With the 2020 Kinglake Country Fair coming up on 22 March, KHS members have been reminiscing about the days of the original Fair, the first of which was held in October 1978, organised by a small committee of interested persons from a couple of community groups. It was declared a great success and became a annual event.
For the first five years, the Fair was held on the Trust Reserve grounds between the RSL Hall and the Kinglake Public Hall. The Goulburn River Folk Band performed on the back of local farm truck, competitors in the 'King of the Mountain' race, carrying 45kg potato bags, started at the hotel and ended at the Fair, and local groups held stalls selling all sorts of food and wares. There were races and folk-dancing for children and a $50 prize for best decorated stall in the 'Pioneering Days' theme. Kinglake's potato-growing industry was featured with a potato peeling competition and a prize for the largest 'spud'.
For those five years, the Fair festivities included dances held on the night before in the two halls, a 'youth' disco in the RSL hall and 'old time' dancing in the Kinglake hall. However, by 1984, the Fair had outgrown the limited space at the Trust Reserve and the decision was made to move to the oval at the Memorial Reserve. The theme for that year was the 'Roaring Twenties' so costumes and stalls decorations were designed to suit. The 'King of the Mountain' race route became a circuit of the oval and Ross White achieved his third successive win. The last event of the day was the annual Tug of War, supervised by Steve Griffiths, and amid much animated cheering, the Netball team won the Women's event and the Kinglake Primary School gents won the Men's.
1984 Promotional Advert - Kinglake Country Fair