The lights of the midway light up the sky Friday night during the Interior Provincial Exhibition.

The lights of the midway light up the sky Friday night during the Interior Provincial Exhibition.

Fair a family favourite, 115 years running

The 115th Interior Provincial Exhibition continues to generate a lot of energy

The 115th Interior Provincial Exhibition continues to generate a lot of energy.

Organizers have declared the Armstrong fair, which ended Sunday after five days, a success.

“It absolutely turned out awesome,” said  Bryan Burns, general manager.

“There’s been some great feedback. Some people are saying this was the best one yet.”

Total attendance for the five days was 147,932, down from 149,782 in 2013.

The busiest day remained Saturday with 42,656 fair-goers, but it was slightly quieter than previous years because of rain and a motor vehicle accident in Kelowna that impacted traffic for hours.

On Sunday, 38,318 people passed through the gate, and while many go for the midway and the fair food, Burns insists the IPE remains popular because of its agricultural roots.

“As we become more urban, people need to know where their food comes from and here they get to see cattle and chickens,” he said.

“We also showcase fruits and vegetables.”

Drawing a crowd in the midway all five nights was the Wrangler Tour Rodeo.

“These are world-class cowboys and stock,” said Burns.

“We get them right here in Armstrong — amazing.”

With an event as large as the IPE, a lot of help is needed behind the scenes.

The organization itself had 450 volunteers, and many service groups also had volunteers on scene.

“There’s no way we could do it without them,” said Burns.

While the livestock is back on the farm and the carnival rides have moved on to the next town, the hard work continues at the IPE. Planning begins for 2015.

“We have put together notes on what worked this year and what could be improved,” said Burns.

“We want to get things down for next year.”

For Burns, the success of the fair is based on one simple factor.

 

“I love people and seeing them smile, whether it’s them having an ice cream cone or seeing an animal. It’s amazing to see all of the smiling faces,” he said.