Everyone enjoys a bite of the Tlell Fall Fair. (Archie Stocker Sr./Haida Gwaii Observer)

Seafood Wars and pinwheels to fly at Tlell Fall Fair

Exhibits go on display at 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 5

It’s got 104-year-old roots, locally grown fruits and garden shoots so islanders have every reason to scoot to this year’s Tlell Fall Fair.

Exhibits go on display at 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 5, and vendors from the Tlell Farmers Market will be on the fairgrounds.

Rockers Cousin Harley, “the Motörhead of rockabilly,” will be the headline music act at this year’s fair, together with singer-songwriter Carla Olive and the islands’ own Roly Thompson and Hippy Hillbillies.

Seafood Wars is also back, with a $1,000 prize up for grabs by the ultimate fish-frying cook on Haida Gwaii, and a new loonie/toonie auction will raise money for some fresh kids’ games in the 2019 fair.

Organizer Linda Louis is looking forward to what may well be she and her husband Doug Louis’ 25th fair.

“The first year it stressed me out because we didn’t know what we were doing,” she said.

“But now it’s like, eh, we know,” she added, laughing. “Stuff happens — you just go with it.”

On that note, anyone who finds a mistake in this year’s fair catalog can bring it to the information booth and get their name in a prize draw.

Linda asks that everyone bringing exhibits to be judged drops them off by 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4. — except for livestock and poultry. Animals are welcome between 8 and 10 a.m. before the fair opens (“I don’t like babysitting,” she says.)

Rather than being ranked against one another, all exhibits are exhibits are scored to B.C. fair standards.

In this year’s craft challenges, all done on the “Roots, Fruits, and Shoots” theme, crafters are asked to try paper pinwheels, fruit-themed place mats, photography, cake decorating, flower arranging, fairy gardens, and scarecrows.

Linda said she’s seen all kinds of things used to make scarecrows, from a rubber jacket glued to hip waders to an 11-foot scarecrow with limbs made of beach-combed floats.

Behind the scenes, fairgoers are sure to appreciate the three brand-new outhouses that the Graham Island East Coast Farmers Institute got grants for this year. Made of recycled materials and with a curb weight of 800 lbs., they aren’t going anywhere.

Admission to the fair is $10 for everyone 16 and up, $1 for kids ages five to 15, and free for kids under five. Members of the Farmers Institute, which started the first fair in Lawn Hill way back in 1912, get in for half price.


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