The Grand Forks and District Fall Fair won’t hold in-person events in 2021, according to president Danna O’Donnell. The fair’s board of directors is meanwhile exploring the possibility of re-locating the fairgrounds.
“This is one of those times in history where the fall fair has had to step back,” O’Donnell said, drawing a parallel between the COVID-19 pandemic which cancelled last year’s fair and the Second World War, when the fair also chose not to stage events.
O’Donnell stressed that she and the board did not feel comfortable asking local sponsors to contribute to next September’s fair.
“I wouldn’t want to put that personal pressure on businesses that are struggling during COVID,” she said.
COVID and financial constraints aside, O’Donnell said the current fairgrounds at Dick Bartlett Park aren’t meeting the fair’s needs. It’s difficult to host a worthwhile 4-H show when cows and horses are likely to trample the park’s in-ground irrigation system, she noted.
Speaking as rural Grand Forks’ elected representative to the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, O’Donnell told the city’s committee of the whole meeting on Monday, April 12, that the fair was “in discussions with the Doukhobour community” regarding the potential sale of a 48 acre site near the end of Beach Road which could host future fairs.
It remains to be seen if these talks will arrive at any kind of a land deal, she told The Gazette Thursday, April 22.
O’Donnell said the fair’s board of directors will consider a virtual format for next September’s at their next meeting.
“Our board is strong,” she said, adding that the fall fair is still applying for grant funding for future events.