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I realize it’s technically not Fall yet, but up where I live fall is in the air and thus it has got me thinking about Fall Fair Season. It also helps that the fair is in town this weekend.
Growing up, I always looked forward to the fall fair. There were a number of them around where I lived, but it was the Brigden Fair that we all loved. This fair happened the week around Thanksgiving (that’s the Canadian Thanksgiving in October) and people would come from miles (Kilometers as us Canadians say) away just to enjoy it. There were rides, exhibits, fair food, and everything else that comes to mind when you think of fall fairs. My mother often entered her teddy bears, she made stuffed teddy bears for many years, into the fair and won several ribbons over the years.
The thing I looked forward to the most about the fairs, outside of all the wondrous fair food, were the horse shows. Yes, I was your typical horse loving girl growing up, and honestly I never grew out of my love of horses. So getting to see all of the horse shows during the fair was the greatest thing. My favorite of all were the heavy horses. While I love all horses, I’ve always been drawn to the draft horses and would gravitate towards their shows. Actually it worked out well that the draft show ring was right beside the light horse show ring and behind that was the staging area and barns. So sitting on the bleachers, I was surrounded by horses and I couldn’t have been happier. Well I could have been, but that would have involved owning a horse and that was never going to happen thanks to my mom.
When I was a teenager, around the age of sixteen, I joined 4H and began showing goats at the fairs. It did mean that I had less time to enjoy everything else in the fair, as we had to be in the show area for many hours, but just being there and getting to take in the sights and smells of the fair made it all worth while. Plus winning ribbons made it even better. Unfortunately, upon turning eighteen I was no longer able to show in 4H and soon moved away to go to school. It would be many years before I attended a fall fair again.
In fact, it wasn’t until 2014, that I got to go to a fair again. Which meant I missed the fall fair for over 10 years. The town we live in is small, about 3000 people, and it’s pretty darn remote. So I never imagined that the fair would come here. But starting in 2014, the CLE (Canadian Lakehead Exhibition) brought a small section of their setup to our town. While it was only a few rides, a couple of games and food vendors, it was more than what we had had the years before, so I was excited for it. Sure, it was nothing like the fairs I went to as a kid, but it was at least something. I may not go on the rides, but watching my son and husband go on them, and knowing that he is having the time of his life, makes it all worth it.
Admittedly, I do hope one year to head down to the Brigden Fair with my family, so that they can see and experience the fair that I got to go to growing up. But for now, we are happy to have the small fair that we do and will enjoy it each year as long as it comes to town.
Do you have any fond memories of the Fall Fairs were you live?