In 2009, Hon. Brigid Shaughnessy officially opened the Summerland Fall Fair. She is the great-granddaughter of Sir Thomas Shaughnessy, who created the original Summerland Fall Fair in 1909. (Contributed)

In 2009, Hon. Brigid Shaughnessy officially opened the Summerland Fall Fair. She is the great-granddaughter of Sir Thomas Shaughnessy, who created the original Summerland Fall Fair in 1909. (Contributed)

Summerland Fall Fair has long heritage

Agricultural celebration began in 1909

The Summerland Fall Fair on Sept. 10 will continue to celebrate Summerland’s agricultural heritage.

The fair will be held in downtown Summerland and will feature exhibitions, entertainment and more.

Summerland’s first official Fall Fair took place on October 1909. The event was scheduled to coincide with Sir Thomas Shaughnessy’s Annual Inspection tour.

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Shaughnessy founded Summerland in August 1902, and formed the Summerland Development Company in 1903. This company created the community’s road, water and electrical systems.

As president of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, each year, Shaughnessy inspected C.P.R. properties across Canada including Summerland. These inspection tours included several C.P.R. directors, several of which owned fruit ranches in Prairie Valley (Millionaire’s Row.)

Sir Thomas Shaughnessy assisted with the funding of the Summerland Fall Fair for several years. His great-granddaughter, Hon. Brigid Shaughnessy, officially opened the 2009 Fall Fair, a century after the fair had begun.

The fall fair was held for 105 years, from 1909 to 2014. In 2015, organizers chose not to hold the event because of financial uncertainties and a shortage of board members. As a result, the fair did not run in 2015, 2016 and 2017. It returned in 2018, but the format was different.

When the fair returned, it was a harvest festival featuring artisan produce and crafts. It also included a street fair, far-to-table food events and entertainment.

The 2020 event was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in 2021, it was scaled back.

For more information about the fair, please visit www.summerlandfallfair.ca or follow the Facebook page at facebook.com/summerlandfallfair.

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