If you can’t take the heat at Vancouver Island Exhibition, do like Sharon and Isabella Monjo did at last year’s fair and buy snow cones. (NEWS BULLETIN file)

Editorial: Gather at the fairgrounds for VIEX

This year is the 123rd Vancouver Island Exhibition, with the event taking place Aug. 18-20

Everybody loves a fair, even after all these years.

This year is the 123rd Vancouver Island Exhibition in Nanaimo, with the event taking place Friday through Sunday (Aug. 18-20) at the fairgrounds at Beban Park.

A country fair is an old-fashioned idea in a lot of ways, but it seems to be the good kind of old-fashioned. For some, the fair brings nostalgia, but for other people, the fair isn’t something old because it’s new to them.

A lot of people are looking forward to getting inside the gates and seeing what this year’s VIEX has to offer. The News Bulletin held a couple of different ticket contests in the past week and a Facebook contest for four passes received more entries than any contest we can remember.

The exhibition is at its heart an agricultural fair, and it not only honours the region’s farming heritage, but it’s also a reminder that agriculture can still thrive and should continue to be valued in these times. There are good arguments for food security, as well as important considerations about where our food comes from and where it should come from. As we look for economic development in the mid Island, we should recognize our capacity to attract forward-thinking agriculture operations.

The Bulletin published a special supplement previewing this year’s VIEX; it was tucked inside this past Tuesday’s issue and can still be accessed online at www.nanaimobulletin.com/e-editions. It details the wide range of attractions and activities that make up the fair and give it the sort of broad appeal that keeps it relevant and fun every summer. Nanaimo’s country fair isn’t just about growing the largest vegetables; there’s a midway and musical acts and a beer garden and barbecue and much more.

Like it or not, summer is winding down, festival season is behind us and the VIEX is a good chance for the community to come together for one more country rockin’ party.

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