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Ameliasburgh abuzz with bee-friendly fair theme

Story and photos by Sharon Harrison
Ameliasburgh’s ‘Country Fair for All’ spanned two days this weekend under the theme “Flight of the Bumblebee”.

Many parade participants, complete with decorated floats and costumes centred around the bee theme, gathered at Kente Public School before they paraded along County Road 19 to the Roblin Lake Fairgrounds.

With a focus on bee health in the community, the parade was abuzz with decorated bicycles and trikes, ATVs, tractors, horses and riders. Yellow and black bee-themed costumes involved wings and co-ordinating head attire. A few animals didn’t escape dress-up either, as several dogs and a goat were also seen suitably bee-attired.

Present for the opening ceremonies were Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson, Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith, and Ameliasburgh councillors Bill McMahon and Andreas Bolik.

Jessica Bell sang the national anthem in both English and French. Kaitlyn Bell, chair of the fair board, announced parade winners for best decorated bike, horses and riders, cars and trucks, ATVs and tractors. The best float was awarded to Kente Public School.

Bell noted this was her first year as chair.

“I had a lot to learn, but the fair board basically ran itself to put this on,” she said. “We had volunteers come out, and we have all of you here today to make it a success.”

MPP Todd Smith said it is always great to be in Ameliasburgh on a September day, and thanked the volunteers and the fire department for doing such a great job every year.

“It’s great to see some young people keeping this fair alive,” added Smith, saying it was important to get the next generation involved and to ensure the fair lives on for many years to come.

Mayor Ferguson noted there is something magical, and special, about fall fairs.

“It’s an opportunity for the community to gather, for friends to gather, neighbours to gather to show off stuff they’ve created; to show what they’ve grown and to take home bragging rights in the form of ribbons or commendations of some sort.”

Ferguson said he enjoyed walking through the exhibits in the Blue Building, jammed with exhibits, produce and the many things that contributed to making the community fair a success.

“Thirty-seven years is a long time to meet annually and put this gathering together, and I congratulate you for bringing new blood and enthusiasm into it,” said Ferguson, adding how volunteers and volunteerism were crucial and the backbone of so many activities in Prince Edward County.

“Without volunteers, we would be in extremely poor shape,” he said.

With that in mind, he and councillor McMahon presented Geraldine Demierre a certificate of recognition in congratulations for her contributions to the community over 20 years on the recreation committee.

Geraldine Demierre received a certificate of recognition for her volunteerism from PEC Mayor Steve Ferguson, left, and Ameliasburgh councillor Bill McMahon.

“Prince Edward County council takes great pride in recognizing you for the exemplary level of volunteerism that you have demonstrated throughout the County over the decades,” said Ferguson.

McMahon noted that he and Demierre go back about 20 years. “Not much really happens in the County without volunteers, and this is a volunteer to be reckoned with.”

“About 10 years ago, she was the one who pulled me out of my shell and got me involved in the County specifically,” said McMahon. “That really touches again on what Todd and Steve were saying about getting young people involved,” said McMahon. “The rec committee now has a newer, younger face than it had in the past, and that’s really what we need.”

Local beekeeper Gavin North officially opened the fair on behalf of bees and pollinators.

“As beekeepers we keep honey bees because they make honey, but they are really important to our food system because they pollinate a lot of our food crops,” said North, adding that they are not the only pollinators because there are also wasps, ants, birds and butterflies.

The fair was a hive of activity Saturday. The slo-pitch softball tournament went on for most of the day, having continued from Friday night.

Other events included a cattle show and lawnmower pulls. There was a kids’ area for the little ones, and plentiful splashes to be had in the dunk tank, which was a welcome attraction on the hot September day. As well, there were sheep and goats to be petted, and a few horses.

A number of the Prince Edward County 4-H clubs were represented, and included horse, sheep, woodworking, giant pumpkin and vegetable, dairy, scrapbooking, maple syrup, beef, goat and cross stitching clubs.

Displays of woodworking, photography, vegetables were featured along with flower displays hosted by the Ameliasburgh Garden Club, as well as school exhibits, crafts and a silent auction.

Entertainment was supplied by the County’s own Instant Rivalry, and for those in need of a bite to eat, numerous food stands included a variety of choices provided by the Ameliasburgh volunteer firefighters, The Storehouse Foodbank, the Albury Women’s Group and the Rednersville Women’s Institute.

The Goldie Corliss 18-foot flywheel was in operation at the Ameliasburgh Heritage Village.

The next door Ameliasburgh Heritage Village also welcomed the public with paid fair admission.




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