ST. ANTHONY, N.L.
After an auspicious inaugural event last year, there will be no fall fair and trade show in St. Anthony this year.
Mayor Desmond McDonald said following on the 2017 success of the Grenfell Fall Fair and Tradeshow, all indications were the 2018 edition would be even bigger and better. But lack of interest scuttled those plans.
“Last year turned out to be a very good event,” he said. “We were optimistic it was going to improve this year.”
When the call went out for participation, there was initial interest, but it dropped off.
“We didn’t get any buy-in,” McDonald said. “We had a number of booths booked, but that was decreasing as we got closer to the date, and businesses backed out. It became evident to us, it wasn’t feasible to move ahead with the event.”
Last year the fair attracted 30 businesses, government and non-profit organizations and local craftspeople to the Polar Centre on the weekend of Sept. 22-23. There were 18 booths and 12 tables featuring products and information. A kids’ zone with bouncy castles and games was popular and there was also a pie-baking contest on the Saturday that the mayor said was extremely successful. Even that didn’t attract as many entrants this time.
“It’s been very disappointing and we’re very discouraged by the lack of community support,” McDonald said.
He couldn’t say why it failed this year or whether they would try again in 2019.
“I don’t even know what the issue was, or what the problem was for most people, if it was the timing or what it was, but as a town now, we’re seriously going to have to look at whether or not it’s going to be feasible for us to host events like this in the future.”