by Marilyn Snedden With the snow finally disappearing, before we know it ,summer will arrive along with the Almonte Fair from July 17-19. The directors have already been booking entertainment and displays connected to the theme-”Recognizing 100 years of 4-H in Ontario”.
Since the main hall needs major repairs to the roof and walls, a “Save the Ag Hall” fund raising campaign is under way. It is off to a good start with a grant of $13,000 from the FCC Agri-Spirit Fund and corporate sponsors are being approached to increase the amount so the old building can be restored to her former beauty.
Several new innovative projects are being coordinated by Cathy Gayton who brings new energy to our board. She has set up a website –www.nlas.shopregal.ca for the Regal Catalogue Co. where anyone can order from their free catalogue with 30 % of the proceeds going to the “Save the Hall” campaign. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 613 862-3750 to receive a catalogue of over 1000 unique items.
Cathy has received a good response to her ad for a Vendor’s Market on Sunday, June 14 in the main hall with any overflow in the big red barn. She plans a Touch-a-truck event and other activities for children like face painting, a clown , a mascot and music on the grounds to encourage families to come. As well the Almonte Flea Market which opens on May 3 at the lower end of the grounds under the management of Chris Taber, offers more booths.
Cathy and her husband are also organizing a Baseball Tournament at the McGregor Field on Saturday, June 27 with several teams confirmed already. To book a team,please contact Cathy at 613 862-3750.
Another angle that has met with some success is crowdfunding on the internet . Check the gofundme.com/savetheaghall website for updates. Those who like to keep track of all the events can also check facebook almonte fair where you can check the page even if youdon’t subscribe to facebook.
The entertainment committee has booked most of the acts for the fair. The always popular Demo Derby will provide excitement on Friday night . Local favorites The Ryan Brothers with Marty McTiernan ,Brad Munro and Wade Foster entertain on Saturday night at the grandstand. In the Entertainment Tent, Renegade on Friday and the Stool Pigeons on Saturday will provide lots of popular music. On Sunday ,it’s hoped the 4-H clubs will fill the tent with demos,animals,music and whatever they like ,to celebrate the centennial of their organization which will compliment the Heavy Horse Show at the grandstand.
In the main hall,Little Ray’s Reptiles will be back with a new show-which will educate and thrill young and old with some familiar animals but new ones too. Mystic Drumz will be back as well as the popular trampoline demos by Springaction with the McManus family.
Gable Bros.,the midway who bailed us out on short notice last year, will be back with more time to assemble their rides so there should be enough action to keep everyone happy.
The first event for this season is the Almonte Truck and Tractor Pull on Saturday,May 23 beginning at 11 am. Another fundraising event is a Spring Dance on Saturday, June 13 with Mike Fahey, Peter Dawson and A Classic Country Re-Vu at the main hall. Tickets are available in advance at a reduced price from fairboard directors.
The fairboard is part of the Mississippi Mills Festival Consortium which meets under the coordination of Kathryn Stevens. We hope to share joint marketing ,strategic planning and are looking forward to the “Summit” on Saturday, May 2nd. .with a variety of speakers.
Thanks to all the volunteers who looked after the booth at the Pakenham Home Show-especially to Zoe who sold the cupcakes made by Alyssa.We can always use more volunteers and especially someone with bookeeping skills who would be our treasurer -a partly paid and partly volunteer position. For more info and the prize list(soon) check the website-www.almonte fair.com.