This year’s Almonte Fair has come and gone leaving good memories for many families. The new Carter Shows Midway lived up to their billing, providing thrills for all ages .The focus on entertainment for young families worked, with shows by professionals such as Team T & J, Spin Cycle and Little Ray’s Reptiles joined by a visit from a Princess and Elsa for “Frozen”.
The Ag Ed Tent, filled with animals such as Jacob Sheep, a Jersey cow and Clydesdale horses, ducks and geese was busy all weekend. Matthew Wellman clipped a large number of Garth Greene’s sheep to the enjoyment of the crowd. Dairy Educators Sherry Patterson and Jane Henry used an extensive display of dairy products to explain how milk is processed into the products on the grocery shelf. The corn play box, borrowed from Middleville Fair, provided hours of playtime.
The Demo Derby wasn’t dampened by the rain and the Lawn Tractor Pull and Heavy Horse Show had beautiful weather on the other 2 days. The light horses,dairy, beef, sheep and pigeon shows attracted a good audience in various venues.
The Official Opening on Friday night featured the winners of the “ Almonte’s Got Talent” contest -Taylor Walters, Austin Simpson and Nicolas Marquis of “No Strings Attached”. Then former President Marion Timmins reviewing the fair history, giving her opinions on the pros and cons of the changes over the years. The Senstar Company was recognized for the wonderful donation of their volunteers to renovate the grandstand last month.
Moving all exhibits to the lower level of the main hall was a popular move so everyone could view the entries without enduring the heat upstairs,but everyone missed the pies from the church ladies so a food vendor is top of the list for next year.
The wider variety of music met mixed reviews but the Entertainment Tent was filled both nights and the Sunday afternoon crowd was larger than other years. Christian Poulsen booked several bands new to our area to provide “Music on the Mississippi” but Almonte teens didn’t seem ready yet for the Electro Teen Dance in the Big Red Barn.
The directors were run off their feet-especially Cathy Gayton who was on the run checking out vendors,organizing the Snack Shack and organizing the Kids Zone among other duties. Sandra McManus and her spinners spent many hours in the hall, keeping an eye on exhibits and spinning away.
President Glen Syme ,Vice President Debbie Brydges were working behind the scenes to keep events on track. Alyssa Toshack and Vi Pilote were the main people handling finances and answering the variety of questions one receives from the midway,the vendors, the exhibitors and the general public.
The NLAS Luck of the Draw was won by Scott Cameron, Allan Wilkinson and Nonie Toner.
The Civitans did a wonderful job on the gates and this year a crew from Puppets Up entertained at the front gate. All in all, a great cooperative effort by directors of the fair and other local groups to produce an event well attended and quite memorable so thanks to everyone who volunteered their time.
Now the planning begins for next year with an Appreciation Pot Luck evening on Wednesday,July 27 at 6:30 in the Main Hall when everyone can offer suggestions for improvements. Committee members are welcome to come and share new ideas. See you there.