Manitowaning celebrates longest running fall fair in Northern Ontario

140th fair themed ‘then and now’

MANITOWANING—The Manitowaning Fall Fair will be celebrating its 140th anniversary this weekend with a line up worthy of the longest running fall fair in Northern Ontario.

“To mark the 140th we have added new events and attractions such as the classic car show,” said Denise Villeneuve, Manitowaning Agricultural Society secretary and fair organizer. “We are also introducing an old fashioned spelling be for kids on the Friday night and will be holding a contest for the best dressed pioneer lady, man and female and male child under the age of 16.”

The theme of this year’s fair is ‘then and now’ which will be reflected in the parade and various activities.

“The Assiginack Museum is working on a display of the fair, showcasing the fair over the years,” added Ms. Villenuve.

The fair fun will get started on Thursday night (September 8) with the arena opening for entries from 7 until 9 pm.

Friday, September 9 the arena will open back up for entries at 8:30 am, closing for judging at 11:30 am.

The doors will open back up at 7 pm to view the exhibits and enjoy the many activities such as the bake sale, silent auction, 50/50 draw, penny sale, canteen, vendors, displays, old fashioned spelling bee, canteen, fish pond and contest for best dressed pioneers. There will also be door prizes this year for two tickets for a sunset cruise on the Chi-Cheemaun.

Opening ceremonies will commence at 7:30 pm and entertainment from Ben Lentir and Friends, along with a square dancing demonstration, will start at 8 pm.

On Saturday, September 10, start your fair day off on the right foot with a pancake breakfast at Knox United Church on Napier Street at 9 am.

Parade assembly for judging will start at 10 am at My Friends Inn on Michael’s Bay Road.

The parade, themed ‘then and now,’ starts at 11 am so be sure to bring your lawn chair and line up along Queen or Arthur Streets.

At noon, the bake sale, silent auction, 50/50 draw, penny sale and vendors will continue at the arena.

Also at noon there will be a barbecue, inflatables for kids, old fashioned kid games, pony and horse rides, the horse show and the classic car show.

The judging of the livestock will take place at 12:30 pm, followed by the pet show and horse pull.

The fall fair will conclude at 3:30 pm with the final draws and the removal of the exhibits.

Manitowaning Agricultural Society President Wilfred Holmes has been part of the society since 1967 and said it has changed over the years, but that most of the main attractions have stayed the same.

“There used to be a lot more sheep and cattle, with a big focus on the livestock, but it is still part of the fair today,” said Mr. Holmes. “The horse pull is also still a fair event as are the exhibits.”

“We’re a small fair, but we’re mighty,” said Ms. Villeneuve, encouraging people to come out to the 140th Manitowaning Fall Fair.

Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for children and free for children under five.

See pages 14 and 15 of this paper for more information.