Long running Kiskatinaw Fair is a family fun event

Through care for animals, kids at the fair were learning about respect, patience and responsibility

Away from the noise and the hustle of the Dawson Creek Exhibition & Stampede, there is a much more low key event held a week in advance in the rural community of Sunset Prairie.

The 76-year-old Kiskatinaw Fall Fair is a different atmosphere. The De Vuyst family from Rolla said they wouldn’t want to have it any other way. 

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“You can let the kids be kids and roam around,” Mark De Vuyst said just after his daughter, Brook, and son, Elliot, finished competing in the goat show, the second to last event of the weekend. 

Eight-year-old Brook stood next to him clutching her first prize ribbon as she flashed a toothy grin. It’s her third year competing in the goat show at the Kiskatinaw Fair. She is confident in calling herself a veteran now. 

Her mom, Kristy, said the minute Brook’s goat, Iridessa was born Brook was attached. The two of them would play king of the castle on the hay stacks at the family’s small hobby farm. 

Mark says having pets has taught his kids respect for animals, and living on a hobby farm helping make cheese and butter with milk from the family's small herd of cattle means they know where the food in the grocery stores comes from. 

That sentiment was shared by another family at the fair, the Stark’s, whose daughter Talia also shared a love for goats. 

Her goat Rey, nearly died after being abandoned by its mother. 

Talia nursed it back to health and now the two of them compete in Fall Fairs. Talia earned a first place finish in the second class at the goat show.

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Talia Stark and her goat, Rey. - Submitted

Kole Casey is the judge who handed Talia and Brook their first place ribbons. A land use planner with the Peace River Regional District by day, Kole is a veteran of the local 4H club. He’s been involved since he was six years old, he said, and its taught him a lot about life. 

“Responsibility is probably the biggest thing that I teach or that I have learned from working with animals,” he said. 

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Casey teaches junior and senior 4Hers about the importance of choosing the right halters for their animal's comfort. - Mike Carter

“Patience is another good one. They’re not always going to do what you want them to do so you have to be patient. It takes time and it takes work. That’s what these kids are learning here today.”

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