By MPP Toby Barrett
This summer’s resurgence of the Dunnville Fair – new location, new attractions – bodes well for the coming season of fall fairs and festivals.
Hard on the heels of Tillsonburg’s show, we can attend Langton, Houghton and the Donnybrook fairs – if you haven’t been, it’s worth exploring the smaller exhibitions across our area. Both Langton (Sept. 23) and Houghton (Sept. 24) shut down the local schools, and Donnybook (Oct. 3 and 4) brings out the kid in all of us with the long-running demolition derbies.
And then there’s the big ones – Caledonia, and the Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show. Where to begin!
I have to admit I always look forward to the church pies and sandwiches at Caledonia (Oct. 1 to 4). It’s also a great midway for parents or grandparents to take the little ones – good prices and you don’t have to wade through crowds.
The Norfolk County Fair is the largest of the rural fairs in Ontario (Oct. 6-12 this year). Besides the farm displays, midway and food booths, this year’s entertainment is top rate. One of Canada’s most successful bands, Marianas Trench, is headlining Friday night. A Juno ward-winning band, Marianas Trench has had numerous platinum singles and albums. Another Juno winner, country singer Brett Kissel will take the stage Saturday night.
If you are reading this on the weekend, there’s still time to head to Bayfest in Port Rowan or Hagersville’s Summer’s End. Hagersville features the Saturday car show and, of course, Bayfest has the Sunday parade.
Delhi’s Fall Fest is on the uptake – the parade on Saturday, car show on Sunday and a variety of events for all ages – taking place between Sept. 18 and Sept. 20.
Waterford’s Pumpkinfest follows on Oct. 16 to 18. The list of activities is too long to cover here, but highlights include the parade and car show. I try and show up with an 800-pound Haldimand County pumpkin.
With fall being harvest time, plowing matches are on the agenda. Norfolk plowmen take to the fields on Sept. 5. Events follow in Haldimand on Oct. 3 and in Oneida Oct. 10. The International Plowing Match is in eastern Ontario Sept. 22-26. This year’s Waterford Museum Heritage Tractor Run is Sept. 12.
Norfolk’s artisans continue to be spotlighted during several festivals and events. These include Doors Open Haldimand, Norfolk’s Studio Tour, the Rotary House Tour and Festival by the Bay.
And of course, autumn is time to reflect on those who served. On Nov. 11 one hundred years ago, the end of the First World War wasn’t in sight. This fall marks the centennial of the Battle of the Somme. This bloody five-month conflict resulted in more than a million men from all sides wounded or killed.
Not long after the somber ceremonies for those who fought on our behalf, there is a sense of jolliness in the air as Christmas parades commence. Over the following weeks, parades take place in Port Dover, Tillsonburg, Cayuga, Dunnville, Delhi, Caledonia and Hagersville. St. Nick doesn’t have a parade in Simcoe, but does arrive in time for Panorama.
I’m afraid I’ve touched on just a few of the happenings in Haldimand and Norfolk.
Lots of things to do this fall – hope to see you at some of them!