Katelyn Kearn

Katelyn Kearn

Country fun on tap at VIEX in Nanaimo

NANAIMO – VIEX poised for weekend of down-home country fair entertainment.

Visitors to the 2013 Vancouver Island Exhibition can expect to fare well with a weekend packed with down-home country fair activities, food and entertainment.

VIEX 2013 happens this weekend at the Beban Park fair grounds. With a 119-year history of focusing on family entertainment while showcasing Island farming practices and products, the fair theme for 2013 is, “Proud of the Past, Poised for the Future.”

Highlights for this year’s VIEX include a huge lineup of musical entertainment ranging from local to national country, folk and rock talent culminating with a performance by Saturday night’s headliner The Trews.

This year’s strong lineup of music talent will meet its match on the competition rings where spectators can lean up on a fence rail to get up close to Island Barrel Racing Club action when members showcase their horseback riding skills while promoting this form of equestrian competition.

For the first time this year, international logger sport competition is coming to Nanaimo, drawing competitors from across Canada, the U.S. and Europe who will pit their skills against each other and the clock.

“This is going to be fantastic, high energy,” said Don Boyd, VIEX president. “With guys competing – there’s a big difference when you have somebody just in it for giggles – this is actually for the standings. They’re competing hard. It’s not just a show.”

For high speed hobbyists, Notorious RC will be back on track with hobby-grade race cars that can hit top speeds of 100 km/h and break the speed limit on any road in town.

For those seeking out a slower pace from the days when low RPMs and big flywheels delivered high torque, Mid Island Vintage Tractor and Equipment Club will be putting on vintage tractor threshing and tractor pull demonstrations.

Find out what the thing under your bed when you were a kid probably looked like at Island Haunt Productions Haunted House. The hair on the necks of even the most seasoned haunt hunters will stand up when the haunted house’s residents creep out from the shadows to accompany the souls wandering through their domain.

Animal lovers will find a particular fondness for Tundra, a six-year-old mostly wolf, wolf dog and her caretaker, Gear R. Allan, who will share true tales about the wolf, his experiences with Tundra dappled with facts about wolf biology and their importance to the environment.

Local 4-H Clubs and the Islands Heritage Livestock Association will have dozens of displays of rabbits, sheep, goat, ducks and other livestock in the VIEX barns.

Nanaimo artist Dan Richey will demonstrate his carving skills with chainsaws and other power tools.

People attracted by shiny things will want to check out Yukon Dan, a professional gold panner from the B.C. Interior with an exuberant personality that captivate audiences’ attention as he teaches gold panning techniques.

“He sets up a sluice box – quite a long one – and fills it full of water and he actually puts some gold flecks in it so people can come and actually go gold panning,” said Karen Streeter, VIEX vice president. “He’s been a gold panner most of his life and lives it, so he’s really interesting.”

The Courtenay Cadora Drill Team is back again this year performing dressage shows at lunch time through the weekend.

“It should be a fun time with brilliant entertainment,” Streeter said.

For more information both this year’s VIEX, event scheduling and admission fees, please visit the VIEX website at www.viex.ca.