WIIKWEMKOONG—The Wiikwemkoong Fall Fair may have started out with some pretty blustery weather, causing a delay in the fireworks to Saturday night, but by the Saturday morning parade the sun was out in full force to create a perfect fall day.
The first place winners for best float in the parade were the Saloon float, but every float was a great celebration of all things country.
Nancy Kinoshameg was chosen as Anishinaabe Giizhigad Scone Queen, while Fall Fair Chi Ogimaa Wiizenhs Dustin Lavallee and Chi Ogimaa Kwezenhs Shaolin Roy (fair king and queen) will reign for 2018.
A host of great events awaited young and old at Thunderbird Park, including a couple of bouncy castles and a kid-sized mechanical bull. Plenty of great food was available thanks to vendors and the Wikwemikong Health Centre, who had an apple harvest recipe book and numerous other healthy offerings including wild rice with apples and cran-apple casserole.
Over at the arena, a host of agricultural exhibits and plenty of arts and crafts were on display, many of the crafts had an Anishinabe focus, including traditional beadwork and motifs.
The horse pull event is always a big draw and this year was no exception. The Wiikwemkoong event was the first outing for Stan Osawamick’s mule team of Roy and Sam, but the summer hiatus must have left them a little rusty as they finished fourth overall.
In the light division, Jerrold Webkamigad with Britt and Frank took first place pulling an impressive 6,500 pounds the full 20 feet. Katie Cyr with Jake and Charlie came second with a pull of 6,000 pounds over 6 feet, five inches and Bonnie Mercer with Lady and Jody came third, hauling 6,000 pounds three feet and nine inches. Ms. Mercer also won the best teamster award. That award is in memorium of the late James Roy and was presented by Mr. Roy’s grandchildren Kara and Jordan Peltier, and his daughter Joanne Peltier.
In the heavy horse division, it was Greg Pyette and Cracker and Chip pulling a whopping 6,500 pounds the full distance to take first. Preston Webkamigad and Tim and Roy moved 6,500 pounds eight feet, four inches for second and Doug Thompson with the ever impressive Doc and Josh who took third hauling the 6,500 pounds four feet, six inches before a harness failure forced the team to withdraw.
Following the horse pull the first ever Hooker Dance off took place (hookers being the fine folks who drop the harness onto the sled). Judging by the crowd reaction, the event will probably become something of a fixture in future pulls. Kyle Osawamick had the most crowd pleasing moves and took home the $60 prize, followed by Chris Assinewe in second and Adam Osawamick third.
The fireworks might have been delayed by the storm, but they were quite spectacular when they took place on Saturday evening.