Candy apples, picnic tables and cows: A by-the-numbers count of all things IPE | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Candy apples, picnic tables and cows: A by-the-numbers count of all things IPE

September 03, 2015 - 9:00 PM

ARMSTRONG - Ever wondered such things as how many volunteer hours go into the Armstrong fair, or how many mini-donuts get churned out during it? We’ve got the answers to your burning questions below.

The numbers behind the five-day Interior Provincial Exhibition truly are staggering. A tremendous number of volunteers, animals and vendors make the fair what it is. 


IPE general manager Bryan Burns told us a whopping 450 volunteers are involved at various times throughout the year. All in all, their hard work equates to about 11,000 hours of volunteer time.

The fair also employs about 125 people including ticket takers and security for the duration of the fair.


Get your shop on with over 220 vendors. Everything from boats to sunglasses to cowboy hats await your wallet. 

If all the walking and shopping has you famished, there are over 33 food vendors on hand to satisfy any culinary craving.

Speaking of food vendors, have you ever wondered how many lemons those bright yellow lemonade stands go through? One booth told us a busy day could demand the squeezing of hundreds of lemons.

What about candy apples, you ask? The staff at one stand (there are several) said they can go through some 880 candy apples in a day.

And then of course, those irresistible mini donuts. The folks at Uncle Buck’s tell us they go through a lot of them — some 50,000 over the course of the fair, to be exact. And again, it's just one of several mini donut stands interspersed throughout the fair.

The folks at Uncle Buck's go through tens of thousands of mini-donuts during fair time.
The folks at Uncle Buck's go through tens of thousands of mini-donuts during fair time.


It’s not hard to get your cute and fuzzy fix at the fair. There are literally barn-loads of animals to look at, including:

 A few hundred cows

Over 50 goats

Over 30 sheep

Including one bah-bah-blue sheep

Dozens of pigs

And a few hundred fowl


This year, the fair is boasting a massive number of exhibitors in its 19 divisions, which include everything from vegetables, to sewing, to dairy cattle. This year's number of exhibitors is  2079,  just four off from the 2009 record. Those exhibitors are responsible for over 7100 individual entries of pies, canning, photography, and more. Check it out, the North Okanagan has got talent.


With its barns, corrals and arenas, the Armstrong fairgrounds provide the ideal setting for the IPE, but organizers still need to bring in a number of things to pull off the event.

Like, picnic tables. General manager Bryan Burns says they move in over 200 of them for the fair.

And, of course, porta-potties. The fairgrounds have numerous bathrooms on site, but an additional 40 to 50 portable washrooms are brought in to make sure there’s no shortage of places to go. That’s important when you have between 140,000 to 160,000 people walking through the gates during fair time.

Let us know your burning questions about the Armstrong IPE and we'll try to find the answers. If we can, we'll add them to this story. Email questions to or post them in the comments. 

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2015

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