It will be strange later this month, seeing Armstrong’s Interior Provincial Grounds empty during what should be the 121st annual fall fair.
The event was cancelled earlier this year due to COVID-19, one of many of hundreds of fairs in Canada that could not host their annual fair and agricultural events. And the IPE, as a non-profit organization, puts every dollar it makes back into the fair.
“We do not have buckets of money. We exist because the wonderful community we live in, the sponsors/partners and service clubs,” said IPE general manager Yvonne Paulson. “Our service clubs are hurting just as much as we are this year because of no fair. We were one of if not their largest fundraising event. I ask you all to support your local service clubs and non-profit organizations in a different way this year.
“We are all in financial need and hoping to see an end to COVID-19 and being able to showcase agriculture to you all soon.”
Calling this a ‘gap year,’ Paulson said the IPE is preparing and ‘COVID-izing’ for its patrons.
“When we do return to the ‘new normal’ we want you to be confident we have your health and safety in the forefront,” she said. “When we can open our doors again, we cannot wait to show you what changes we are making to the fair layout and experience we have for you.”
There will be some events connected to the fair.
IPE is proud to present the 4H BC auction at the O’Keefe Ranch on Saturday, Aug. 29, at 10 a.m. Don Raffan from Valley Auction is the auctioneer. This will be a virtual auction with the 4H child and their swine/sheep on screen. You can attend in-person to bid on one of these fine animals the kids have worked so hard to take to market. There will be 14 animals up for auction so come early and get a number to buy some fine animals and support 4H BC.
The IPE has 42 past presidents that it’s featuring on FaceBook and Instagram.
“Great history and you can certainly see how our roots run deep,” Paulson said. Check it out each Thursday with a new past president featured.”
In the meantime, the IPE continues to have contests via social media.
There is a 50/50 progressive draw each week. Tickets are only $2 per week and you support your local fair at the same time. The exhibition has partnered with Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions and LottoFactory.
The link to go and purchase tickets is provided. You want to be sure to buy each week, as it is progressive. Meaning your ticket number could be drawn even if you did not purchase the ticket for that week. When that happens the money rolls over to the next week. cafe.thelottofactory.com.
The IPE is proud to announce it has also partnered with BC Fairs and Buy BC to participate with 14 other fairs in British Columbia in sponsoring a kids’ colouring contest.
Kids, get out your crayons and start colouring.
There are prizes to be won from your local fair for first, second, and third place in each age category, and the first-place winners will be entered into a province-wide competition for a chance to win even more. And may even be named the top Buy BC Colourer in the province!
Go to the IPE website for the colouring pages and information: armstrongipe.com.
The IPE is slated to return in 2021, from Wednesday, Sept. 1, to Sunday, Sept. 5.