Reflections and highlights after the 160th fair seen through the eyes of a Director
The smell of the barbecues aflame always get taste buds wanting whatever is cooking. The ribs and corn were popular and added a wonderful spirit of excitement right at the beginning of the fair.The dignitary competition brought out the competitive spirit among Ben Lobb, MP and Lisa Thompson, MPP. In the end even with many comments being thrown to add pressure while completing tasks of tying a bag, sewing a button, and peeling an apple, Lisa Thompson came out victorious by one second over Ben Lobb. Elaine Rennie, the president of the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies (OAAS) came third.
It is amazing how after a full summer of drought, the fair could be rained on every day. Wild thunderstorms rolled in just before our scheduled fireworks, gentle rain fell during the Willcox performance and when people were leaving the skies opened their floodgates, and on Sunday a light rain also ended the fair somewhat early.
The fireworks were absolutely spectacular and made more special with lightning flashing in the distance behind the fireworks. This occurred just after clearing the tent area because of the lightning all around.
It is a treat to see so many types of horses over the span of two days. There are miniature, light, Friesian, and heavy horses. As well the King Lyn Precision Team demonstrated horsemanship with the routines they did with music.
Zach Wells amazed many people as he used his unicycle to travel all around the fair grounds to try some magic tricks.
The exhibits always amaze. With the dry weather there were still reasonably sized vegetables and flowers on display. Surprisingly some of the sections had increased numbers of exhibits.
The inflatables were a hit for many ages. The bouncy castle made many of the little ones emerge with red faces as they expended a lot of energy bouncing and running. A secret meeting of several Directors took place when the inflatables were being taken away. The climbing tower was left up and President Jentje took the lead in going up to the very top. He was followed by other Directors of varying ages and one Director’s father was coerced in taking the climb. Everyone was successful; the return to the base was not particularly graceful for many.
What a crowd developed for the Wilcox concert. The music certainly appealed to a large number of people and they appreciated being able to hear them in Bayfield.
The reading by Gil Garrett was riveting. His presentation of a few of the sections from Blyth’s play The Last Donnelly Standing captured everyone’s imagination of life back in early Lucan’s history. Being able to take the roles of several characters is a challenge and happened effortlessly.
The children’s games were some old fashioned activities for the children. On Sunday one very young girl stole the show when she decided that trying to catch ducks in a pool wasn’t interesting so she climbed into the tiny pool and proceeded to splash away contentedly.
The discovery tent was very popular and many found that discovering new things can be lots of fun.
The 160th fair is now a memory but these twelve events do stand out as memorable.