Organizers gear up for annual Providence Bay Fair celebrations

Angela Johnston and Pam Woods in their sewing float from the 2020 Providence Bay Fair parade.

PROVIDENCE BAY – Yes, there will be a Providence Bay Fair this year!

“The fair is going to be a hybrid event this year,” stated Dawn Dawson, secretary-treasurer of the Providence Bay Agricultural Society Fair Board, “with both in-person, on-site and virtual events, and we will be having events all during the week to allow as many people as possible to be involved.” The theme of this year’s fair, which will run from August 15-22, is ‘Bushels, Bales and Tales.’

“We are looking forward to creative parade floats with this theme,” said Ms. Dawson. Float registration for the parade is through Bev McDermid at 705-377-4668.

Ms. Dawson said, “the exhibit hall is in-person but it will start a week before. Items are to be dropped off on August 15 at the exhibit hall which will be open for drop off of registered items. The deadline for pre-registration for exhibits in the exhibit hall is August 6. Judging of the exhibits will be Monday, August 16 and you can pick up your items on Tuesday, August 17.

“The municipality of Central Manitoulin is letting us use their 360 degree camera to create a visual presentation of the exhibit hall and the exhibits themselves,” said Ms. Dawson. “This will be posted online as of Tuesday, August 17.”

On Thursday, August 19 pickup of pre-ordered Providence Bay Fair swag bags will take place, said Ms. Dawson. “Various community businesses, such as Manitoulin Kettle Corn and other various businesses and the Ontario Farmers Association, which has donated free ice cream cone vouchers for Huron Island Time business have donated items for the swag bags, ‘A Taste of the Fair Home.’ We have a limited amount of bags, we started with a total of 137 to commemorate this year’s 137th fair, and are almost sold out. We have about 30 swag bags left.” 

Adult swag bags will have a baseball hat, and the family swag bags will have a beach towel. All swag bags will have water bottles contained in them.

“On Friday, August 20 opening ceremonies will be held at 7 pm,” said Ms. Dawson. She explained, “there will be limited in-person (pre-registered seating available) and everything will be live on the internet. The online bingo will also take place, just like last year.”

Ms. Dawson said that there is not going to be a fair ambassador pageant this year because there is still no Canadian National Exhibition being held this year due to the pandemic.  However, “we will be crowning the junior fair ambassadors.”

“On Saturday there will be a mobile parade held at 11:30 am,” continued Ms. Dawson.  At noon hour the gates will open for registered visitors for music or the display grounds. After the parade at 12:30 pm the soap box derby will be held.  

“On Saturday night (8 pm) the gates will open for registered guests for Manitoulin’s Got Talent and family movie night,” Ms. Dawson. “Participants will be able to send in video but master of ceremonies Karlene Scott will be live in person. And this will take place in an outdoor setting with a projector screen and a family movie to follow, the latter being presented by the Spring Bay Pentecostal Church.”

For information and how and where to send in videos for the Manitoulin’s Got Talent please phone Karlene Scott at 705-377-5283 before August 15. 

“On Sunday, August 22 we will be holding The Amazing Island Family Race,” continued Ms. Dawson. In last year’s Amazing Race, there was a total of 10 stops, 18 teams participating and 87 kilometres travelled. More details will follow, “but this year’s event will be even bigger and better than last year,” she said.

The family fun trophy is up for grabs again this year,” said Ms. Dawson. All family fun activities can be found on the providencebayfair.com website. “We will see if the McDermid family will maintain the title from 2020 or if another family will take the prestigious title.”

The virtual crop tour, with Google maps, will be available this week. 

The Farmers Tan and the My Twin, and new this year, My COVID Haircut photo contests on Facebook will be starting in the next couple of weeks.

Late on the afternoon of August 22, the winners of the family fun trophy will be announced.

Those interested can go on to the providencebayfair.com website and view the exhibit list of items to be displayed and up to date listing of activities and events.

Ms. Dawson said that all events and programming requires free pre-registration. There will be no cost to take part  in any part of the fair again this year. The registration for the exhibit hall and the 2021 exhibit list is found  online at providencebayfair.com or by phoning Bev McDermid at 705-377-4668 or Dawn Dawson at 705-377-5003.