It began in 1950 as a small gathering for area farmers and ranchers.
Back then there were only 12 pages in the fall fair catalogue.
Today, the North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo boasts a whopping 72-page booklet and attracts up to 11,000 visitors to Barriere during the Labour Day weekend.
“It’s a tradition in the North Thompson valley,” said president Jill Hayward. “And word about the fair is going further and further each year.”
The event opens on Saturday at the fairgrounds off Barriere Town Road.
Livestock displays, agriculture and food exhibits, craft displays, heavy-horse competitions, barrel races and chuckwagon races are a few of the many attractions the fair features each year.
“What I love about the fair are the sights and the sounds,” said Hayward. “The smell of popcorn and candy floss, and roosters crowing; it just takes you back to your roots, you know. Kids love it because they get to get up close to animals and nature and learn. It’s a huge fair for families with young kids.”
The fair’s official opening is 1 p.m. on Saturday, when the exhibit hall opens to the public.
Gate admission is $12 for adults, $8 for students and seniors and free for children under 10 years.
And Barriere isn’t the only community holding a fall fair this weekend.
Merritt opens its 38th consecutive Nicola Valley Fall Fair on Saturday at noon on the Merritt Rodeo Grounds.
“It’s always bigger and better every year,” said fair spokeswoman Kathy Reimer.
The Nicola Valley Fall Fair includes all the favourite attractions, including barn-animal displays and livestock exhibits, plus a vintage car show, an exhibit of farm equipment and more.
“We have a really cool bee display from the Nicola Valley Apiaries,” said Reimer.
“They mark the queen bee and you can actually see her. It’s in a sort of glass sleeve and you can see the bees in there working and you can see the queen bee.”
Admission to the Nicola Valley Fall Fair is $5 for adults, $3 for students and seniors, and $2 for children.
The fair runs from noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday and from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.
The 55th annual Nicola Valley Pro Rodeo also runs this weekend on the Merritt Rodeo Grounds, starting a 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Admission is by cash only and costs $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors. Admission is free for children six and under.