MANITOWANING—The Manitowaning Fall Fair has been running strong for 138 years and this year Northern Ontario’s oldest agricultural fair shows little sign of slowing down. The theme for the fair this year is ‘Old McDonald had a Farm, E-I-E-I-O.’
Running from 7 pm Friday, September 5 through to 3 pm Saturday September 6, the 138th Manitowaning Fall Fair has something for all ages thanks to a small but dedicated cadre of volunteers who organize the event and a larger core of volunteers who come out to help with the judging.
“We are really looking at the horse show and horse pull events as major parts of this year’s fair,” said Manitowaning Agricultural Society secretary Denise Villeneuve, “but the dunk tank is going to be a lot of fun as well.”
Ms. Villeneuve has succeeded in recruiting Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Mike Mantha as one of the dunkees for the tank, along with Assiginack Councillor (and 2014 candidate for reeve) Paul Moffat. “I wanted to get an educator, the reeve and councillors lined up for the dunk tank,” she said. “Mike Mantha said he would be delighted to take part. I am just working out the schedules now.” So if you want a crack at the MPP, or your favourite councillor or educator, drop by the arena at 7 pm to find out when they are on the dunk tank plank.
The arena opens for entries to the fair on Thursday, September 4 and the judging takes place from 12:30 pm on Friday until the job is done. The gates open for public viewing at 7 pm.
Inside the arena you will find the prize-winning exhibits, a bake sale, silent auction, 50/50 draw, a door prize, penny table, vendors, displays, Hot Wheels races, the canteen and a fishpond. The opening ceremonies are slated to begin at 7:30 pm.
Following the opening, Robbie Shawana will provide entertainment, starting at 8 pm.
On Saturday, the festivities begin with the traditional pancake breakfast at the Knox United Church on Napier Street, but don’t dally too long over that morning coffee, since the parade starts off at 11 am, also following the E-I-E-I-O theme.
Complementing the aforementioned inside arena events, there will be an outside barbecue, a jungle fun inflatable bouncing castle, vendors, carnival-type games for the kids (no midway), a pie-eating contest and the previously mentioned dunk tank.
At noon, the horse show begins, followed by the popular pet show at 1 pm and the horsepull at 1:30 pm.
Ms. Villeneuve credits the ongoing success of the Manitowaning Agricultural Fair to the dedication and hard work of her committee members and volunteers and to the support of the community and council.
“The community and the council are always 100 percent behind us,” she said. “The council is always very supportive as are the sponsors and people who donate to the fair.”