Skip to main content

Agassiz’s Corn Culture

Black and white photograph of children in costumes, walking and riding bikes on a street as part of a parade, 1953.

Kids and teens dressed up in costume during the Agassiz Fall Fair parade, 1953.


The Agassiz Agricultural and Horticultural Association was originally founded as the Kent Agricultural and Horticultural Association on November 16, 1899. Since 1901, it has organized the annual Agassiz Fall Fair to showcase the best local agriculture, horticulture, orchard, and livestock efforts.

In 1949, the Agassiz Fall Fair expanded to include a Corn Festival; this tradition has continued every year since. The Agassiz Harrison Board of Trade developed the Corn Festival as a means of marketing the prime local industry. Initially, sweet corn was the focus, but it was soon replaced by field corn as the dairy industry expanded in the District of Kent. In 1952, the Agassiz Fall Fair and Corn Festival were combined into a single event.


Black and white photograph of three men: one man is wearing a suit and the other two are wearing robes. The two men on the right are the corn kings from 1963 and 1964. The man on the left in front of the microphone is the master of ceremonies.

Harold Hicks, 1964 Corn King Lloyd Tranmer, and 1963 Corn King Garet Whorley, 1964.


The Corn Festival crowns Corn Royalty each year. For 58 years a Corn King from the community was selected. The first Corn Queen, Michelle Stuyt, was crowned in 2007. The honour of the title of Corn King/Queen is awarded to a local farmer who produces the best quality and greatest quantity of corn per acre. The Corn King/Queen competition is open to anyone in the community who has a minimum of two acres of field corn. Judging is based on field cleanliness, corn uniformity, corn maturity and efficient nitrogen use.


Colour photograph of a group of people in a wagon pulled by a team of horses. There is a sign on the wagon

Agassiz’s first and only Corn Queen, Michelle Stuyt, on a horse drawn wagon with Victoria Brookes, Alex Charles and Rita Bruneski, 2007.


Each year, an average of 10,000 people attend the Agassiz Fall Fair and Corn Festival. Hundreds of local volunteers come out to support the event which includes:

  • a parade;
  • musicians and dancers;
  • a midway;
  • a corn husking competition;
  • a goat milking contest;
  • an antique tractor pull;
  • a Farmer’s Market;
  • a chicken and corn barbeque; and
  • arts and crafts, painting, needlework, baking, canning, floral, fruit, vegetable, and photography entries in the Agricultural Hall.

The 2018 theme was the “Year of the Corn.” For six years, the BC Association of Agricultural Fairs and Exhibitions has awarded Agassiz the coveted title of “Fair of the Year.”


Black and white image of the prize book for the 114th Agassiz Fall Fair and 70th Corn Festival featuring a sketch of two corn cobs.

114th annual Agassiz Fall Fair and 70th annual Corn Festival Prize Book, 2018.


Corn culture is truly the heritage of Agassiz and the District of Kent. The consistent cooperation of community members has ensured the continued success of our corn crops and dairy herds over the past 130 years. Corn and cows are the lifeblood of our families and will hopefully continue to put food on our tables for centuries to come.