The Home Arts and Garden competition has been cancelled at the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Country Fest this year.
The announcement was made on the organization’s Facebook page Saturday afternoon.
“We would like to thank you for your interest but sadly we have made the decision that this section of Country Fest will not be held this year,” read the post.
“We have experienced exceptionally low entries in this section. We believe our over 200 exhibitors want to have their treasures seen and enjoyed by our typical 20,000 visitors which is not possible this year,” the post continued.
Lorraine Bates, executive director of the fair was disappointed.
They put out reminders, she said, but as the deadline rolled around on Saturday, July 3, she had only one entry in the morning with only six more trickling in by the end of the day. In 2019, the last year of the fair before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, there were more than 250 entries.
This year, because of the ongoing pandemic, the festival was to be a two week event with 4-H competitors flooding the fairgrounds from July 17-23, a weekend of entertainment to be live-streamed on the main stage, and then the second week reserved for the home arts competitions. Now the fair will end on Sunday July 25 after the weekend concert, that Bates still hopes to be able to open up to the public. She is hoping to get the green light to do so by Monday.
“It will still be live-streamed,” she said.
In June Bates was adamant about keeping the Home Arts and Garden competition part of the festival.
“That is a heritage competition that I just can’t let die,” said Bates at the time, adding that once you let a year go by without having a competition, then you’ve lost it.
However, she is still elated that she has 34 4-H clubs attending, some of which have never been to the fair before.
The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Country Fest is a 114 year old agriculturally focused and driven festival that usually attracts about 20,000 people over a two-day weekend in July.
“I think the spark is that they are on display and thousands of people go through and see their stuff. And it was just to late to get that going this year,’ noted Bates.
However, Bates remained positive, adding that the theme is going to remain the same next year, so she is urging everyone who registered this year to keep their forms.
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