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Crowd delighted to return to Milford Fair following COVID-cancelled events

By Olivia Timm
The 75th Milford Fair welcomed more than 1,700 people to a day full of sunshine to celebrate community, rural roots and participate in the day’s fun under a sunny sky.

“It never rains on the Milford Fair,” said MPP Todd Smith, to crowd of applause at the fair’s official opening Saturday, Sept. 17. Almost never – three times over the past 75 years – including once during the year the fair board was honouring farmers.

Families and friends lined the entrance and the street to watch the parade to the grounds from the former Athol school before perusing countless vendors, food trucks, children’s games and contests and the barn full of craft, flower, vegetable, fruit, art and other displays.

Milford resident Paulina with her pup Suki, were declared winners of the dog show’s Best of Show John Lammes Award. Above, Deb and her dog Gina, won the People’s Choice award.

Several children’s activities were popular this year including pumpkin carving, Lego creations, face painting, the fish pond and playground and bird feeder building.

On the ball diamond, a stream of curious faces watched folks of all ages try out the log sawing, nail driving and chucking.

The Milford Fair has run continuously since 1946, when it welcomed home returning soldiers from the Second World War. Aside from being closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, many have come to love and expect the grassroots activities the fair has to offer.

A local family came to enjoy the festivities and honoured their heritage. Ben Begbie was on the first Fair Board in 1946, and three of his children came to reminisce. Melvin Begbie, Bob Begbie and Arlie Prudhomme were thrilled to take part in this year’s fair and took a moment to re-create a photograph taken in front of the Mount Tabor Theatre building.

The annual Murray Clapp Memorial Citizenship Awards saw the Fair Board’s Glendon Walker present medallions to Barbara McConnell, Peter Minaker, and Larry MacDonald.

Bruce Dowdall, two-time board president and Milford Fair Board member, called the turnout at this year’s fair incredible. Janna McCarthy, also a past president and board member agreed, noting that considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the board made sure to stick to the “tried and true” elements of the community fair and were both thrilled to see so many people come out to enjoy the day.

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