MANITOWANING – The days are shorter, the nights cooler and the 143rd edition of the Manitowaning Fall Fair, hosted by the Manitowaning Agricultural Society, is once again upon us. Fittingly, the theme of this year’s fair is ‘Have you eaten today? Thank a farmer.’
The fair kicks off Friday evening, September 6 at 7 pm when the arena floor will be filled with exhibits, a bake sale, 50/50 draw, penny table, canteen, fish pond, vendors, displays and so much more.
The opening ceremonies with local dignitaries will mark the official start of the fair at 7:15 pm followed by live entertainment by one of Manitoulin’s favourite bands, Double Barrel, at 7:30 pm.
The following morning, Saturday, September 7, the Fall Fair begins with a hearty pancake breakfast at 9 am courtesy of the Knox United Church at the church hall located on Napier Street.
The parade, in keeping with the same theme, ‘Have you eaten today? Thank a farmer,’ begins its route through Manitowaning at 11 am. Those in the parade are asked to assemble at My Friends Inn at 10 am. The judging of the floats will take place at 10:30 am.
The arena will again open up for exhibits, the bake sale and all the other great offerings at noon.
Outside the arena, be sure to enjoy the barbecued offerings, children’s inflatables, vendors, pony rides and, new this year, wagon rides on the far side of the fairgrounds.
The horse show gets underway in the horse ring at 12 noon followed by live music outside in the Lions Pavilion by Manitowaning’s own Robbie Shawana.
At 12:30 pm, the 4-Hers and Clover Buds will be showing 13 calves for the judges. The annual pet show will follow the livestock judging at 1 pm.
At 2 pm comes the moment many on the fall fair circuit will have been waiting for—the horse pull. Will a team from Wiikwemkoong, Pike Lake or even Purple Valley take the title this year?
The exhibits hall at the Manitowaning arena will close on Saturday at 3:30 pm on Saturday, ending another fall fair for another year and one of Ontario’s longest running agricultural traditions.
For those wishing to enter an exhibit in the Fall Fair, fair books are available at Napa in Little Current and Manitowaning, the Assiginack town office and Ward’s Store in Tehkummah. Entry forms and tags can be picked up at each of the same locations too, Denise Villeneuve, fair director, explained. If you’re not a member of the Manitowaning Agricultural Society (which you need to be to register an exhibit) fear not; you can do so on-site. The cost of membership is $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under. 4-H Club members do not need to be members, but are limited to entering in 4-H categories without a membership.
Entries can be dropped off on Thursday, September 5 from 7 to 9 pm or on Friday morning, from 8:30 to 11:30 am.