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August 2, 2017


 

EVENTS

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(L-R) Laura Brownson was named Delta Fair’s 2017 Ambassador and Cassandra Pyne was named as runner up. Submitted photo.

 

Midway, exhibits, grandstand shows and more at 187th Delta Fair

 

By Sally Smid

 This year Delta Fair celebrated its 187th anniversary, making it even older than Canada and one of the oldest and most established fairs in Ontario. The sun came out just in time for the fair and things began to dry up after the recent flooding but organizers still had some challenges dealing with mud. Spokesperson William Morris explained that work for this edition of the fair already began after last year’s event.  “Volunteers are really the heart of the Fair,” he remarked. “There are so many jobs to do and we are always looking for help.” Organizers are encouraged to see that some younger volunteers are coming on board.  He is amazed at how the Fair’s reputation has spread over the years.  “Delta Fair brings out the child in everyone,” he remarks.  “Who could forget that 1st prize school ribbon awarded, showing your prize calf or being part of the Junior King and Queen Contest?”  

There is always lots for the kids including the World’s Finest Shows Midway where you can ride all day for one price as well as Animal Land, Rock the Arts Puppet Show, Rhynestone Magic Show, and a children’s Pedal Tractor Pull. Of course there was a wide variety of food vendors as well.

Thursday’s Opening Ceremonies included the naming of Florence Pratt as the Delta Citizen of the Year, chosen as a result of her tireless commitment to many local organizations. She was described as good-hearted, caring and always up for a challenge, returning to school at the age of 75. Jack Young received the Youth Award for Excellence from the Canadian Legion and was described as reliable, mature, hardworking, and having great character and integrity beyond his age.  He has served as a volunteer in a variety of capacities.  Laura Brownson of Toledo was named as the 2017 Delta Fair Ambassador.

The Grandstand entertainment was again one of the highlights and the shows  included young fiddler and step dancer Jessica Wedden followed by Jimmy Flynn and Yuk Yuk's Comedy Tours. Friday featured the Irish Roots, an Automobile Thrill Show, and local band Rocky High and the Northern Lights. Entertainment for Saturday featured a tribute to Elvis, country singer Tianna Woods as well as a tribute to AC/DC. The Grand Jook closed out the Grandstand shows on Sunday. 

This year’s theme was "Experience the Difference at a Country Fair." which was hoped to be more generic and inclusive for all exhibitors. The Main Hall featured the winners of some 1200 school entries, as well as 4H, home crafts, agricultural projects, and many other categories. For those interested in animals, there was the Leeds 4-H Sheep, Dairy and Goat Clubs and more. There was also a baby show and the annual “lawn mower races”.

As Morris remarked, “At Delta Fair there is something for everyone!”

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Farmersville Steam Fair 2017 2.jpg

 

(L-R) Exhibitor Curtis Graham poses with his cousin Brian Earle who takes a nostalgic moment sitting aboard his great grandfather’s 1937 Cockshutt tractor. Photo: Sally Smid

 

Farmersville exhibition offers a look at our past via vintage machinery

                                                            

By Sally Smid

Tom Quinnell of Huntington, Quebec blew the traditional noon whistle on his 1911 steam engine and as it turned out, his was the only steam engine at this year’s 38th edition of the Athens Lions Club’s Farmersville Exhibition.

Regardless, it seems that fans of the vintage equipment, live music, and area vendors as well as tractor pull and horse drawing competitions never tire of this annual event.

This year’s Exhibition, which took place from July 14-16, was somewhat impacted by days of rain which created problems for campers and exhibitors on the Centre 76 Grounds north of Athens. However, that could not dampen the spirits of seasoned Steam Fair enthusiasts who look forward especially to networking with old acquaintances at events like the well attended Shriners’ Breakfast or Festive Gardens. 

Live music was provided by R & B Country Music and County Road 5. Again a large variety of vintage trucks, tractors, cars and machinery were on display. Some faithful attendees do have concerns about interest continuing with the upcoming generations.  Garry Mack of Odessa was thrilled to have his grandson Garrison displaying his 1935 BM Mack Hauler. “These younger ones need to be encouraged,” he commented. 

It was apparent that many displayers were quite “vintage” themselves.  Legendary Steam equipment owner Rupe Green was again on site to reconnect with old friends.  Local farmer Brian Earl reconnected with a 1937 Cockshutt tractor that was being displayed by his cousin Curtis Graham of Newmarket.  Sitting on the vintage tractor that had been restored in 1977, he explained that it had once been owned by his great grandfather. A popular feature of the Exhibition again this year was a portable saw mill that was operated by Floyd Dixon and Katrina DeVries of North Augusta.  The equipment was powered by an Oliver tractor which was featured at this year’s Exhibition.  Of course there were lots of vendors again and the Masons’ Beef on a Bun is always a favourite. The rink space again provided a space for vendors to exhibit their wares which included a variety of crafts and displays.  This year a kids’ activity area was also added. Lions members are feeling encouraged by the support that the community has provided in helping make the annual event a success. With new Lion members and a variety of other additional fundraisers, this benevolent group is feeling ready to move forward in the local community.

 

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