Isla Cameron’s first-place entry in the “Inspired by Dr. Bonnie Henry: Necklace” category at the Cowichan Exhibition’s “UN”FAIR 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Isla Cameron’s first-place entry in the “Inspired by Dr. Bonnie Henry: Necklace” category at the Cowichan Exhibition’s “UN”FAIR 2020. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan Exhibition to host second annual ‘Un’Fair

COVID conditions prevent traditional fall fair

The more things change, the more they, unfortunately stay the same.

Back for a second-straight year, the legendary Cowichan Exhibition fall fair will once again be the “Un”Fair, according to organizers.

“2021 is the 153rd year of the Cowichan Exhibition. The fair is a long-standing family tradition in the Cowichan Valley that we love! While things are not back to normal just yet, we invite you to ‘Follow the Yellow Brick Road’ to the Cowichan Exhibition’s ‘UN’FAIR-21.”

Cowichan Exhibition Park executive director Shari Paterson said the show will go on just like last year.

Organizers are still excited to offer the abridged version, however.

“The 2021 theme is ‘Follow the Yellow Brick Road’,” she said. “In the story, The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy, Toto and the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion, faced a lot of adversity on their journey to get to the Emerald City. Similar parallels can be drawn today as we make our way through this pandemic. Right now, we are staying the course — ‘the yellow brick road’ — by following the orders from the Provincial Health Office, in hopes that it will all end soon!”

Last September’s “Un”Fair boasted more than 500 entries to the various competitions. They hope to build on that this year.

“To ensure attendance numbers didn’t exceed the province’s COVID guidelines, visitors coming to see those exhibits first registered online for time slots, Paterson noted. “Building on this experience, the goal of the ‘UN’FAIR-21 is to bring the community together while staying safely apart.”

This year’s version of the fair runs Sept. 11-12. There’ll be some special Yellow Brick Road-themed categories this year so check the Exhibition’s website,, for more details as plans are updated.

“‘Follow the Yellow Brick Road’ brings a message of hope and resiliency for our community,” Paterson said. “The story is uplifting in a time when encouragement and perseverance are needed most. We will get through this — the Emerald City awaits!”

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