A Thanksgiving tradition in Sarnia-Lambton is returning this weekend for its 167th edition.
The Brigden Fall Fair opens Friday and continues through to Thanksgiving Monday.
It’s the largest fall fair in Lambton County, and among the largest in Southwestern Ontario.
As many as 50,000 visitors are expected to attend the fair this year.
Part of the reason for its continual draw is its strong roots in the agricultural community.
“I like to think that the roots of the community were built on the base of agriculture and helped shape this part of the country,” said Bill Myers, president of the agricultural society that organizes the Brigden Fall Fair.
Volunteer Dennis Robinson said this year’s edition will focus on Canada’s 150th birthday and local agricultural heritage. The theme will be “Celebration of Rural Life”. A heritage tent and different cultural groups will be available to share information and history.
Robinson said the fair’s strong reputation within Sarnia-Lambton has its chosen date partly to thank. With Thanksgiving weekend, the four-day event sees plenty of people visiting home for the holiday and returning to their roots.
“People are coming back to their hometown to spend time with their family,” he said. “For a lot of people, it’s a tradition to come to the fair with their family.”
With new generations means more introductions to the small-town fair that continues to have a big impact on the area. Robinson said his own family has been coming to the fair for as long as he can remember.
“They introduce their grandkids to the rides and to the animals, and this is what mom and dad did as kids,” he said. “It’s the multi-generations that keep bringing people back to us that we benefit from.”
This year’s fall fair also has a record number of 4H livestock entries coming in.
“The 4H numbers are the highest they’ve been for a number of years,” said Robinson. “We’ve got more clubs and more interest in 4H… it’s a reflection of the times or the group of leaders creating more interest.”
Other exciting additions include the Eastern Ontario Pony Pullers on Saturday, which hasn’t been at the fair for about 10 years. Old favourites returning this weekend are the antique tractor pull, the horse show, 20 plus midway rides with World’s Finest Shows, and livestock shows throughout the weekend.
This year’s Brigden Fall Fair ambassador is Julie Lester, a student at Lambton College who is a native of Wilkesport in St. Clair Township.
IF YOU GO:
When: Oct. 6, 7, 8, 9
Where: Brigden Fairgrounds
Cost: Friday $5 before 5 p.m., $10 after 5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday $10, elementary students free.