The 164th annual Fall Fair at the GNE
The annual fall fair at the Great Northern Exhibition has a long history of bringing together sectors of the agricultural industry and the wider community to learn, share traditions and pass on skills.
The fair is hosted each year by the Collingwood Agricultural Society. President Jim Kinnear said this year is definitely a back-to-its-roots kind of year.
“The fair is the result of many people doing many things on many committees,” said Kinnear, adding that everything comes together for the big weekend.
He said it takes about 200 people working at various levels to pull off the three-day event happening Sept. 20-22. Kinnear notes the fairgrounds are located in a central area, making it a wholly Clearview event.
He said the fair brings together many people from the community, including sectors of the agricultural community and the community at large.
“The people who come to the fair come from a 50-mile radius or so and they meet other people, there’s learning opportunities whether it’s agricultural, the production end of things, or quilting… there’s a lot of traditional crafts that our homecraft department for instance have the expertise in that just aren’t being taught anymore, so we encourage young people to learn,” said Kinnear.
The fair celebrates all things agriculture, from livestock to a wide range of homecrafts like baking, preserving, quilting, knitting and flower arranging, to name a few.
“The importance of that is that it’s a venue that allows people to see and learn stuff that they may not bump into in their normal lives,” said Kinnear. “And it’s entertaining. There’s music, there’s smash-up derby and big, noisy tractors. And there’s a midway which is always fun.”
On the main stage Saturday evening there will be a performance by the band Glowan, the children of Stephen Quilley, who play down home Canadian old traditional music.
“We’re going back to our roots, if you will, and I think that’s a theme for every part of the fair. People come looking for the fun but they do like the traditional that we have promoted for the past 164 years.
The midway is expected to be as good as ever. New this year, there is a whole online portal for buying tickets and also submitting contest entries.
The miniature horse events on Saturday has been cancelled because of concerns around the presence of an infection called Strangles. The other equestrian events are expecting to proceed.
Admission costs $10 for adults 13 and older; $4 for Youth 6-12; and Children 5 and under and 4-H members are admitted free. Three- and two-day passes are available. Advance tickets (adult, $8) are also available before Sept. 19 at Creemore Foodland; D&L Variety Nottawa; Stayner Foodland; Stayner Town and County and online at www.greatnorthernex.com.
Advance Midway tickets are also available online for the first time this year by going to www.greatnorthernex.com and look for the link to World’s Finest Midway. Friday all-you-can-ride midway tickets are available for purchase at the fairgrounds.