Providence Bay Fair 135 years strong

The 4H Club live animal display is popular among all ages.

PROVIDENCE BAY—The Providence Bay Fair continued a long standing tradition as the place to be for family and friends on a mid-August weekend.

“I would like to welcome all of you to the 135th running of the Providence Bay Fair,” said Norm Morrell, master of ceremonies for last weekend’s fair official opening last Friday evening. “The fact that the community has come together to put on and take part in this annual event for 135 years is absolutely phenomenal.” 

“135 years, that is history in the making,” stated Michael Mantha, MPP for Algoma-Manitoulin, who also had greetings from Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP Carol Hughes. “This fair is always about family and coming together.” 

Jack White, president of the Fair board, welcomed “everyone to the 135th annual Providence Bay Fair. We have a great group of directors,” he said in praising them and many volunteers’ “efforts to putting on this annual event.” 

“We are going to have a great, fun-filled weekend,” said Mr. White, reminding, “all people with children, Angela Johnston did some brain storming and came up with the new ‘kids zone,’ (which included many different kinds of games, a hay maze and much more) which will be a big hit.”

Dawn Dawson, president of the Providence Bay Agriculture Association, outlined a new award presented this year. “For the first time we will be introducing a hay structure and front yard display, sponsored by Second Time Around.” She explained the Duxbury family took first place in the yard display division with the Young family second. The McDermid family was first in the hay structure contest for ‘Little Bo Peep Has Lost Her Sheep’ entry, with the Noland family second with their entry ‘Who’s Going to the Prov Fair?’

Angela Johnston then presented the Junior King and Queen awards to Parker Johnston and Ayriss Noble-Stone, respectively. The youngsters collected the most points in the fair exhibit display competition.

Karlene Scott then emceed the Fair Ambassador Competition, which had five contestants, including Carissa Holliday, Janessa Lee, Trinity Leeson, April Torkopoulos and Megan Moore. After each made a terrific speech-which was acknowledged by one of the judges (John Carlisle), April Torkopoulos was selected as Ambassador of the Fair (and who won the Miss Congeniality award), while Janessa Lee was first runner-up. Ms. Torkopoulos spoke on the history of the 135-year-old Providence Bay Fair, while Ms. Lee’s speak focused on equality and the need to create a welcoming and safe place.

At the exhibit hall there were oodles of stuff to see like quilts, Christmas decorations, vegetables of all kinds, baking, photography, and the list goes on and on. Melissa McIntosh was grand champion for her quilt in the machine quilted traditional pattern division, while in the Roots and Vegetables competition Carol Dewar of Providence Bay had the largest pumpkin with the words ‘Prov Fair 2018’ in the rind. In the special youth competition junior drawing competition, Emery Watson took first place with a drawing of the Fair.

Also on Friday evening, a pie eating contest was held with a young man from Capreol taking first place followed by Matt Young and a member of the Duxbury family in second and third, respectively.

On Saturday morning, there was a terrific turnout of customers on hand for a hearty pancake breakfast put on by the Trinity United Church. This was followed by the ever popular parade, with the theme ‘Manitoulin Fantasy Island.’

There was great participation with a lot of families putting floats in the parade, as did businesses, organizations and individuals, including the Sudbury and District Pipe Band, community groups like the Shriners, emergency services, farmers, horse and pony riders and many more. 

Judged as best overall float in the parade was the Duxbury Family entry ‘Manitoulin Island Fantasy Style.’

Among the many other events to take place on Saturday included livestock judging, an all new tractor show, live musical entertainment by River Valley, face painting a the kids zone, as well as children’s races, a heavy draft horse pull, and the family fun trophy: tug-o-war and obstacle course. And the evening ended with another display of talent with the Manitoulin’s Got Talent event with the Young Family winning for the best performance.

On Sunday there was Manitoulin Motocross Association races, and a family paper boat race among the many activities. 

And wow, what a show put on by Taw Connors, the son of Stompin Tom Connors. This was a show that was not to be missed! It is absolutely uncanny how much Taw sounds like his father, as he took the very large audience on hand, on a song by song tour of Canada through his father’s songs. Yes, he did sing the ‘Hockey Song.’ It was an amazing show!

A single horse pull was held during the afternoon. In the light-single class, the team of Blaine Gilbert and his horse Peanut finished in first place with a full pull with Zac Goodacre and his horse Dan finishing second. In the heavy division, Brendan Gilbert with Sam was first followed by Zac Goodacre and Dan in second and John Graham and Belle in third place. 

There was a great turtle race competition, Myrtle the Turtle and Turbo racing in the finals. In the finals Myrtle won the first two races, with Turbo winning the third race; Myrtle avenged that defeat to win overall. Myrtle is owned by Raynah McCann and Ava Corbiere.

At the end of the weekend’s events, the points were totaled up to see which of the many families who took part in the various events stacked up point wise. Overall, the Young Family took the title, as announced by Ms. Dawson, with the Family Fun trophy being presented to the winning family by T.J. McDermid, of Manitoulin Meat Boss-sponsors of the event.