Fifty years ago the Princeton Fall Fair was considered a minor affair.
A small group of people met in October of 1966 to celebrate agriculture in the community.
The fair has flourished for five decades and this year it celebrates its golden anniversary.
Of course it’s had its ups and downs like all fairs, but it continues to expand each year.
“It’s a milestone,” Jennifer Bernard, secretary for the Princeton and District Fall Fair, said. “There are other fairs like Armstrong and Comox that have lasted 50 years but they have a big population. It’s really the people behind the fair that have led to it lasting this long. They’re very passionate.”
Bernard said she hopes the fair continues for 50 more years but that its success is dependant on the volunteer and community support.
“It’s like everything else, we are in desperate need of volunteers,” she said.
Agriculture related judging contests continue to be the base the fair is built around.
Four buildings at Sunflower Downs are home to a slew of judged contests of all descriptions.
“If you can think of it we probably have a category for it,” she said.
There are even bizarre and odd categories like largest produce.
“A few years ago I won the largest tomato category. It filled an entire shelf. Everyone asked how I grew it and I didn’t do anything special I just planted it and it grew,” she said.
An entire building is dedicated to flowers and one building houses all the entries from the junior categories.
“It’s really great for the children to get involved,” Bernard said.
For the 50th year celebrations the fall fair committee has brought in a few new things to offer families more to do during the weekend.
A highlight this year will be performances by the Langley Riders Drill Team, which is also celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Children’s entertainment is being provided by Jump ‘N’ Jax.
In addition to the always child pleasing bouncy castles, children and adults alike can participate in jousting, sumo wrestling, a dunk tank and much more.
“There are so many fun things for everyone to take part in,” she said.
The Princeton firefighters are joining in the fun and bringing fair goers a chance to participate in the Fireman’s Smoke Event.
As always there will be a horseshoe tournament and the fairgrounds will be filled with a variety of vendors, concessions and livestock.
Gates open at 9 a.m. September 12 and 13 and the day starts with a pancake breakfast.
Admission remains at $5 per adult, $2 for seniors and children ages 6 to 12. Children five and under are free.