There will be no fireworks or 50-gun salute to mark the 75th annual Provincial Winter Fair — just a group photo and some cake to round out the weekend.
The fair — bringing out the finest in open and 4-H animal husbandry in the region — takes place Friday through Monday at the North Thompson Fall Fairgrounds in Barriere.
This is the third year Barriere has hosted the event, which took place for decades in Kamloops when the KXA Complex was in operation as an agricultural hall.
Livestock shows and sales will be held in the categories of beef, sheep, horse, rabbit and cavy, a family of rodents from South America that includes guinea pigs.
In addition, the sixth annual Top Hand Ranch Horse Competition takes place Saturday and Sunday at noon.
About 300 participants are expected through the weekend.
Equine enthusiasts should find plenty of interest, from reining to showmanship and speed events to a flag race. A two-way competition calls for riders to first dress in Western apparel and tack, then switch to English-style. Handy horse, judging the overall handiness of the rider, requires retrieval of mail from a mailbox.
Five horse clubs participate this year: the Boundary C Club (Rock Creek; Double L 4-H Horse Club (Kamloops); Rodeo Rednecks 4-H club (Clearwater); Shifting Saddles 4-H Club (Salmon arm; and the Top Rail 4-H Horse Club (Kamloops).
A banquet will be held on Sunday at the Barriere Curling Link, where a small celebration will recognize the fair’s 75 years, said Deb Goertzen, secretary of the fair committee.
Goertzen said Barriere has done an “absolutely fabulous” job of hosting the event.
There were discussions about the fair returning to Kamloops if a new facility could be built.
“I hear the talk, too,” Goertzen said. “Still, I see the lock and not the talk.”