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August 10, 2016

 

EVENTS

Farmersville Exhibition 2016 2.jpg

 

From left, daughter Lisa Green Routhier, Tom Quinnel, and Rupe Green (front) share memories at the recent Farmersville Exhibition.  Photo: Sally Smid

 

Farmerville Steam Fair draws visitors to Athens

 

By Sally Smid

The Athens Lions Club’s 37th annual Farmersville Exhibition was unlike most others in that the temperatures were much less “steamy” which could have been part of the reason why gate numbers were up on Saturday, July 16.  That evening it rained a bit which brought on the special attraction of a full rainbow over the fairgrounds.  Allis Chalmers was the featured tractor this year, but there were also the usual vintage tractors, trucks, cars, motorcycles and much more.

To really appreciate the “steam fair” it is important to visit with the owners and operators of this amazing antique equipment.  Rupe Green has become a bit of a legend, being part of the original exhibition planning.  In those days he recalled that in order to proceed it was necessary to have inspections done to make sure that the machinery was safe to operate. Now 94, Rupe is no longer able to be as active as he was with his saw mill or cooking corn with his steam tractor at Athens Cornfest, but his love for the old equipment is still evident.  His daughter, Lisa, is currently working to be licensed to operate such equipment. 

When asked about the future of the Exhibition Rupe commented, “These steam engines are old and we are all old now...Not sure how long it will keep going!” Perhaps the interest of his younger family members is encouraging.  Most of the operators are seniors, but there are spectators who certainly enjoy viewing the displays and appreciate the history involved.  Al McLellan of Franktown was there to exhibit his vintage Ford truck and noted that in the early years of the fair, there was “mostly just antique steam engines and now there is a lot of trucks and cars and more”.  Exhibitors were in attendance from Ontario, Quebec, and the United States as well.

A monument to Ed Byrnes was also unveiled at the Exhibit. Byrnes passed away this year and had been an exhibitor at the fair and president of the Golden Triangle Club.

The craft show inside was very busy again this year as well and co-ordinator Kathryn Hudson noted that participation was very good. 

Peter Vanderlinden, co-chair of the Exhibition along with Bob Croxall, said admissions to the event were up. Surrounded by his grandchildren, it was clear that it is a family event in many ways. Plans are being considered to include more things to attract kids.  While perhaps only seniors remember the days of steam power, there continues to be an interest in the days when such vintage equipment was in use, and Athens continues to be renowned for their annual Steam Fair Exhibition.

 

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Delta_Fair_2016.jpg

 

Atop his red tractor at the Antique Tractor Pull at Delta Fair on Sunday, July 24, Willy van Grunsven of Odessa aims to place 1st in his next pull (75), having placed 3rd (55) and 2nd (65) in his last two pulls of the day, and not wanting to get beat out (again) by his little brother. Shhh! It didn’t happen: Andy van Grunsven of Odessa placed 1st in three pulls: 4701-5700 lb, 5701-6700 lb, 6701-7700 lb. “It’s a great Pull and a great bunch of people!” declared Willy, who has been coming to the Fair for over 20 years.        Photo: Susan Janus                                                                                                 

 

Delta Fair takes the heat

 

By Susan Janus

 

It was extremely hot and sunny weather for the 186th annual Delta Fair, “The People’s Holiday”, dedicated to the memory of Linda Barker, which ran from Thursday, July 21 through to Sunday, July 24.  Around 7,000 folks attended.

Entertainment included the well-known Canadian hard rock band—Honeymoon Suite—of Niagara Falls, Ontario, who performed Saturday evening at the Grandstand, to an eager crowd of a few hundred; and up-and-coming local rock & country band, Rocky High & the Northern Lights, happily scheduled to play Friday at 9:00 p.m.

Offering over 40 rides, games and concessions, the midway, with Delta Fair since 1979, is ever-popular, and as appealing as always with its stunning, rotating night lights. Rides popular on Saturday with Elgin’s Angie Carson & hubby’s young family clan, Adrianna of Brockville, Mya of Elgin and Olivia & Thomas of Prescott were Wacky Worm and Pirate Ship; however they noted disappointment that Fire Ball was not at the Fair.

Old Bastards motorcycle show

Sunday afternoon on the grounds included a Motorcycle Show and Shine by Old Bastards Vintage Motorcycle Club. Vice-President, Lincoln Pearce of Lyn, informed that the club, having originated in was committed to Delta. The non-profit organization boasts it is family-friendly, and proved it: Darby McDonald of Gatineau, whose father gave him a 1970 Triumph for his 30th birthday, was having so much fun as a club member, that his dad, Steve McDonald of Chelsey, rider of a 1983 Yamaha, was enticed to join. Said Steve, the club is full of “good people, raising money for all good causes”. More information on the club can be found online at www.oldbastards.ca.

“The Cafe”

“People love butter tarts!” exclaimed Fair Coffee Break Shop Committee contact, Board Director and butter tart baker, Anne Nichols, who added that eight dozen were sold at the Fair’s fundraising stand, which was located in the Main Exhibition Hall. Homemade pies had been purchased from Delta United Church, and also sold well, with the next concession stand, Dane Sonstenes of Elgin Bowling Lanes, providing ice cream for pie à la mode.

Personal Service Coffee had been provided by Bill Jaquith (Brockville), with Councillor, Jeff Banks, having supplied the milk and cream. Attaining success in its first year, and simply named, “The Cafe”, Anne tossed around the idea of re-naming it “Tart Cafe” for 2017, eventually suggesting “Community Cafe”, since “everyone had a part in it”. More tarts and cheesecake may be on the menu for next year. Dane was happy with sales as, “Everyone loves ice cream when it’s hot outside!”

Organizers noted that the heat negatively impacted Friday’s attendance, while Saturday’s attendance was up, and the Fair’s “traditional rain day” never occurred. Vendor Don Green of Kingston, selling hats, T-shirts and sunglasses with his wife Kathy, and who has been vending at the Fair for 15 years, noted overall weekend sales were down, attributing the difference partly due to the hot weather and partly to the economy and rising costs of food. However, he has full intentions of returning in 2017, in compliment he said, to the accommodating service provided by Fair Concessions Committee contact, Marlaine Hart.

Named “Citizen of the Year” was Betty Penstone of Delta. The “Cheer for a Year” raffle was won by Paul Park of Delta. Delta Fair is hosted by Delta Agricultural Society.

 

 

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