LONDON, ONT. -- The first ever virtual Western Fair is now underway, as organizers try to keep the fair’s spirit alive through a combination of augmented reality (AR) and virtual experiences designed to educate and entertain from Sept. 11 to 20.

“Six weeks before the start date, we partnered with Exar Studios for the virtual reality. Simply felt, we wanted to try and keep the spirit alive. We put together 10 days of content, and tried to bring as many of the traditional fair elements to people as we could, that would translate virtually and we’re pretty happy with what we’ve got,” said Western Fair’s Director of Sales, Marketing and Communications Greg Blanchard.

Blanchard says one component of the fair that they knew could have some physical aspect to it, was going to be the food.

“We thought, let’s bring fair food to the people. Our Food and Beverage team put their heads together and came up with a wonderful offering called the Fair Food Box, featuring your favourite Fair treats.”

Executive Head Chef Michael Moore says through a collective effort, they were able to connect with local vendors from the Western Fair Market, and create an assortment of goodies to keep the tradition of the fair alive.

“They’ve gone over really well. Everyone has been really happy with them. There’s fudge, caramel, candy-coated popcorn, funnel cakes, candy apples, etc.,” says Moore. “We’re making chocolate-covered bacon, something I played around with asa joke, and then I brought it here and everyone loved it."

Even though a lot of the business units are currently closed, Blanchard says the food and beverage unit is one of their busiest departments.

“The Fair Food Box is just one aspect. We also started curbside pick up, like ribs and full family meals that people can pick up on-site and through a food delivery app. We are trying to still serve the community and keep making great food.”

A Taste Of The Fair is happening as part of Park It At The Market Wednesday evening from 4:30 8:30 p.m. A variety of food vendors will be on site including the Western Fair ‘Graze N Go’ food mobile which will feature the winning selection from the Will It Deep Fry?

The Fair Food Box can be ordered online here