UNITY--Unity Agriculture Society members were extremely happy with the attendance and results of their Fall Fair and Trade Show held in the Unity Community Centre Sept. 30/Oct. 1.
While the first Ag Society trade show and fall fair held post-pandemic was a slightly scaled back affair with all aspects being held in the curling rink side of the community centre, over 1,000 people paid admission to come and browse the trade show booths and view the fall fair entries.
Treasurer Irene Lacoursiere said that number was about half the number of shoppers pre-pandemic, while there were only 40 trade show booths compared to 60. She believes it was still a worthwhile endeavour and said the fact that they were late to make the decision to go ahead may have also contributed. Next year, they hope to start the planning earlier once again and send the call out to potential vendors in January as opposed to late May.
President Elaine Sperle said most of the trade show exhibitors were happy with the results of the day, and she was pleased with the variety of booths. As usual, the fudge vendors were busy throughout both days and something new this year was an antiques dealer from Chauvin, Alta. While he did not sell any items, he was happy with the exposure. A number of local businesses also took advantage of the opportunity to connect with customers and potential cleients in a new way.
Mayor Sharon Del Frari was on hand in the Town of Unity booth to meet with residents and discuss concerns, while the Unity Lions Club was selling handcrafted wooden children’s farm sets as a fundraiser for expansion of the walking paths in town. Artist Beth Brown received the best booth display award.
Each admission paid by shoppers was also an entry into a door prize draw, with Azure McGonigle winning the Husquarvana leaf blower donated by Robertson Implements and Lorne Shead winning the basket of Pampered Chef products donated by Danora Semilet. Elaine Ackerman won the $200 grocery voucher sponsored by Delta Co-op and the Unity Ag Society.
Prior to the event, the ag society had put out a call for volunteers, saying their members couldn’t do it all and help was needed to make the weekend run smoothly and successfully. Lacoursiere said members were very happy with the response to that call-out, especially thankful for all the volunteers who helped out in the kitchen. That kitchen also was hosted downstairs, the food booth operating out of the curling rink lounge.
The Unity Ag Society, as well, greatly appreciated the help of the Unity Kin Club who put up and took down the booths, tables, chairs, etc. Rather than being upstairs in the hall, the 390 fall fair entries from 87 exhibitors were downstairs, displayed at the west end of the curling rink space. People enjoyed the opportunity to easily view the entries on their strolls through the trade fair.
The number of entries for the fall fair was significantly down from prior years but the reminder of this opportunity to show off one’s crafting, baking and gardening skills will hopefully pay off in more entries again next year. There were two double grand aggregate winners in the fall fair: Katie Ballantyne for needlework and handicrafts as well as for hobbies, and Amanda Romanowski for both home baking and home preserves. The other grand aggregate winners were Elaine Sperle in amateur photography, Pat Deck in plants and flowers, and Glenda Leslie in fruits and vegetables. Scott Manchester’s photo of a sunflower growing inside another sunflower won the People’s Choice photography award. Winning the children’s awards were: seven and under – Jacoby Kreimeier, eight to 12 – Clara Reiche and 13-18 – Jacelyn Delhommeau.
Shoppers also had chances to win more than the main door prizes. One prize which required a bit of skill was guessing the weight of the pumpkin at the Unity Ag Society’s own booth. Three people came up with the correct weight of 8.2 pounds: Shannon Heitt, Neil Brown and Sharon Smith. A number of vendors sponsored their own door prizes and winners were: C. Kopp Designs – Robby Wilgenbusch, Lloyd Wine Outfitters – Charlotte Hartter, Parkview Place – Melinda Krentz, Town of Unity – Eileen Scherr, Grumpy’s Music – Brynn Delhommeau, Norwex – Sandra Kelly, Monica Taylor/Indigo Beads – Bella Tilbert, Delta Co-op – D. Zunti, C. Smith and A. Reiniger.
The annual Saturday pancake breakfast, hosted by Delta Co-op and Unity Credit Union, was the only fall fair and trade show event held upstairs. The breakfast, which was admission by donation, raised $808.75 for KidSport, STARS and the Unity Community Daycare.