The 56th Bridge Lake Fair (BLF) at Interlakes Hall, Aug. 18, was supremely successful.
Entrants were up 10 % over last year, entries increased 27 % across the board, and the gate, which was down last year, rebounded by 50 %.
Lots of small children had a ball with the animals, the cakewalks, the races and the bicycle parade. One visitor was overheard to say: “Now, this is what a country fair should be like; it’s wonderful.”
The Grand Aggregate went to first-time winner Chris Lance, with 79 points. She was followed by Elaine Kisby (73), Celeste Faessler (69), and Linda Kinnear (66).
Entrants whose minimum of four entries were of particularly high quality comprise: Cathy Bernard and Mieke McIntosh at 90 %, Frank Jerema (87.5 %), Cheyanne Pasanen (84 %), and Wyatt Bishop (80 %.)
The Granny Larson Memorial Trophy for Best of Show Quilt went to Arlene Henzel of Sheridan Lake for her beautiful starry blue-and-white quilt.
For the third consecutive year, Sheridan Lake’s Michelle Probert won the Art Grange Memorial for Best of Show Collection of Garden Vegetables, donated by Patricia Spencer.
Frank Jerema’s delicious apricot wine won the Rhu Castle Cup for Best of Show Wine, donated by the late Clark Connaty.
The Aunt Normal Memorial Hi-Point Preserving Trophy, donated by the Kisby Family, was won by Pat Pasanen with 23 points.
This year’s BLF Roving Trophy was for High-Point Floral, and went to Elaine Kisby, 29 points.
The Student High Point Trophy, which is donated by Interlakes Cattlebelles, was won by 13-year-old Cheyanne Pasanen with 38 points and an exceptional score of 84%.
She was followed by her sister, Danickah, 9, with 38 and 74%; and Hayley Bishop with 33 points.
In the corporate competitions, Fawn Lake’s Suzanne Franks’ shortbread cookies and multi-grain bread won both Fleischmann’s classes, which each gave only one prize. Crisco afforded two prizes, which went to delectable double-crust pies from Linda Kinnear (first) and Mandy Lipka (second.)
There were nine entries in the Container Contest- the highest number ever. Entrants grew plants in wonderfully diverse teapots or kettles, and instead of points, received special, sponsored prizes. First prize, a $50 gift certificate from Horse Lake Garden Centre, went to perennial winner Elaine Kisby. Lone Butte’s Hayley Bishop, 13, placed second to win $25 from La Petite Diane Antique Restoration, and Arlene Henzel won $10 from Danca’s Hoof Trimming for placing third.
Jimmy Kinnear, 10, won Best-Dressed Bicycle in the nine-12 age category. In the five-eight years category, Vincent Colbert, 5, came first, and Ethan Mori, 6, was second.
The door prize, a garden trowel and $100 gift certificate for Horse Lake Garden Centre, was won by The Coffin Dodger’s Old Tyme Music leader Paul Faessler.
The candy jar, which held 98 goodies, went to Port Coquitlam’s Paige Vivian, 6, with a spot-on guess.
Not including sponsored prizes, the fair paid out $1,195 in prize money, of which $41 was donated back to Roe Lake & District Recreation Commission (RLDRC,) and a further $66 donated back to BLF.
Cakewalks, on the hour, were again very popular, with five divine cakes baked by Linda Farthing and Kim Walters, in addition to countless cupcakes for those who didn’t win.
This year’s inaugural old-fashioned races – egg & spoon, sack, and three-legged – were great fun and extremely well-supported. Interlakes youth group, Teen Space, is thanked for handling the races, which ran on the half hour all day.
Musical entertainment throughout the day was provided by The Coffin Dodgers, Nice ‘n Easy and Roe Lake’s Jason Ruscheinsky.
A delicious barbecue was available from Sandy Sillito of Sheridan Lake. The Bridge Lake Community School provided baked goods, both to eat in and to take away, and was most appreciative of the opportunity to raise a little money.
Liz McMann, the Chainsaw Girl, gave two demonstrations of her incredible talent; Seabloom Mini Ranch performed their much-loved horse-and-cart driving demo; and Saari weaver, Siana Kelly, spent the day encouraging umpteen people to “try it.” Sadly, Leslie Brown, Our Lady of Spain, “broke a wing” and was unable to perform her beautiful dances.
Alpaca Story Ranch and New Cal Rabbit Farm brought their animals, as did first time attendee Diamond H Ranch of Williams Lake, which brought delightful pygmy goats.
The silent auction of items donated by generous businesses raised $196 to help defray BLF expenses. The close-of-fair auction, comprising edible entries donated by entrants, and a “mystery gift” donated by 100 Mile Feed & Ranch Supply, raised $181.10 for RLDRC, to thank them for free use of their facilities.
Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod made a $25,000 presentation to RLDRC, for Interlakes Hall’s kitchen fire suppression and venting system.
Cathy, as she is always called, arrived early and chatted with visitors before speaking to the crowd and then wandering around enjoying the exhibits. She spends more time in the South Cariboo than all MPs added together over the last 20 years, and is most sincerely appreciated for that.