For Tammy Thielman, who started showing ponies at the fair when she was a little girl, and whose own daughter is now showing her ponies, the IPE is truly a family affair.
“I’ve been coming here for years and years and years,” said Tammy, while getting her horse Spiderman’s feet shoed Wednesday for competition in the English division.
“I grew up in Armstrong so we always came here with our ponies,” said the now Salmon Arm resident.
Now her own daughter, Katie, is claiming ribbons with her own ponies at the Interior Provincial Exhibition, which runs through to Sunday in Armstrong.
“The work just becomes fun,” said nine-year-old Katie, whose pony, Little Lady, earned fourth in junior showmanship.
“The horses are my favourite part. I clean pens, feed and water them.
“First ride they are usually just a bit looky but this has been a really good year.”
And when the work and showing is all done for the day, Katie and her mom always make some time to take in the action at the fair with some of their favourite treats – horse blankets.
“We get those and go watch the rodeo,” said Katie.
Chris White and his family have also made the IPE a family tradition.
Bringing the supply of cows calving as well as those for the milking demonstration, the White Grove Farm is a popular educational attraction.
“We’ve been coming here for 12 plus years,” said White of Armstrong. “It’s kind of hard not to come to the fair.”
As fun as the experience is, working the fair can also be a bit exhausting.
“We were in the barns by 4 o’clock this morning because my daughter was also showing in the 4-H show,” said White, after waking from an afternoon siesta between the stables Wednesday.
“This is more work than the farm at home it seems,” he laughed.
Many local families rarely miss the chance to catch the fair.
“Absolutely, every year,” said Vernon’s Reta Kutsche, with her three children and husband in tow. “We’ve been coming for the rides, petting zoo and to see the biggest pumpkin on and off for 10 years.”
For one-year-old Soleil Muxlow, a Killiney Beach resident, the IPE is a new experience. But with all the sights, sounds and tastes, her mom and dad say it is becoming an annual tradition for their family.
“There’s lots and lots to do and see, it’s great for the family,” said dad.
Visit www.vernonmorningstar.com to catch a video of some of the sights and sounds of the fair.