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Community celebrates tradition at Ameliasburgh’s fair

Story and photos by Olivia Timm
Ameliasburgh’s Fall Fair celebrated community roots and tradition over first weekend of autumn.

For some, attending the agricultural fair is a tradition where rural families spend time celebrating community.

At the opening ceremonies, Saturday, Jan Nightingale, director of the fair board, introduced Florence Wood, a long-time Ameliasburgh resident, to officially open the fair.

Ameliasburgh Fair Board Director, Jan Nightingale (back) introduced long-time resident Florence Wood, who officially opened the fair.

“Florence Wood has lived in the community all her life. Her mother, Phyllis McFaul, has an award named for her because she was a great volunteer and member of the community,” said Nightingale. “Florence and her husband, Leo, have a farm just across the lake from here and that farm is now in its eighth generation.”

One of Florence’s great-granddaughters participated in the cattle show, and she is the eighth generation of their family.

“This fair is an agricultural fair and it’s the members of the community who keep it strong,” Nightingale said.

MP Neil Ellis congratulated the volunteers who make the fair the best it can be each year.

Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis echoed Nightingale’s sentiments.

“This fair has been going on for around 37 years and it takes a lot to run a fair. The volunteers put the “unity” in “community” and in the County we have some incredible volunteers,” he said. “This is what County fairs are – it’s about bringing us together.”

Prince Edward County Mayor Robert Quaiff and Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith were unable to attend this year, but also sent best wishes for a great fair, and thanks to the volunteers, board members and community members who make it happen.

Thelma Coulter, who has been on the Ameliasburgh fair board for about three years, said she enjoys being a volunteer. She is part of the team with the Ameliasburgh Historical Society who set up a booth each year with free historical books and information about the group.

“I really enjoy being on the fair board to represent the society. I love doing things that are interesting and fun, so I handle the genealogy part of the society. I collect my own and help other people find their families.”

Katherine Reddick prepping her heifer for the show

While families and friends wandered around the exhibits and demonstrations, Katherine Reddick was prepping her Heifers alongside Ron Hurst from Picton Farm Supply. She said it was her first year showing them and has been doing so at several events and fairs this season.

“I’m excited to show them off because I’ve been practicing a lot … It’s a lot of fun watching people see our animals.”

Some of the animals at the fair were much easier to show – at the new stuffed animal contest, where children entered their favourite stuffed friends into categories.

Arielle, 7, Aiden, 5, and Isaac, 3, competing for Most Unique stuffed animal. Arielle took first prize.

“We always try to change the fair up a bit from year to year,” explained Nightingale. “We used to have a dog and cat show, but no one wanted to bring their pets and have to worry about what to do with them for the rest of the day. So, this year we thought we’d try a fun stuffed animal show.”

Aubrey and Isla quite like the fair, but “love” the candy.

Aubrey and Isla have been coming to the Ameliasburgh Fall Fair since they were very young. Mom, Beth, said they look forward to seeing the animals and participating in the silent auction, but the girls in unison yelled “and the candy!”

Beth, said their family members have been attending the fair for 100 years. (The fair was held regularly in the 1900s but eventually ceased to operate. It was re-introduced in 1982).

Nightingale said “a group of local farmers thought it would be neat to get it started again, and it’s been going strong ever since.”

First place for the best themed in the parade, which rode from Kente Public School to the fairgrounds, was the Ameliasburgh Garden Club.

Older vehicles and tractors made their way along the parade route.

Bill Bedford and Rick Doyle of the Ameliasburgh Fire Department cooking up some yummy fries.

Jack enjoying his messy, but delicious, cherry pie.

The Prince Edward County Public Libraries booth was a favourite stop for those looking to stock up on fall reading materials.

The floral displays looked, and smelled, terrific.

Ripe for the tasting – but not until after the show!

Pleased to meet one of the animal show stars.

Between the hard work of showing animals is a pleasant break time.

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