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The fair works as an unofficial kick off to summer in Western Manitoba

Kate McClure and Daphne Tannas of Hamiota, Man., ride the Ring of Fire midway ride during the opening night of the Manitoba Summer Fair in Brandon on June 8.Photography by Tim Smith/The Globe and Mail

The Manitoba Summer Fair returned to Brandon last week after a two-year hiatus owing to the pandemic.

An institution in the Wheat City since 1882, the fair comes to Brandon early in the season so that the midway can move onto bigger cities such as Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton for the summer.

After a brutally long winter, the fair works as an unofficial kick off to summer in Western Manitoba. This year’s iteration was especially poignant, serving as a big event for many people who were still feeling cooped up after dealing with pandemic-related restrictions for so long.

Crowds pack the midway at the Manitoba Summer Fair in Brandon on June 11.

Cherie, Abibat and Naomi take selfies together while exploring the midway on June 10.

Fair-goers ride the Himalaya midway ride for the first time after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jordan McGregor and Jillia Meggison embrace while waiting in line for the bumper cars during a busy evening at the fair.

Annette Whitehawk, Alison Brazeau and Cherilyn Brazeau share a laugh while taking in the sights and sounds of the Manitoba Summer Fair on opening night.

Olga Gasuliak takes a video of her eight-year-old daughter Erika, as she tries to hold on to the bar for a full two minutes to win the Hang Time midway game.

Fair-goers ride the Swings carnival ride at sunset.

Macy Snyder rides the Swing Ride with friends.

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