The vegetable and still-life displays in the PGX pioneer building were deliberately arranged to look like historic photos from fall fairs gone by. But for some, these are not black and white images being recreated, they are memories.
"It's great to hear the seniors talking about the things they recognize. 'I remember when I was bathed in a washtub like that,' and lots of smiles," said white bearded Gord Simmons, the room's host on Thursday - Pioneer Day at the PGX. "I've heard lots of nostalgia and 'I remember when' and lots of smiles. Some came in tottering but brightened right up when they spotted a flatiron or something they recognized from their childhood."
In another part of the exhibition, the CN Centre concourse, another emphasis was put on our elder members of society. A trade fair was held especially for seniors and there was hardly room to walk between the booths, with all the participants. Many were riding in motorchairs. They were there for quick hits of information at booths hosted by the Red Cross, Northern Health, UNBC, the public library, the Retired Teachers Association, Salvation Army, various health-related organizations and businesses.
"It has been quite busy; a lot of seniors have turned up," said Amita Gabriel from the Prince George Council of Seniors. Her colleague Ginny Parsons added that it was helpful for so many organizations to be grouped together for the ease of the seniors, and also helpful for the council to be exposed to so many who could benefit from knowing about their programs and activities.
"The attendance this year is better on the Thursday than I remember it being for past PGX Thursdays," said Howard Jackson, showing his best Appaloosa horses, as he has for decades. "It's off to a great start." His wife Marilyn added that this annual event "has always been a great tool for people who want to promote their product."
Lawrence Ginter has been to the annual fall fair almost all of the 61 years he has lived in Prince George. He said there were always details that don't work and this year, for him, the one that stands out most is the lack of souvenirs commemorating the PGX's 100th birthday. That said, "I really enjoy it a lot and it's great for our city."
His friend John, an elder volunteer in a motorchair, said "It's my job to talk to people around the exhibition and one in 20 are like him [Ginter] with a criticism. The other 19 say 'wow, great fair, even better this year.'"
Two mature ladies strolling by in assertive purple dresses and bold red hats added their agreement. They enthused about the logger sports demonstrations, the music, the quilt exhibits, the strong 4-H presence, etc.
"I've loved seeing all the people I know," said Linda Hoeppner.
"I've been here for 40 years so it's added up. I love the PGX. We've had a good day," said Diane Baker.
Both are members of the Dazzling Foxes branch of the Red Hat Society, a group dedicated to good social times for mature women. There could be few better opportunities for fun, they said, than a day at the fair.