The Bonfield Fall Fair returns this August 20th and 21st, carrying on an annual tradition that began in 1890. The weekend event takes place at 113-199 Trunk Road, and for seven dollars you can buy a weekend pass, or if you can only hang out for a day, five dollars will let you do just that.
As always, local farmers and gardening enthusiasts are encouraged to bring in their wares to enter the competition. All entries must be delivered to the Fair Grounds on August 18th, between noon and seven p.m. There are categories for almost everything, explained Dee Chaput, the fair committee chair. Because there are so many categories, Chaput suggests finding a copy of the booklet put out by the Bonfield Agricultural Society.
“We have the booklets in stores all around town,” Chaput said, so finding one should be simple enough. However, if you run into trouble, people “can contact me and pick one up if they like.” This booklet provides all the categories and rules for submitting your fall bounty to the competitive events. How many beans one should submit, or how wide you should make your apple pie are detailed in the booklet.
“All the rules and regulations of what they need to do,” are within, Chaput said. “We have the booklet, and we go by that,” so don’t be disappointed if you don’t win best radish if you include one too many in your bunch. Follow the booklet.
With so many categories, the judges must test their mettle, and Chaput explained that all the judges are ready to go. These judges each have specific skills and will stick to their areas of expertise so that the same judge who looks over your jar of rhubarb jelly is not the one who digs into your peach cobbler. Also, the judges are coming from out of town—most from southern Ontario—to ensure objectivity.
As judges keep busy looking over the goods, there is a long lineup of events for fair-goers to enjoy throughout the weekend. On Saturday is the 3rd Annual Runnin’ for Popa Neil Memorial Gaming Show, which is always a popular draw. Popa Neil was a well-known rider in the area, so the horse show is a fitting tribute.
Horse fans will not be disappointed, as there are many equestrian events, including Western speed events, barrels, pole bending, a flag race, and a dash for cash. Popa Neil’s favourite event is also returning, the flag and pole combo event.
There will be a Western event and events for English Riders as well, and on Sunday, attendees will be treated to the Rockin’ Horse RHRA Gaming Show, which always brings the crowds, Chaput noted. The equestrian action doesn’t end there, as Sunday will also see the first ever Northern Mighty Minis Horse Show. This event is open to all miniature horses, and early entry is encouraged. There are two competitive categories for the mighty minis, the first is an obstacle course. The second is a runway costume class.
To enter these events, or to enter your wares into the competition, there is a five-dollar fee to become a member of the Bonfield Agricultural Society. For ten dollars, the whole family can join, and all the funds are used to put on future fairs.
The events are plentiful, and Chaput mentioned that sea pie and beans will also be available. Bonfield loves a good sea pie and bean feast, so having the dinner back “is a big thing,” Chaput said. “We actually have people come to the fair grounds just to pick that up and then they leave.” The fair always brings out the community, Chaput said, and she’s “excited to have everybody back out.”
For more information, visit the Bonfield Agricultural Society’s website, or feel free to reach out to Chaput at 705-776-7807.
David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca