As the summer turns into it’s last few weeks and school is just around the corner, preparations are already under way for the Orangeville Fall Fair. Derbies and tractor pulls, cotton candy, rides and car shows bring out people from around the county each year to participate in this time honoured tradition.
For many of us who have grown up in the area, the Fair brings back fond memories of carnival games, and cotton candy, popcorn, petting zoos, and at least once, getting sick on the Spider ride after consuming too much sugar. It brings back the excitement of the tractor pulls and demolition derbies, and seeing vegetables bigger than we had ever imagined possible. The Fall Fair was the bittersweet end to the summer; that last big blast of fun before school began following the long weekend, and life returned to it’s regular schedules.
The Orangeville Fall Fair has been around for over 160 years, operating to highlight the activities in rural communities throughout the year. According to the Orangeville Agricultural Society website, each year, ‘the exhibition of wares was combined with entertainment, either in side-shows or small midways and the local community band’.
The fairs haven’t changed too much over the years, though the rides, live entertainment and wares have grown and modernized with time. Livestock is still judged, with points given that can be accumulated for prestige at larger shows. Indoors features home crafts displays, and local vendors, as well as a contest for the largest grown local vegetables. The rides are still filled with screaming and laughing kids, and the cotton candy is still as sugary and delicious as ever.
As the fairs grew and became more modernized, more events were added that draw in visitors, often from outside the area. There’s the tractor pull on Friday night, the car show and motorcycle show on Saturday, and the demolition derby on Sundays.
The car show, which takes place on the Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. was the second largest show run by Bruce and Lorraine Parkinson and the Road Hazards, bringing in up to 400 cars in the past.
This year, David Murphy, Business Relations Manager at MacMaster Buick GMC, will be leading the way, bringing the show back for more entertainment, great vehicles and chances to chat with car owners.
“This is something that has always been done at the fair, and it brings out a lot of people,” explained Mr. Murphy. “There are a lot of people that come from outside of town for this show, whether it’s to put in their own cars, or come to look at the vehicles others bring.”
Since taking over the different shows normally run by the Road Hazards early this year, Mr. Murphy has run a number of successful events, including the Wednesday night Cruisin on First, held in the Canadian Tire parking lot every Wednesday evening, seeing up to 220 cars out on a single night.
“It’s been a big change, but things are really looking good,” said Mr. Murphy. “We get a lot of people coming out to all of the events, and they just keep growing. We’ve had a lot of good nights.”
One of the benefits to having the Fall Fair Car Show on the Saturday, is that it is held the same day as the Fair’s Family Appreciation Day, where families can purchase a Pay-One-Price midway pass for the different rides, helping make it a more affordable day for families with kids. The Saturday also includes a lot of other family entertainment like the Kiddie Tractor Pull, a pet show, Dog and Cat show, and demonstrations from Tom’s Martial Arts.
“The fair is a really good venue to host a car show,” said Mr. Murphy. “It’s central to a lot of places, and there is lots of entertainment for locals and for out-of-towners interested in visiting the fair.”
For those entering the car show, there will be a number of door prizes, as well as a Community Choice prize for favourite car, similar to the same format as last month’s Ribfest, but with many, many more cars.
Although it is a separately hosted event, the Motorcycle Show will also be running at the same time, providing automotive enthusiasts with a large variety of vehicles, engines, designs and models to keep them enthralled throughout the day.
“We’re really hoping to get a large number of people and vehicles out at the event this year,” said Mr. Murphy. “We have a lot of room for a lot of great cars.”
The 2015 Orangeville Fall Fair will be held September 4-6 at the Orangeville Fairgrounds, located at 247090 5 Sideroad in Mono, ON (just off Hockley Road). This year’s Fall Fair theme is Cornstalks and Scarecrows. Admission to the Fall Fair is $10 per adult, $5 per youth (aged 13-18), and $2 per children aged 6-12. Family and Adult Weekend passes are available for $50 and $25 respectively, providing admission Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Gates open each day at 9 a.m., with ticket sales closing at 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 8 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at www.ticketbreak.com/events_details/9459.
For more information on the Orangeville Fall Fair, and a complete schedule of events, visit www.oaseventcentre.ca/orangeville-agricultural-society/ fair-schedule.
Written Tabitha Wells Photos by