It’s fair time again, and fall fairs hold a really special place in my heart. I remember when I was a kid, my mom, sister and I would enter the local exhibition for our city- the Central Canada Exhibition. It was the second-longest running exhibition in Ontario and we loved entering everything- baking, crafts, you name it!
And the prices to enter were always VERY reasonable- free for junior entries (which I was when I entered) and I think .50 cents or 1.00 per adult entry. And you won big nice red rosettes for first place, and I think $5 in prize money as well?
Yes, some very fond memories. The older ladies who ran the fair loved seeing us every year and encouraged us to keep entering. It’s people like them who kept the fair running every year like clockwork. So we did enter, until I grew up and moved away.
Sadly, the fair no longer runs. Can you believe it? It was held for so long, and then the city decided to shut it down. Now my hometown no longer has any agricultural fall fairs, and frankly, no agricultural roots to feel close to.
That’s why my adopted hometown is now so special to me- they have a VERY strong fall fair, and extremely competitive categories. It’s not surprising to see 100 entries in vegetables alone, if not more!
I am a little more selective in what I enter now vs. when I was a kid- because I can’t compete with the pro bakers and crafters that enter here! It’s wild! I’m glad to see it, and so glad they keep holding it and that it is SO competitive and so popular. It is a major highlight of my (end of) summer and something I look forward to each year.I also like going to cheer on the kids from the barn who go to compete (there’s no way I would take Oats- he doesn’t play nice in hack classes haha).
It reminds me of my childhood, and it brings me closer to the agricultural roots of my being. Visit the Saanich Fair, and taste a bit of farm life just for a day.