Thrills and Excitement for People of All Ages

Midway rides, entertainment, fireworks and much more for five days in August.

Top notch entertainment, wild rides, and the best corn dogs and elephant ears for miles around.  It can all be found at The CLE Family Fair, which runs annual during the second week of August at the Canadian Lakehead Exhibition (CLE) in Thunder Bay.

This is the 127th year for the annual fair, which runs Wednesday August 9 to Sunday August 13. It is the single largest annual event in Northwest Ontario, drawing over 60,000 visitors annually. If you are planning to visit Thunder Bay for the Fair, call ahead to book your accommodations.

Midway & Entertainment, Pure Summer Fun

CLE Night

Nightly entertainment and the trill of the Midway

There is nightly entertainment on the main stage with a number of performing acts each night from 4 pm to 10 pm. The daily entertainment lineup features three tribute bands peforming Garth Brooks Friday, CCR on Saturday and the Eagles on Sunday.  And yes, still around for the fireworks show Sunday night to wrap up the 126th edition of the fair.

For thrill seekers, take a ride on the midway of Select Shows.   In addition to traditional favourites like the Tilt-A-Whirl, Select Shows is bringing back the Ring of Fire that takes passengers on a 60-foot tall 360-degree looping roller coaster.  If you don't have the stomach for those rides, you can take a ride through the Mystery Mansion haunted house, or try your luck at the many games of chance. 

Of course, the Family Fair will also feature plenty of kiddie rides and the ever popular Kids World indoor amusement centre.  This year Kids World will feature hands on activities from Science North, a reptile display and hourly entertainment.  Best of all it's included in the price of admission.

Exhibits, Displays and Great Food

CLE petting sheep

Farms animals are always a popular exhbit for kids

Step inside the Dorothy Dove Building for a real old fashioned country fair experience with the Creative Arts exhibits.  This is where you'll see the lovingly hand stitched quilts like grandma used to make, a wide array of pottery, art, models and of course candy, preserves and baking like award winning blueberry pies.

If that gets your appetite fired up, you won't be able to resist the local and travelling concession booths that sell everything from ethnic cuisine to carnival staples like corn dogs and elephant ears. 

Find out the secret to some of Thunder Bay's best restaurants by dropping by the Cooking Demonstrations taking place several times each day.  Stay long enough and you'll even get to sample some of the best food in the city!  Check the schedule for demo times and arrive early to claim a seat for this popular feature of The Family Fair.

Affordable Tickets

The Family Fair is affordable, too.  Discounted advance tickets go on sale July 6th through to August 8 at Metro grocery stores in Thunder Bay, offering up to half price off gate admission and ride tickets.  And if you live in the region of Northwest Ontario, discount tickets are also avaialble at locations in Atikokan, Sioux Lookout, Marathon, Terrace Bay, Geradlton and Nipigon. During the fair, there's also a pay-one-price deal for anyone catching a movie at Silver City which is located on the CLE grounds: your movie ticket also includes admission to the fair! 

For more information on Thunder Bay' summer fair, visit the CLE website, email or call (807) 622-6473

About Richard Boon

Richard Boon is a Thunder Bay native who spends much of his spare time hiking and doing nature photography.  He is a past member and hike leader with the Thunder Bay Hiking Association and a former broadcaster..

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