The Canadian Lakehead Exhibition (CLE) wrapped up another successful fair on Aug. 12 in Thunder Bay.
The CLE has been around in one way or another since the early 1900’s. Back then, it was known as the West Algoma Agricultural Society until it was changed to the CLE in 1929.
Since then, the CLE has added a midway (which is an area of sideshows, games and other amusements).
Families partake each year in the many festivities and events that the CLE has to offer every August – including many First Nations residents who travel to the city to attend.
This year’s CLE boasted over 25 rides for various ages, the Future Star talent show, a petting zoo, various food vendors, bingo, and a large selection of games as well as merchandise hawkers.
Todd Genno, Pic River First Nation, attended this year with his family. His favourite part of the CLE was “seeing my kids smiling.”
Genno also enjoyed going on the Slingshot – a ride in which you are strapped in a seat and slung straight up into the air some hundred feet.
He said he had “major butterflies on that ride” and he took his son with him because he did not want to go alone.
Georgette Keno, a young North Spirit Lake First Nation member, was at the CLE for all five days this year. Her favourite part was the food.
“I liked the fries,” she said.
Keno attended the fair with her friend Alyssa and the two went up on stage to participate in the hypnotist show.
“I fell asleep, it felt like I was asleep for five minutes but it was forty-five,” Keno explained with a laugh. She woke up slumped over in her chair.
Keno said she doesn’t remember what happened but when she and her friend left the stage, people in the audience were pointing at them and smiling.
Genno saw a lot of people from his home community who he had not seen for a while, and his kids got airbrush tattoos.
Keno attended with her sister one day of the fair.
She took her niece Andi on a few of the smaller rides, one of which was called Strawberries that the riders could spin around as much as they wanted.
“The other people on the ride were spinning it too much, Andi was getting scared and she got sick,” Keno explained, but all in all she had a good time.
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