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Picton’s fall fair brings fun and agriculture to the forefront

Photos and story by Olivia Timm
The 182nd annual Picton Fair was home to some new events this weekend, including a presentation with outdoor and lifestyle expert Carson Arthur designed to focus on the importance of garden clubs and agricultural fairs – both vital to the way youth learn about and understand agriculture.

Arthur was set up in the arena foyer, where he was answering questions live for his Take it Outside radio show on CJBQ. A landscape designer, Arthur is host of HGTV’s new Home to Win show. He is also the outdoor expert with City TV’s Cityline and wrote the sell-out book Garden Designs for Outdoor Living in 2015. He also writes about Outdoor Living, for Countylive.

Coming from a small town himself, the Picton fair was a familiar sense of community for him, and he said it did not disappoint.

Carson Arthur –

“The positive energy was clearly evident in the pride that people had in their produce and agricultural endeavours. Even the excitement of young and old over some of the favourite events like the midway, the antique tractors and the mini horse and dog shows was infectious. I loved every minute of it.”

He said his family’s decision to move back to the County was to truly indulge in the lifestyle he talks about.

“I moved to the county to start paying more attention to the lifestyle I am living. The hustle of the city is great, but I was craving a balanced life where I can grow food for my family and work with neighbours to create a community,” he said. “In essence, I wanted to put down roots (no pun intended) and feel like this is home. Now I want to give back, which is part of the reason why I do my radio show and participate in events like the Picton Fair. I can’t wait for the next one!”

Arthur’s hour-long show focused on why gardening clubs and agricultural fairs are vital to the way youth learn about, and understand, agriculture.

“I really wanted to make people aware that today’s kids honestly can’t make the connection between the food in the grocery store and what farmers grow and care for. This lack of understanding is a real concern as we look to the future and the changes that are happening in our communities.”

Arthur said local fans and gardeners who showed up to ask him questions made it a welcoming experience for him – one that he hopes to happen again.

Meanwhile, families and friends circled the midway – set up by Worlds Finest Midway company – to test out some new rides this year. Though some traditional rides like the Umbrellas and the Tilt-a-Whirl were not present this year, they were replaced with rides just as interesting.

‘Hang glider’ was a popular attraction, where riders laid flat on their stomachs and spun around and around while the ride got faster and faster. Some other new rides included ‘Alien abduction’, ‘Groovy bus’, ‘Pharoah’s Fury’ and ‘Fireball’. Midway games were also popular.

Following Friday’s baby show inside the Crystal Palace, all-ages karaoke singers took the stage, hosted by County Canteen co-owner Natalie Wollenberg alongside co-worker Nicole Williams.

Wollenberg says people were dropping in all afternoon to watch and sing, and that even her three-year-old daughter took the stage.

Inside the arena, volunteers Colleen Young and Penny Hopkins of the Prince Edward County Quilters Guild, were selling raffle tickets for the bi-annual PEC Quilt Show. Young said she was surprised with how quiet the weekend turned out to be.

Exhibits in the arena included Shannon Desjardins’ 658 pound giant pumpkin – winner of this year’s 4H Giant Pumpking and Vegetable Club weigh off; along with art and photography, flowers, and locally grown fruits and vegetables vying for ribbons.

The 10th annual Bake Off Challenge raised more than $3,000 for the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation.

The PEC Fire Department set up their fire safety booth again this year, giving children free fire helmets, goodies and lots of valuable information.

The fair also included horse, cattle and pet shows, tractor pull and drawing matches; bingo, a car show and shine and a wrestling show.

The demolition derby attracted a good crowd. -Amanda Whalen photo

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  1. Pietrina S says:

    My son is the handsome lil man at the Firesafty Booth. He had a great time at the picton fair.

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