The Dawson Creek Fall Fair

This year, the City of Dawson Creek will celebrate its 92nd Annual Fall Fair. A long time ago I lived in Dawson Creek (northern British Columbia), and as a child I remember that the Fall Fair was something my brother and sisters and I looked forward to each year. The lead up to the opening of the fair was the Fall Fair Parade. We loved watching the  clowns as they cleaned up after the horses. They were so funny in their clean up antics that we cheered whenever a horse did its business on the pavement. That meant the clowns had to go into action again.

img733Spectators stood wherever they could find a place, some even watching the parade from the roof of the New Palace Hotel and Cafe.

The police car proudly rolled down the street showing off its modern vintage. Most of the other vehicles were much older than the police car, which in that year’s parade was probably a 1957 or 1958 model (I’m guessing). Someone out there might know more exactly what year and model of car it is.

img732The Dawson Creek Centennial Band is following the police car, and behind them you can see the rounded corner of the bus depot building. In the background we have McKenzie Stationers where you could buy a typewriter (remember those?) or have it repaired. A tailor shop is down the street and last dark building behind the band is the home of the Peace River Block News.

My sister had a new bicycle one year and wanted to be in the parade. We all helped her decorate it, making Kleenex carnations by folding the tissues like an accordion and tying them in the middle before pulling up the individual layers carefully to form the fluffy petals of the flowers. We tied them to the bicycle and took a photo of her with her bike and our beloved mongrel, Mopsy.

img730Then came the moment of truth. Would she be brave enough to ride in the parade? If she chickened out, there were three of us who would gladly have taken over the job.

img731Here she is in her finest hour, helping bring in the opening of the Fall Fair.

The fair itself is a whole other story. I may have to save that one for when I write my memoirs someday.

40 thoughts on “The Dawson Creek Fall Fair

  1. Of all things. I’d completely forgotten about Kleenex carnations – and now they’ve come back! They were such fun to do. I wonder what else I’ve forgotten? This truly is one of the treasures of blogging. So many people, with so many memories – and the ability to revivify our own!

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  2. So pleased to see the “vintage” photos – your sister looks like she was on cloud nine.
    I was reminded of the kleenex carnations just the other day as we passed by a church with a wedding in progress. At first I wasn’t sure that it was a wedding – I looked at all of the cars parked in the street and they were all unadorned. The giveaway was the sign on the stretch bride-mobile parked out front. I mentioned to my husband that “they” must not use kleenex flowers any more. I used to love making them.

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    • Now that you’ve mentioned it, I don’t remember when or where I last saw Kleenex flowers. It was what everyone did back then. Don’t know what they do now. And yes, my sister was pretty excited about being a star that day.

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  3. I’d forgotten about kleenex flowers, too. I’ll have to see if I remember how to do it. Your sister doesn’t look like someone who’s going to chicken out. She looks ready to roll! Nice job of decorating.

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  4. I absolutely love this, Anneli. How cool that you still have those photos. Your sister in the yard on her bike with Mopsy is priceless! You really lived out in the middle of nowhere. I’d enjoy reading your memoir. As you know, I’ve written a collection of memoirs in my published anthology. Is Dawson Creek the town I watched a cable special on where back in the late 19th century there was a gold rush? I think the town was called Dawson (Dawson City?) and it took climbing mountains and crossing icy lakes to get there. It was in the middle of no where, too. Thank you for sharing this part of your life, and those photos.

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    • Thanks, Lori. Glad you liked it. The town you’re thinking of would be Dawson City (haha…”city”) in the Yukon, way farther north. Dawson Creek is in British Columbia, and is famous for the Mile “0” Post, the start of the Alaska Highway which goes from Dawson Creek to Delta Junction just before Fairbanks, Alaska, about 1700 miles. But you’re right about one thing, like Dawson City, Dawson Creek is also in the middle of nowhere.

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  5. Those old photos are outstanding! The only thing about them is that they make me feel real old old so suddenly. But I had a “ball” looking at them, thanks for digging so deep and bringing them back to life.

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    • I know what you mean. I can’t believe so much time has gone by. But the main thing is that we’re still here and we have so many wonderful memories. The photos sure have brought up more than I could write about here on the blog.

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  6. OMGoodness~ Kleenex Tissue Carnations! You’ve taken me waaaay back in time. We covered our bikes in them- well in my case, we covered my younger sister’s bike; I never owned one (That’s another story -lol)! “Loved” this, anneli!

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    • Oh, that’s funny. I never had a bike either, except for a big “man’s bike” that my parents thought I’d like to try out. They must have got a bargain on it, but it didn’t work out for me. Then they bought a nice bike for all four of us kids to share, and of course my brother and I were too big for it, my youngest sister a bit small for it, so the sister in the parade got the most use of it.

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  7. I remember this day well! We worked so hard on those flowers and our sister had to make sure they were all in the right place so she wouldn’t knock them off while she was pedalling! That was such a fun day and very exciting for all the parade participants. Oh, and a note to LORI who asked about “Dawson Creek”, I believe she is meaning the show that was on TV for a few years entitled “Dawson’s Creek”. I’ve never watched it but it seems to me that one of the character’s names might have been Dawson or something. I am not sure. Hmmm… Great photos!

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    • Yes, there was that too, about Dawson’s Creek, but she mentioned that there was a gold rush and that was probably Dawson City. Thanks for sharing what you remember about that day and the parade preparations, Sonja. We were the drones, the helper bees.

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  8. Please, permission to reblog this on Town Spirit!! These are wonderful pictures of the glory days of town parades and all those things that are sadly unknown to the children of today. Except the buildings in the background. They are still there.
    Looking forward to those memoirs 😉

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  9. I would love to see other pictures you may have from Dawson Creek. My family still lives there and my Mother was Fall Fair Queen about this year or so. Please share more if you could, they should be in the Historical Society collection! Thanks

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