News Local

Alvinston and Watford Fair marking 141 years

By Melissa Schilz, Postmedia Network

(File photo) Postmedia Network

(File photo) Postmedia Network

The Alvinston and Watford Fall Fair is returning to celebrate 141 years during the last weekend of September – and while some fairs might be scaling back, Alvinston and Watford are looking to grow even more.

Pam Hills, president of the Brooke-Alvinston Agricultural Society, said this year’s event will see some “exciting changes”, including a new midway provider, Magical Midways, and the return of Sunday bingo and talent show.

Hills said the biggest news for 2017 is that exhibits will remain up for an extra day.

“In the past when you came on Sunday… in the indoor buildings there really wasn’t much going on,” she said. “This year, the exhibits will be there until 4 p.m. on Sunday.”

Hills said she hopes the change will make the final day of the fair more fun and eventful for visitors, especially for those not as interested in the antique tractor pull or the derby.

“It gives you something else to see, other than the midway,” she said. “And people put a lot of work into their exhibits, so it’s really unfortunate that they were only up from Friday night to Saturday afternoon.”

This means the Saturday night dance featuring Snakebite has been relocated from the ice surface to the auditorium. But Hills said from her point of view, change is good, especially for a small community like Alvinston.

“I think it’s a good thing, and when a lot of fairs are scaling back, we seem to be amping it up,” she said. “We’re trying to fill Sunday up a little more than we had in the past.”

Hills said the fair is a great opportunity to come out and see people you may not have run into in years. She said it brings the community together, but also draws crowds from more urban areas. It also offers a welcoming atmosphere with plenty of free activities to enjoy.

“It’s a positive and happy atmosphere,” she said. “And I love the history of it, and hearing people’s stories of what they used to do at the fair.”

Hills said the fair offers kids that might not have an agricultural background a chance to be immersed in the farming world.

“Some kids that come, it’s the first time they’ve ever seen a sheep.”

Hills said for both the sheep show and beef show, children are welcomed and encouraged to lead an animal with the help of an experienced farmer.

“They are the actual one leading the cow or sheep for the first time ever,” she said. “It’s some pretty awesome hands on experience.”



When: Sept. 29, 30 and Oct. 1

Where: Brooke-Alvinston fair grounds, 3310 Walnut St.

Cost: Friday $10, $7 for seniors and high school students, free for elementary and preschoolage. Saturday $7, Sunday $10, $7 for seniors and high school students. Midway 1-day ride vouchers advance for $20, $30 at the grounds.