LISTOWEL – After a long wait, the 166th Listowel Agricultural Fair finally kicked off without a hitch. Elizabeth Johnston, president of the Listowel Agricultural Society, says that despite a rocky few years, in which a full fair had to be postponed, the fair was extremely successful.
“We were overwhelmed with the support and the turnout,” she said. “It was just great overall to see people back at the fairgrounds and enjoying the Listowel Fair once again.”
After an exciting and event packed weekend, there were a few highlights for Johnston, including crowning a new fair ambassador, Hayleigh Royce. They were also able to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Fair Queen and Ambassador Program, after postponing a year.
“It’s heartwarming to see that the community came out and came out in droves to enjoy the events that we had planned,” she said.
Added Johnston, “It was actually much more than we expected. We really didn’t know going into this fair what to expect with coming out of COVID. And we thought, ‘Well, we’ll plan the fair. We’ll see what happens.’ Like I said, it turned out to be much more than we expected. We had probably record-breaking attendance for this year’s fair. Some events, numbers were down slightly but other events numbers were up. Overall, we were really pleased with the fair and with its success. It has really energized our group for starting to make plans for our 2023 Listowel Fair.”
Although nothing is set in stone yet, the dates have been finalized for the 2023 Fair: July 13-16. They will do a formal review of this year’s fair for next year.
Johnston was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee medal for her volunteer work by Perth-Wellington MP John Nater. Johnston called the experience humbling.
“To be able to share the stage with Vince (Judge), who has been a long-time director on our Fair Board, was a great experience as well,” she said.
Along with Judge, she was one of 70 people to receive the award in Perth-Wellington.
The Ag Society has another event left this summer – Kaleb Dahlgren. Dahlgren is one of the survivors of the Humboldt crash in Saskatchewan and a motivational speaker. Planning for the grandstands outside, Dahlgren will speak on his experiences before and after the crash. The event is hosted by the Ag Society and Trillium Mutual Insurance on Aug. 24.
After a difficult few years, Johnston wanted to thank Listowel and anyone who came out to the Fair.
“Thank you to the public for their support of our events. They’re the reason we do what we do,” she said.
Connor Luczka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner