Thursday, August 23, 2012

North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo ~ Barriere, BC

A recent drive up the North Thompson on the Yellowhead Highway was a perfect reminder of how pretty this valley is with the green fields and the North Thompson River gently rolling downstream on a sunny day.  We have so much to enjoy in our part of the world.
This view of the river is taken from the Yellowhead Hwy across the CN rail tracks.
North Thompson River, BC
Some of the tree covered hills near Barriere and Louis Creek, BC were destroyed by fire some years ago but they are slowly coming back to life and filling in some of the devastation that we saw then.
The tractor and equipment are shown cutting the hay
Cutting hay in field near Barriere, BC
Farming is a big part of the communities that line the North Thompson River and crops are filling the fields at this time of year and keeping the workers busy. The highway is on the west side of the North Thompson River until we reach Barriere when we cross the bridge and travel on the east side of the river. The Yellowhead is never far from the river and all it’s splendor through this part of the North Thompson Valley. 
These artistic endeavors were advertising the upcoming Fall Fair
Entertaining hay structures along the Yellowhead Highway
Then we began seeing some hay sculptures, this wasn’t something we had seen before so had to get some photos to share.  Perhaps this is a regular sight for the locals; it is fun to see for those of us who happen to drive by and it was a great reminder of the upcoming North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo held in Barriere, BC.
The crafts are displayed in the exhibit hall for competition and all to see.
Artistic displays of crafts for competition in the Exhibit Hall
The last time we spent a day at the North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo was their 60th anniversary celebration in 2010 and it was a rainy day but that did not seem to put a damper on for those that were enjoying the Fair.  There were hundreds of items on display inside the exhibit hall including some very large vegetables and canning goods, too and crowds were here to see it.

The fowl are in their cages in the barn for display to show the winners.
Roosters, chickens and pigeons win awards
The judging had been done and the ribbons were proudly displayed.  I wouldn’t think the chickens, roosters and pigeons were impressed by these ribbons but some of them seemed to be pretty puffed and strutting around a little more than usual! (:  I'm just sayin'! 
The sheep are standing on the shearing stand to be judged.
Sheep patiently wait for the judging to be done
We watched the sheep being clipped by some very young participants that were likely 4H members and we were amazed at their skills!  There is no doubt that they’ve spent plenty of time learning this and should be proud of their job, their finished products were beautiful!  I am sure the judging wasn’t easy.
The llama stands looking out his wire window at the fair.
The llama patiently stands at the North Thompson Fall Fair
The llama barn had lots of them to see including some little ones, which are called “cria”.  The llamas are often used to control predators like coyotes and help protect herds of sheep and goats. They stand tall and are known to spit if provoked and their indifference does not encourage petting so we admired them from a slight distance.
It looks like the pig is smiling, he is sleeping on the hay.
Smiling piglet has a nap
This little guy seemed to be having a happy dream and was totally oblivious to all of us wandering past his pen.  He may have already finished his competition along with other farm animals so today was his day of rest and relaxation.
The horses are all in their own pens getting attention from passersby.
Horses and donkeys at the North Thompson Fall Fair
Horses are a big part of the Fair as well as the Rodeo. We did watch some of the horsemanship demos like the barrel racing and we wandered around the barn to get a good look at these magnificent animals, as well. The Fair is “a celebration of agriculture, livestock, western country living and community spirit” and this community certainly lives up to this philosophy.
The Brahma bull watches me closely from inside his pen as I take my photos
A very large Brahma Bull
The rodeo is held in the arena on the grounds and is handicap friendly and the price of the entrance to the Fair includes the rodeo. This Brahma bull is one like you will see being ridden if you stay for the rodeo, he weighs about a ton and is to be taken seriously. I wasn’t getting too close for this photo, he seemed to be keeping his eye on me!

The North Thompson Fall Fair began in 1950 with about 500 people attending their one day event. After all these years of hard working volunteers keeping this great fair going strong, they expect to see almost 10,000 people attend the 3 day event Sept. 1, 2 & 3rd., 2012.

Check the schedule here so you don’t miss the rodeo or any other shows of the day and you'll also find a map on their website to show you the way.

They’ve come a long way since the first North Thompson Fall Fair and we would recommend you take that 45 minute drive north on Highway 5 to Barriere, BC from Kamloops this Labor Day weekend and enjoy all the Fair has to offer, you won’t be disappointed.  It is just another reason why there is no place like home. 

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