Brilliant, sunny weather brought out families by the droves for a record-breaking 101st edition of the annual Aldergrove Fair on the weekend.
Fair spokesperson Karen Long said attendance over the three days was in excess of 5,000, resulting in record gate receipts. The fair also enjoyed a record number of vendors, in excess of 100 booths, as well as a record number of volunteers helping out on the fairgrounds.
This year’s wide range of activities and good weather helped bring about the big bump in attendance. For example, the Friday evening Fair Days Show ‘n’ Shine attracted 137 entrants, compared to a third of that figure for last year’s car show, held under drizzling skies.
The fair’s time-tested favourites — the Canadian Fast Draw Championships, the Farmhand Challenge, the Antique Tractor Pull, the Chili Cook-off — were as successful as ever.
The Agricultural Association’s display of garden produce and crafts also featured over 160 exhibits this year inside the Kinsmen Community Centre.
However, several new features proved to be big hits. One of the most popular attractions on Saturday and Sunday was the Extreme Lawnmower Races.
The modified little riding garden tractors are usually raced on flat farmland where they can easily achieve speeds of 80 k/ph, but the riders were challenged by the converted BMX track at the Aldergrove Athletic Park. The humps and bumps of the track slowed them down somewhat, as the tractors have virtually no suspension, but the derring-do of the riders and flying mud that caked the racers was highly entertaining to watch.
The return of the midway rides and carnival games was well-received by young and old alike this year, and the main stage featured a wide range of local musicians and performers.
This year’s raffle of a weekend in Aldergrove, worth over $2,000, was a successful fundraiser for the Fair Days Society. Winner of the grand prize was Madeline Crozier. Amanda Stillwell was picked for the second prize of $1,000 worth of garden equipment, and Jennifer Packham was third prize winner.
The FarmHand Challenge winners for 2013 are: first – Cody Utas, second – Natasha Busch, third – Stephanie Busch.
Chili Cookoff Winners were: Celebrity Judges Choice – first Chili Chili Bang Bang – Aldergrove Legion Ladies; second Boneturkeytarian – Aldergrove Rotary and the Best Team Name and Theme – Quirky Turkey Cookers, the Save On Foods team.
EXTREME LAWNMOWER RACING
This new event went over so well that major sponsors are considering including the events in their promotional programs next year.
The winners of this year’s Extreme Lawnmower Race events are as follows:
• 12 hp class: 1st Gerald Anderson #01 (Abbotsford); 2nd Dan McDonald #77; 3rd Rick Caser (Whidby Island, Washington).
• 20 hp class: 1st Gerald Anderson #01; 2nd Owen Grahn #26; 3rd Dave Parson rookie #37.
• Modified: 1st GerAld Anderson #01; 2nd Owen Grahn # 27; 3rd Mike Trautman # 52.
• Hard luck: Mike Trautman – he broke an axle.
• Best crash – there were 4: Rick Caser was pretty crazy.
• Crowd favourite: Mike Trautman (Maple Ridge)
A record turnout of 137 classic and vintage cars competed for the honours at the Aldergrove Fair Days Show ‘n’ Shine, Friday evening, July 19 at the Aldergrove Secondary School parking lot. Upcoming is the Show ‘n’ Shine, a Legion charity fundraiser hosted every year by the Aldergrove Legion at their parking lot, on Saturday, August 10.
Nicole Franks of Aldergrove once again won the Canadian Women’s Fast Draw champion title at the Aldergrove Fair Days. Competitors at the Fast Draw competition at Aldergrove Fair Days this year included MLA Peter Fassbender, MP Mark Warawa, Aldergrove Business Association’s Bruce Heslop and Aldergrove pioneer Jim Weatherby.