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Fun times at the CLE in Thunder Bay

Monday August 25, 2014
Photos by Stephanie Wesley/Wawatay News

Raven Mamakeesic (far right) snaps a “selfie” of her with Georgette Keno (second from right) and friends before the Gravitron starts.
Photos by Stephanie Wesley/Wawatay News

There were several ride options for young Midway riders to choose from at this year’s CLE.
Photos by Stephanie Wesley/Wawatay News

Young riders enjoy the warm weather on the rocket ride.

The 124th Canadian Lakehead Exhibition (CLE) family fair landed in Thunder Bay on Aug. 6-10, attracting up to 13,000 attendees each day including many First Nations from the city and surrounding communities.

North Spirit Lake First Nation youth Georgette Keno, 16, attended again this year.

“I’ve been going to the CLE for a couple of years, I usually go all days,” Keno said. She explained that she saw a lot of people that she knew, including a lot of her close friends whom she went to Pelican Falls High School with.

Keno said that her friend Raven attended this year’s fair with her for each of the five days that it was running.

Keno and her friend went on different Select Shows Midway rides; this year’s fair had 39 different rides, which included the Avalanche, the Zipper, and Skymaster. Keno said that her favourite ride was the Spider.

As with other years, the CLE hosted a petting zoo which Keno said she checked out.

“I did go to the petting zoo. I watched my friend take her daughter on the horse,” Keno said. “I also petted the llama, I thought it was cool but it didn’t smell good.”

There were many games across the fair grounds for those of all ages, and different merchandise venders selling items like blankets, jewelry, toys, and tee shirts.

Another big draw for CLE attendees was the food venders. This year, along with concession stand selling candy apples and cotton candy, there were different food selections from local booths and independent booths from the U.S. and Canada.

“My favourite food was the fries,” Keno said. She explained that if anyone wanted to find her, most of the time she would be eating fries by the stage in the concession area.

While Keno felt the issue of some intoxicated people being inside the fairgrounds this year was negative, she still had a good time with no issues that affected her safety.

The only other negative that Keno could think of at this year’s fair was the issue of fries.

“There was only one place to get good fries,” she said.

Keno said that she is looking forward to attending the CLE in 2015.

This year’s CLE also featured several entertainment acts each day, including performances by Aaron Pritchett and Platinum Blonde on the main stage, and was also the first year the fair went smoke-free. There were designated smoking areas located throughout the fairgrounds.

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