Manitoba Summer Fair

A classic Canadian fair with fun and modern twists

The Manitoba Summer Fair has existed in various forms for 134 years. Today, the agricultural component has become more of a show-and-tell, but the fair continues to provide a wide range of entertainment for Brandon locals and visitors from beyond.

Some of the attractions – like the strong man and car show – echo classic fair experiences. But other acts are putting a unique twist on traditional fair fare.

“We’ve got the West Coast Lumber Jills show… an all-female cast lumberjack show,” Ron Kristjansson, general manager for the provincial exhibition, says. “They do log rolling and chainsaw and axe work, and they’re just an amazing group.”

Chuckwagon races will also be held, but with miniature horses courtesy of the Alberta Miniature Chuckwagon Racing Association.

In many ways, the Manitoba Summer Fair marks the start to a season. North American Midway – which brings over 40 rides for adults and kids – kicks off their season in Brandon with the fair.

And this year, just before the fair opens on Friday, a citizenship ceremony will give almost 100 new Canadians an extra reason to celebrate.

“Saturday we’ve got our Spirit of All Nations which is a demonstration from the Aboriginal groups,” Kristjansson says. “The First Nations community out here is a very strong community and we’re proud to partner with them.”

On Sunday, they’ll be hosting a $5 pancake breakfast which includes entry to the grounds just in time for the demolition derby. 

Kristjansson encourages fair visitors to bring a non-perishable food item to donate as well: “We’re proud to work with our local food banks and soup kitchens and try and incorporate a bit of that into all of our events so that we can support those that have the need.”

Published in Volume 70, Number 27 of The Uniter (June 2, 2016)

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