December is the month where we all feel a sense of joy and excitement but it is also a time for reflection. The Bayfield Agricultural Society wishes the extended community of Bayfield all the joy and happiness during this Christmas season and the very best for 2022. May you connect with family and friends in a safe and joyous manner and enjoy a sense of sharing and delight.
In reflection the Ag Society feels so grateful for the support it has received for putting on its annual agricultural fair in August. We were thankful that Senator Rob Black, our local, provincial and federal politicians and the Manager of the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies were able to join with us as we celebrated the 165th fair in Bayfield. The community businesses, companies, clubs and individuals were generous in their financial support of the fair. Through a grant we were able to obtain accessible bleachers and sanitization stations to protect our fairgoers and give them a better fair experience. Three people stepped forward to become new Directors and our Secretary position is now filled. Even though Covid has influenced much of what the world is now able to do, the Ag Society felt fortunate that it was able to provide a safe and family-oriented event for the Bayfield community.
A special meeting was called for the new Board this past week where an agreement for a partnership with Kevin Morrison and Pat Foster for running the Sunday Market was confirmed. This exciting change will give the community a new experience every Sunday in Agricultural Park. Kevin and Pat have vendors already booking a spot for this market starting on the Victoria Day weekend. Each week will be a new experience where certain skills like blacksmithing are highlighted. Music might happen to soothe the spirits as booths are explored and possibly you will see local non-profit organizations set up to gain exposure to the crowds. The Board was thrilled to support this new venture which will bring more people into Bayfield to explore and see what the village has to offer. The Sunday Market will be a friendly and fun filled spot to visit.
As we look into 2022, the Board under the leadership of Vicky Culbert has a lot of work ahead of it. It will be looking after a potential fencing project to protect itself from animals, which might get loose during the fair, getting on the streets. Groups have approached the Society about having additional events during the fair. One resident has already shown the group his parade entry for next year which fits the theme perfectly. Additional volunteers are always welcome. If you would like to be a candidate for Director, convenor, committee member and/or volunteer during the fair, contact email@example.com to express your interest. A request for membership can also be made at that address. The membership at its recent AGM thanked Ted Dunn and Don Brodie for their long-term commitment to the Ag Society. Ted had been a Director for about 60 years and Don has easily been a Director over 20 years. As Ted said, “It sort of grows on you.” No one expects our new Directors to commit to that length of term but it does prove the dedication that exists with Bayfield residents to their organizations. The organization wishes them well even though both are still on active committees. It was with sadness that the Society learned of the passing of Don’s wife, Joan. Joan and Don looked after the art and photography section for many years and they hosted the annual wreath making at their farm. She will be missed.
During the celebration of Christmas and New Years, let us remember the front-line workers who have faced so many battles during this pandemic as well as our farmers who have continued producing the food we often take for granted. A very blessed Christmas to all and a Happy New Year.