vancouver island exhibitionThe Vancouver Island Exhibition (VIEx) is celebrating 123 years of great family fun, education, and community excitement. That’s right… 123 years! It’s the biggest and oldest event in Nanaimo!

Think about British Columbia in the summer sunshine and Nanaimo is pretty much the quintessential image. Huge trees, mountain views, green parks, pretty homes, ocean water, boats, ferries, a carnival full of rides and games… OMG, we can’t wait!

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missing child at carnivalEvery year, at every fair, kids get separated from their parents. It’s quite common. The good news is that they always get found and reunited.

But the feeling of separation is terrifying for both the parent and the child.

Make sure you enjoy a fun-filled day of adventure at the carnival by being fully prepared and informed should one of your kids become separated from you. A fairground is big, crowded place and even a few moments of being separated can cause immense anxiety.

Fortunately, fairs have safeguards in place for reuniting lost children with their families. In many cases, police and even surveillance cameras help a great deal.

Still, it’s important to be safe and have your own plan for preventing your child being lost at the fair and for reuniting quickly if it happens.

What to Do When Your Child is Missing

  • First, stay calm so you can think. Kids don’t usually stray too far.
  • Do a quick search of the immediate area at child’s eye height. Notice anything that may have caught your child’s attention – an ice cream or cotton candy truck, a game with giant stuffed animals, a ride, etc.
  • Call out your child’s name as you scan and search.
  • Keep the rest of your group together.
  • Do not wander off yourself. If everyone goes in different directions, everyone gets lost.
  • Inform the nearest fair employee. All workers are instructed on what to do in cases of separated children.

In BC… Look for the Turquoise Shirts!

If you are at a BC fair where Shooting Star Amusements provides the midway rides and games, our employees are easily identifiable by the bright turquoise shirts they wear. All of them know the procedure to follow when a child is lost.

If they find a lost child, they will take him/her to the ticket booths.

Great Tips to Be Prepared

Just before you leave for the fair, take a family photo on your cellphone. Make sure it clearly shows your children and what they are wearing. This will provide officials with much better information than a verbal description.

When you get there, show your children these things:

  • Designate a meeting point. Pick a spot easily visible from everywhere in the park to be your family’s meeting place. The Ferris Wheel is a great example. Tell people that they should go there and wait if they get separated.
  • Help Center and Lost Persons Booth. Tell your children they can go here if they are lost and if it’s closer than the meeting point.
  • Important people. Point out to your child who to go to if they get separated: fair staff, police, security, etc. (Show your kid the Shooting Star turquoise shirts.)

Young Kids (7 years old and under)

  • Pin a note to your child’s clothing. Written on it should be their first and last name, your name, and your mobile number.
  • Dress them in bright colors. Neons and fluorescents are best.
  • Hold your child’s hand when walking at a pace that is comfortable for the young one.
  • Place very small children in strollers and tie an identifying ribbon on the stroller. Many strollers look alike.

Older Kids (8 years and up)

  • If your child has a phone, program it with all the contact numbers they will need.
  • Use a buddy system. Have them go in pairs to anywhere they might be starting to go independently– to the bathroom, on rides, etc.
  • Have a plan and designated meeting place.
  • Teach them about stranger danger. Be cautious with grown-ups asking for help, never approach a strange car, yell loudly if a stranger tries to get them to go somewhere, etc.

Use these tips, have a plan, and look for the turquoise shirts of friendly Shooting Star employees. Then you will be sure to have a successful and enjoyable day at any of BC’s spring, summer and fall fairs

See you there!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Shooting Star Amusements and a clickable link back to this page.

Penticton peach festivalSurrounded by forested ridges, mountain lakes, breathtaking views, and orchards and wineries galore, Penticton, BC, is a stunning location and tourist magnet. Even with so many attractions, there’s an even better reason to visit Penticton this summer… the 5-day entertainment bonanza known as the Penticton Peach Festival.

Peachfest 2017 is the place to be in the Okanagan Valley from August 9th to 13th.

And best of all, admission is FREE!

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abbotsford agrifairThe Abbotsford Agrifair is more than “the best little country fair on Earth”. It’s Abbotsford’s only event offering such a huge variety of entertainment and education in one location over three days – August 4th to 6th, 2017.

The Canada 150 celebrations are far from over in this wonderful city that is the jewel of the Fraser Valley and only an hour’s drive from downtown Vancouver. Agrifair will once again bridge the gap from city to country and from generation to generation.

All for a very affordable price!

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maple ridge pitt meadows country fest There is nothing like a good old country fair to bring a community together, have loads of fun, and learn a thing or two!

So saddle up! Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows in BC’s Lower Mainland are putting on their annual two-day agricultural shindig on July 29th and 30th 2017. Just like living in the two cities, the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Country Fest is the perfect combination of the best of rural and urban living.

Head for the Albion Fairgrounds in Maple Ridge. Best of all… admission is FREE and you can park for just a TOONIE!

Country Fest – Loved for Over 100 Years!

For 114 years, people from all over the Lower Mainland have been flocking to the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Country Fest to be amazed, educated and entertained by the best of the best in farming – from animal exhibitions of all sorts to hilarious races, competitions, and sheep shearing demos. Read More »

billy barker daysCalling all fun-in-the-sun seekers in BC’s Cariboo District and beyond! Quesnel’s famous annual Billy Barker Days festival is on again from July 13-16, 2017. If you’re in Prince George, Barkerville, Williams Lake and other parts of the Cariboo, don’t miss these four days of non-stop entertainment, action, fun and excitement.

Billy Barker Days – Great Community and Family Fun!

Billy Barker Days is an annual, family-oriented celebration of the Quesnel community, the Cariboo district, and BC’s rich mining history. Billy Barker is a legend in these parts. He was the first to strike big gold in the Cariboo back in the 1800s, spawning the Gold Rush, and he founded the town of Barkerville.
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bc spring/summer carnival

At the time of writing this, there’s no more waiting for BC’s spring and summer carnival season to begin. But you may have to wait in line for some of Shooting Star’s awesome amusement rides.

When lining up, we urge you to PLEASE observe some rules of courtesy and safety. We have seen an alarming uptick in poor line behaviour, particularly line cutting, so we’re offering this guide in the hope that everyone can have a controversy-free day at one of our carnivals.

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canada day surrey

Start planning for the party of the year! Because Surrey, BC, is the place to be July 1st 2017 for Canada’s 150th birthday! It’s the biggest and best Canada Day celebration in all of western Canada.

All of us at Shooting Star Amusements are immensely proud of this great country and grateful for the opportunities it has provided. So we are pumped to once again bring our midway fun to Canada Day in Surrey and share the fun with everyone.

Head for the Cloverdale Millennium Amphitheatre Park, right next to the Cloverdale Fairgrounds, for a jam-packed day of rides, food, amusements, music, and fireworks!

By the way… admission is FREE!

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point grey fiesta

A review on Facebook reads: “Best west side celebration there is. A truly neighbourhood event, it’s always wonderful to connect with others in the area. There is a ton of fun to be had!”

That sums up the Point Grey Fiesta perfectly.

If you’re anywhere in or near the Vancouver area, head to the 2017 Point Grey Fiesta from Friday June 16th through Sunday June 18th.

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Lumby Days 2017

Want to take part in one of the best community celebrations of Canada’s 150th birthday in one of the nation’s most beautiful spots? Then come to Lumby, BC, from Friday June 9th through Sunday June 11th, 2017!

Just 25km east of Vernon, nestled in the stunning Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, the friendly, family-oriented town of Lumby has an annual fair that’s renowned far and wide. It’s called Lumby Days.

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