The Luxton Fall Fair might be glittering a little more than past years.
Running today (Sept. 18) through Sunday at the Luxton Fairgrounds, the fair shines the spotlight on the strong women of the gold rush and offers enough of a different hue to set this year’s family friendly event apart from past fairs, says a volunteer with the Metchosin Farmers Institute.
“I have been in the mining industry for half my life and I had never heard of these women and what they accomplished,” said Bruce Chaytor. “It’s not (told as) part of our history … It will be an interesting eye-opener for people.”
The Heritage Museum on the fairgrounds features a full exhibit on Women in Mining featuring books, information and artifacts spotlighting such people as Nellie Cashman, the “Miner’s Angel” who used much of the fortune she made for philanthropic efforts, including helping the Sisters of St. Ann build St. Joseph’s Hospital in Victoria.
Another story tells of Cashman helping save 77 lives when she risked her life and embarked on a 75-day trip during a cold Northern B.C. winter to bring food and medical supplies to a group that had been cut off from supplies.
“I think this is an opportunity for people to learn about some of the strong unsung heroes of our past and learn some of the things they did to overcome adversity,” Chaytor said.
The Women in Mining display is but one of many things to see and do at the Luxton Fall Fair.
There’s a Truck and Tractor Pull at noon on Saturday and Sunday, a homemade clay-baking kiln baking food and offering samples, a display showing off local agricultural equipment from the 1800s and early 1900s, cooperage and blacksmithing demonstrations, children’s gold panning, the popular midway and much more.
“Happy Valley is going through some interesting changes … Each change has brought in different dynamics to our community (through development),” Chaytor said.
“(With) all our new neighbours there has got to be an opportunity for them to meet and develop a connection to where they are living.”
The former Institute vice-president said volunteers with the society, which stages the annual fall and spring fairs, spend much of their time focusing on the betterment of community and the promotion of agriculture.
He hopes area residents, as well as those from around the Capital Region and beyond, come to take it all in.
“You have to know where you are coming from so you can appreciate where you are going,” Chaytor said. “Come out and enjoy one of the most economical sources of entertainment (on) this end of the Island.”
For more information visit luxtonfair.ca.