churning butter.

Boley said that unlike last year they are not competing with the children’s sandcastle competition on Parksville Beach, so they expect a big turnout and have a free, supervised play area available for kids to hang out in the shade.

The fair usually sees 6,000 to 8,000 visitors, so go early to get the best access to all the displays and activities.

The Coombs Fair runs Saturday, Aug. 8 and Sunday, Aug. 9 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the fairgrounds, 1014 Ford Rd., behind the General Store. Entry is $5 a day or $8 for both days. Students and seniors are $3 a day, children six-12 are $1 a day and five and under are free.

Parking is $2 and can be tight, but free parking is available at the Coombs Rodeo Grounds, with a shuttle running back and forth every 15 minutes. For more information visit

www.coombsfair.com.

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