Fall fair season along the rural route was once again a whirlwind of food, fun and friendly competition.
A tradition dating back to the 1800s, fairs have provided the opportunity to experience the fun of sharing the rural life of agriculture. With exhibits, demonstrations, displays, food, midways and more, fairs are a great time to renew acquaintances and make new friends.
If someone told you they were planning an event with entertainment ranging from a talent show, to a demolition derby, including competitions for participants of every age group, whether their interests run to cattle shows, colouring or pie-baking, you’d be excused for questioning whether it could actually be done. Yet it happens across Ontario every year, as the fall fair circuit kicks into high gear.
Local agricultural societies, which run the fairs make sure the events keep evolving to keep up with the times and provide relevant and interesting attractions.
While there is always plenty to see and do at the fair, these homespun events are also very inclusive. You don’t have to own livestock to be involved, as competitions and exhibits are open to all types of skills, from photography to quilting.
The nature of the harvest season agricultural fall fairs has changed since the 1800’s when the harvest ended and farmers came together, to talk about yield and techniques usually set up in the forum of an agricultural society. Many fairs are now summertime events. There were always competitions, resulting from discussions as to best yields, or who had the best bull, all evolving into fall fair competitions, for the best corn relish, cherry pie, or home made-quilt. Today the fall fairs still bring together the farming community and the public with many fun events, as well as the traditional competitions.