1955: Mary Rezansoff crowned queen of the fair

The Good Old Days column by Kristina Kapitza, Boundary Community Archives.

The ladies nail driving competition at the Grand Forks Fall Fair

The annual Grand Forks Fall Fair has always been a popular town event. This year marks the 106th annual fair held in Grand Forks and promises to carry on the tradition that was begun back in 1910.

The first fall fair was the first annual fair ever held in the Boundary Country. It opened on Tuesday, Oct. 4 and lasted until Oct. 5. Over $1,500 was offered in prizes, in addition to a large number of special prizes such as medals and trophies.

In the fruit competition, two gold medals and two silver cups were up for grabs. Meanwhile, in the poultry competition, 313 birds competed for 11 gold medals and one silver cup, as well as various monetary prizes.

Numerous races and sports events were held on day two, including horse and pony races, a baseball championship, tug of war contests, a fat man’s race, and numerous children’s races.

Throughout the years, much of the same competitions and events were held. In 1955, the fall fair was held on Sept. 10. Mrs. Rupert Haggen (Lois), wife of the Grand Forks-Greenwood MLA, officially opened the fair. While there were 300 more entries than there had been in 1954, with the number rising from 790 to 1,109, attendance was down by one third.

This drop in attendance was attributed to a change in date from a Friday to a Saturday. Fair planners had hoped that this would cause an increase in attendance; however, merchants could not attend as stores remained open, and sawmill workers and bush-workers did not attend in great numbers.

However, there were still many winners in 1955. Mrs. J. McRobb and Jim Glanville won the Grand Aggregate Award. Mary Rezansoff was crowned Queen of the Grand Forks Fall Fair. Several people won raffle prizes, including Eleanor Farion, who won a table set, Mrs. Mike Vatkin, who won a Mixmaster, and Andrew Sookovieff, who took home a radio.

Following the day’s event, a folk festival was held, with Scottish dances, Japanese dances, Russian songs, Bavarian dancing, a square dance group from Curlew, and Italian folk songs.


The archives are now on Facebook! Find us at Boundary Community and Museum Archives to get a glimpse into our collection or to ask a question. Feel free to also visit us at the Boundary Museum Society Archival Service. We are open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Contact us at 250-442-8266 ext. 60126 or at boundarycommunityarchives@outlook.com, or drop by at 7217 4th Street, Grand Forks (city hall).


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