In just a few days trucks pulling trailers of horses, cattle and sheep, transports laden with midway equipment, as well as cars loaded with flowers, vegetables, handcrafts, baked goods and children’s crafts will descend on Bayfield in Agricultural Park. This annual fair is a celebration of rural life and has been a part of the Bayfield scene for 162 years. Fairs are a community festival where friendly competition occurs whether it is with animals or a variety of indoor classes; it is a source of a variety of ever changing entertainment: and a chance to see some of the agricultural industry whether it is getting close to some of the animals, the machines, or products from the farm.
This year the Bayfield Community Fair runs from August 17 – 19. Townsend’s Amusements will have a midway available throughout the weekend and offers special rates on Saturday after 5 p.m. and all day Sunday. The farm animal display will be open every day and is always a popular spot for all ages. A modern tractor will be available to imagine driving through the fields. The indoor displays which take up the bulk of the arena are filled with exhibits highlighting the talent, creativity, and gardeners in the community. The arena also has an area where the young people can play in the grain with some farm toys. A train will be making regular circuits around the grounds carrying kids of all ages.
Friday night people can have their hunger satisfied with a ribs meal prepared by Pineridge and enjoy music on the RBC stage by Graham Bedard. Youth compete at the Rise2Fame talent competition for the chance to compete at the Western Fair. Several previous winners have done very well in London. The beer gardens are available for a relaxing night before it climaxes with fireworks.
Saturday begins with a light horse show while many congregate along the main street of Bayfield for the parade at 11. The final float this year will feature an entertainer who will perform later in the day in the arena and also in the tent area. The fairgrounds have a host of activities taking place in every corner including two sheep herding demonstrations, bubbleology performances, a dunk tank, a Friesian horse show, the 4-H dairy and sheep competitions, pig demonstrations, a mini tractor pull, and a Discovery Tent. The day concludes with 21 Gun Salute which is an AC/DC tribute band renowned for their performance.
On Sunday people gather under the tent for a community church service. The heavy horses and miniature horses compete in the two show rings throughout the day. The demonstrations of sheep herding and the Discovery Tent will again be held in the afternoon. A jamboree will be held in the air conditioned community centre while the watermelon competition will be visible near the tent.
The Homecraft President, Jean Dunn, who coordinates all the indoor exhibits, states, “Meet old and new friends over coffee and pie.” Fairs are a community event for mingling with your neighbours and it is the opportunity to bring your many generations of family to a gathering that has something for all ages. Further information can be obtained from the website BayfieldFair.ca.