Fall Fairfield event makes use of good weather before it’s over
Victoria prides itself on its sense of community. Over the summer, it’s near impossible to go downtown on the weekend without happening upon some sort of festival, parade, or protest. But as the weather gets increasingly colder, community events can sometimes be harder to stumble upon. On Sept. 22, the Fairfield-Gonzales Community Association worked hard to keep the warmth of summer alive with their Fall Fairfield event.
The event boasted all the festivities of your typical Victoria community-building festival — Phillips beer, live music, face painting, a silent auction — but the vibe was unique. Small children danced with their parents to heavy bass music, friendly politicians canvassed their constituents, long haired music connoisseurs nodded their heads to the Balkan brass stylings of Bučan Bučan — there were even bird people strolling through the crowds on stilts! Event attendees could visit the musical petting zoo — an interactive booth hosted by Tapestry Music Victoria — where people could try their hand at different instruments. There was a castle made out of cardboard, and half-a-dozen of Victoria’s finest food trucks offered great eats. It was very Victoria, very inclusive, and most importantly, very fun.
“The biggest part for me is that I create a space for people to feel safe and happy to be themselves and to meet and connect with people in their community.”
“It’s an ongoing process as you can imagine,” said festival coordinator Melissa Faye Reid.“There are a lot of different parts — there’s the stage, the vendors, the food vendors. It’s all these different parts coming together. And the biggest part for me is that I create a space for people to feel safe and happy to be themselves and to meet and connect with people in their community.”
The empowering effects these types of events have on the community were apparent throughout the day.
“In Victoria we’re blessed to get all this time outdoors,” said a Fairfield community member, as they danced to the music with their young daughter. “I’m a librarian, so I like to think of the libraries as the place for the winter, but we should really enjoy this for as long as we can.”
Despite the chilly weather, the event was well attended by community members like Butler and her daughter. The clear crisp air paired perfectly with chocolate porters as attendees enjoyed the tunes of local musicians, and vendors displayed their one-of-a-kind wares — like Kristina Clarke, a knitter who tables at many of these fall festivals.
There may be a critical point over the next couple months where staying inside and watching Netflix seems like a much better option than braving the cold, wet outdoors, but the Fall Fairfield event was the perfect way to embrace the autumn season.
“They’re a good place for us outdoor crafters,” said Clarke.
Luckily for Clarke and other attendees, the fall rains held off for the day of the Fall Fairfield event. In the past, events held around this time have sometimes been rained out.
“The rain left the merchandise soaked!” recounted Clarke of one such occasion.
It’s true there may be a critical point over the next couple months where staying inside and watching Netflix seems like a much better option than braving the cold, wet outdoors, but the Fall Fairfield event was the perfect way to embrace the autumn season. As we are all fortunate residents of one of Canada’s most temperate cities, the event was an important reminder that winter will only come early if you let it.