The annual country fair in Cloverdale is one of the community’s longest standing traditions. Last year, it turned 130 years old.
The first Fall Fair was held on Friday, Sept. 28, 1888, by the District of Surrey Agricultural Association in Surrey Centre. It was the place to be for everyone in the surrounding communities. Fair entrants would compete to see who had the best livestock, garden, honey, canned goods, fruit and flowers, and much more.
| From reptiles to pigs, the Agri-Fair provides examples of local agriculture and animal-based businesses.
In 1938, when the Municipal Hall moved from Surrey Centre to the Cloverdale Fairgrounds, the fair moved with it. Over the decades, the fair changed. It was no longer a public holiday, for one, and it became more commercialized as Surrey grew larger.
In 1996, the fall fair was incorporated into the Cloverdale Rodeo, which, in some respects, ended the 109-year-old “fall” fair.
But, in other ways, the tradition lives on in the agricultural component of the Agri-Fair during the annual Country Fair. Complete with dozens of different animals — from chicks to goats to reptiles — the fair also includes cow milking demonstrations and much more.
Revelers can also enjoy carnival rides, a food fest, country music, the West Fine Art Show and the World Round-Up Freestyle Skateboarding Championships.
—with files from Sue Bryant