VIEX celebrates 120 years

NANAIMO – Agricultural fair kicks off Friday at Beban Park Exhibition Grounds with entertainment.

For the 120th time, the Vancouver Island Exhibition country fair is set to begin in Nanaimo.

The fair starts Friday (Aug. 15), running until Sunday and with it the usual attractions, such as the 4-H livestock, the kid zone, pie-eating contest and logger sports. There will be some new features, including the Island Chef cooking contest and a western-style show.

“It’s called Boom Town. It’s a western show, re-enactment stuff like the OK Corral and a few other different things, and which is really cool,” said Don Boyd, VIEX president.

Boyd said wrestling will make a return to the fair, in the form of the Pure Wrestling Association, and horse-drawn carriages with the B.C. Carriage Driving Society and illusionist Michael Berends, who has worked with Criss Angel, will also wow crowds.

The opening ceremony, which begins at 8:45 p.m. Friday, will feature some circus-like entertainment and some heat, so to speak.

“This year we have Vesta Entertainment coming in,” Boyd said. “They’ve got some cool stuff for the opening ceremony, there will be a fire display performance.”

Amongst the musical acts are country duo One More Girl, Chilliwack, Grapes of Wrath, The Legendary Platters and Nanaimo-born blues guitarist David Gogo.

Two milestones will take place this year, with the 100th anniversary of the B.C. 4-H Club and VIEX’s 120 years, which Boyd said organizers are excited about.

“We have to have some special stuff,” he said. “Because we took over the grounds in the ’50s, it made perfect sense to have a band, such as The Legendary Platters from the ’50s, start it all off on Saturday.”

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