The Pender Island Fall Fair
“Back to the Future”
It all started when…
The Pender Islands’ first Fall Fair was held in 1932 when the population was about 400. The fair had a budget of $100 with 50 cents as the admission fee for a family! There were over 600 entries that year, and prizes included 48 pounds of flour, a side of bacon and a gallon of paint. Money prizes were generous for the time; one of the entrants reportedly took a vacation with his $15 winnings!
In 1942 the Fair was discontinued, and operating monies invested in War Savings Certificates. It was revived in 1962 when a renewed interest emerged in returning to the land. The Fair was again discontinued in 2020 for three long years due to a pandemic, but it is time to get “Back to the Future!”
Originally sponsored by the Farmers’ Institute and Women’s Institute, recent fairs have also been supported by many Island groups and businesses. The budget and the entries are greater, and the attendance is larger than in the early years of the Fair. However, the Fair still retains its rural atmosphere and will continue to be a good example of the community cooperation and enterprise first begun by our elders 91 years ago.