After two years of modified events the Saanich Fair is finally back in all its glory this long-weekend, and if opening day was anything to go by, people are excited to have it back.
Saturday (Sept. 3) saw the three-day fair officially open, with thousands of excited families pouring into the fairgrounds to take in everything on offer. And as with most previous years, there was no shortage of things to do or see.
At one end of the grounds is a large midway area with nearly every ride and game imaginable. On the other, classic farm fair staples like animal competitions, shows, and antique farm equipment demonstrations. In the middle, plenty of tasty food options, vendors, and a farmers market.
“All the people walking by have big smiles on their faces, the kids are super excited, so I’d say it’s pretty successful,” said Catriona McHattie, president of the North and South Saanich Agricultural Society and lead organizer for the fair. “We are actually having difficulty getting people onto the fair grounds because there are so many people here today.”
McHattie said the traffic flow issues are expected to be resolved for Sunday and Monday as the army of volunteers get back into the swing of things two years since they last had to contend with such high numbers. Over the three day event, she said she expects to see more people than previous editions due to the pent up demand for such events, with as many as 70,000 people visiting compared to a more average year of 40,000 to 50,000 people.
“We’ll take everybody and hope they all enjoy themselves,” she said. “It’s not all about how much money it costs to come to the fair. If you come in the main gate and turn to the left, everything there down to the west ring is all free. Free entertainment, free picnic areas for you to bring a lunch. We try and make it so it is affordable for everybody to come to the fair and so there is something for everybody.”
The fair continues Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Monday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. More information on what visitors can expect is available at saanichfair.ca.