The initial highlight of this year’s fair was learning that there were 160 more entries this year than last year. That total was strong thanks to regular exhibitors like Helen Turner at 98 years of age who entered 9 exhibits.
It was wonderful catching the aroma of apple wood smoking ribs that fed over 500 people on Friday night. People were sampling or eating racks of ribs right up to 9 pm. although the vendors were sold out at 8:30. The streets were clogged around the arena as people came for the ribs and music.
It was a delight presenting the President’s Award to Jean Dunn for her longtime commitment to being Homecraft President. The second award was for exceptional volunteering by Don Brodie. Both individuals are excellent and long-time supporters of the Bayfield Fair.
While wandering the fairgrounds early, I met two young lads leading their sheep preparing for the 4-H Sheep Show. I asked if I could get a picture of them with their sheep and you could see their pride that someone also cared as much as they did about their sheep
Riding a jeep which was a convertible in the rain along a parade route was a new experience. Many children verbally wondered why we were riding without the tops up.
A memorable moment was being in the arena and in the distance the sound of the pipes and drums could be heard. The sound increased quickly and everyone noticed the OPP Pipes and Drums band came right into the arena. They turned down the first aisle, manoeuvered without slowing through the two centre aisles and majestically marched the final aisle while many observers finally realized what was happening and took their pictures. The sound was spectacular and quite moving even withour Scottish blood coursing through your veins. The pipe major just spontaneously decided to bring the music where the people were in the shelter of the arena.
All other entertainment was brought into the arena and crowds gathered near each performer. Craig Douglas, our juggler, had every age group fully entranced by his performance. Young children almost took the limelight away as they sat on his equipment to have a closer seat to the action. Juggling and cutting an apple in the process was amazing.
About 80 people watched a fire act performance at the front of the arena Saturday evening. As the performer had fire dancing all around him, cars slowed and stopped to see what was happening. It was a great way to conclude a day at the fair.
It was impressive to see the tent filled for the interdenominational church service. The message of the influence of helping even one person through the foodgrains program was powerful.
Finally the number of people who said they loved the fair will outweigh the influence of rain. We gained over the three days several people who want to be part of the fair organization. After we closely examine the questionnaires that were filled in during the fair and examine the success of each element of the fair, we can approach “Blue Jeans and Machines” in 2015 with confidence.