Manitowaning Fall Fair: Celebrating agriculture for 142 years

Heavy horse pull winner Greg Pyette lets his grandson Trapper sit atop his winning team. Cracker and Chip pulled 4,000 pounds.

MANITOWANING—With the skirl of the pipes and the beat of the drums sounding out from the Lockerby Legion Pipe Band (formerly the Laurentian University Pipe Band) the 142nd edition of the second day of the annual Manitowaning Fall Fair got underway following the Knox United Church pancake breakfast with a fine fall parade celebrating all things agricultural.

During the Friday night opening ceremonies, Mayor Paul Moffatt welcomed everyone to the 142nd edition of the Manitowaning Fall Fair.

“There are plenty of things to see and do,” Mayor Moffatt encouraged the crowd at the Friday night opening ceremonies.

Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha was also on hand for the start of the fair, thanking head organizer Denise Villeneuve for all her hard work.

Mr. Mantha reminded folks that Manitowaning’s is the longest running fall fair in Northern Ontario and urged people to not do as he does and eat the foods on display, as “they’re being judged,” he joked.

Lining the Assiginack arena hall were hundreds of entries into the various fall fair competitions, ranging from garden produce and flower arrangements to artisan work such as quilts and dioramas. The handiwork of young and old alike were on display, competing for the coveted red ribbons of excellence.

Following the opening ceremonies, folks were entertained by the musical stylings of Robbie Shawana.

Entertainer Cindy Cook of Polkadot Door fame was on hand with her furry companion to entertain the children with song and interaction, to accompany the bake sales, a 50/50 draw, penny sale, silent auction and the displays.

Outside there were games for the kids, including a bouncy castle with maze and pony rides, a barbecue, while the Lockerby Legion Pipe Band put on a great show that featured highland dancers doing the Highland Fling and the Sword Dance.

Assiginack stalwart Councillor Hugh Moggy was kept busy judging the pet and livestock divisions.

Later, entertainers George Williamson and Friends took to the stage and kept the toes a-tapping.

The horse pull is always a big crowd favourite. This year the Heavy Horse competition saw 4,000 lbs hauled on the sled by the Greg Pyette’s team of Cracker and Chip from the Green Bush to secure first place honours, Preston Webkamigad of Wiikwemkoong’s team of Tim and Roy came second and Brendan Gilbert’s team of Dan and Sam came third. Jerold Webkamigad of Wiikwemkoong’s team of Frank and Britt took the Light Horse division hauling 3,250 lbs, Katie Cyr and Jake and Charlie of Sheguiandah came second and Kevin Gilbert of Wiarton with Peanut and Bev took third. The Most Sportsmanlike award went to Mike Parker of Blind River.

For results of the Western Gaming Horse Show please see story in the sports pages.