On Saturday, Aug. 23, the 105th Cobble Hill Fair marries the past and the present for a can’t-miss community celebration.
"The fair showcases everything about the Cowichan Valley that is good and its emphasis on agriculture is really a reflection of the founding of South Cowichan area," said Cobble Hill Area Director and long-time fair volunteer Gerry Giles. "It began when people came into the area, cleared land to farm and really that tradition or heritage and culture has continued on through the years. When people come to the fair they get glimpses of our past and what agriculture means to the community."
This year there’s even more reason to celebrate as the fair celebrates the 100th anniversary of 4-H in B.C. and the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of the Farmers Institute.
"They’re tremendous events," Giles said. "Both organizations are to be commended for their community work."
Giles has been working at the fair since 1972, and thus has never gotten to get around to see the entire fair.
With the anniversary, she said this year in particular she hopes to get to see the 4-H and agricultural displays.
She noted that 4-H, in particular is very important to the community’s youth, providing training in everything from agriculture to leadership and public speaking.
Other notable stops at the fair will include the South Cowichan Rotary Club’s pancake breakfast, starting at 7 a.m. when the gates open, the horse show, a parade beginning at 9:30 a.m., the official opening with Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick and local dignitaries, sky crane rides, sheep dog demonstrations, an SPCA dog show, and much, much more.
In all the hustle and bustle, the best part of the fair for Giles comes back to the basics.
"My very favourite part of the fair is seeing people I haven’t seen for a long time and getting to spend a bit of time with friends and neighbours," she said.