Providence Bay Fair starts this Friday evening

Bella Sheppard of Espanola, age 5, tries her luck at the fish pond. (Providence Bay Fair 2016)

PROVIDENCE BAY – It’s that time of year once again for the Providence Bay Fair to roll into town and bring all the excitement, variety and wholesome family memories that only an agricultural fair can offer.

“I’m really looking forward to a good year. I think the events we’ve added like the new family events, the soapbox derby and the farm Olympics will be great,” said Providence Bay Agricultural Society secretary/treasurer Dawn Dawson.

There are a number of new additions for the 2019 fair. Friday night will feature a soapbox derby sponsored by Spring Bay Pentecostal Church, taking place on Monroe Street behind the curling club at 6 pm. Entry is free for children, cars are provided and racers must bring a helmet. Cash prizes will go to the top four racers.

On Saturday and Sunday, Stephen Wallace of Heatwave Blacksmithing will offer demonstrations of his craft throughout the day. The Sunday music headliner is CASH, a Johnny Cash tribute band based in the Hamilton area. They will share the stories behind the music while they play through a selection of some of the Man in Black’s finest tunes.

“This year, we’ve added the farm Olympics on Sunday afternoon. There’s three events in the Olympics including a square bale toss,” said Ms. Dawson. The event also features a potato sack race and wheelbarrow relay and is running as part of the always-popular family fun trophy.

“We’ve added a scavenger hunt as part of the family fun. It’s an activity for family members who might not be as interested in the physical aspects of the competition,” Ms. Dawson said.

Other family fun trophy events include a hay bale maze race, pie eating contest, tug-o-war, paper boat race, parade float, Manitoulin’s Got Talent and a relay race. Ms. Dawson added that the organizers are still searching for family competitors to have some fun throughout the weekend while taking part in these friendly events. Registration ends this Friday, August 16 at 5 pm.

Last year was the first year of the tractor show which has expanded for its Saturday afternoon showing this year. Ms. Dawson said the committee is still seeking tractor entrants to help make this year’s showing twice as big as last year’s.

The kids zone is back again for 2019 and is also expanding. The hay bale maze, corn maze and obstacle course will return with the addition of a toddler-only zone and a baby feeding/changing station.

“We are really pulling together a family-friendly event for all age levels,” said Ms. Dawson.

The Providence Bay Fair Ambassador program has also received a few tweaks for 2019, including a $1,000 bursary for the competition winner if they fulfil their duties as prescribed throughout the year.

This year’s parade theme is Kids and Critters and takes place on Saturday morning at 11:30, with the route following Mutchmor Street, the main drag through town. As always, the exhibit hall will be packed with great numbers of submissions in a variety of categories. Family favourites such as the midway, horse pull, motocross and the finest of food offerings and vendors will be available in spades once more.

Gates open at 5:30 pm this Friday, August 16. Admission on Friday and Saturday after 6 pm is $5 for adults and $2 for children aged 6-12. Saturday and Sunday full-day admission are $10 for adults and $5 for children aged 6-12. Full-weekend passes are available for $20 for adults and $10 for children aged 6-12. Children aged 5 and under are free all weekend. See a full list of events and times on the spread found on Pages 24 and 25 of this newspaper.