Providence Bay Fair exhibit hall book now available

The Providence Bay Fair exhibit hall will be a virtual one this year. Expositor file photo

PROVIDENCE BAY – As Islanders are happily watching over their gardens, baking up a storm and learning new skills, it’s time to start thinking about showcasing some of these gifts at the Providence Bay Virtual Fair.

“The Providence Bay Virtual Fair is progressing nicely,” said Providence Bay Agricultural Society secretary treasurer Dawn Dawson. “We are already getting people registering for the sunflowers and hay bale structures, and we have introduced #SponsorSunday as a way to give our loyal sponsors a shout out.” Ms. Dawson explained that each Sunday, the ag society is uploading 30 second videos with the fair’s sponsors to Facebook and Instagram. 

As was reported previously, the agricultural society made the decision late last month to cancel the traditional fair due to the pandemic, but instead move to a virtual format that would be Manitoulin inclusive.

This year’s fair theme is ‘Pioneer Days to Modern Ways.’ 

“In this new age, we hope that all community members will be able to hold on to their historic way of preparing for the fair, but reach to the modern ways of sharing and presenting their hard work in a new creative fashion,” Ms. Dawson said in a previous story.

Last week saw the beginning of Trivia Tuesdays on the virtual fair Facebook page. “There will be Island agricultural and fair trivia every Tuesday from now through August,” Ms. Dawson explained. “Next, we will be introducing videos on our YouTube and Instagram page which are produced by entertainers or exhibitors of the fair to highlight their ongoing work. First up is Heatwave Blacksmith. Stephen was with us last year and will be joining us for again in 2021.”

Ms. Dawson was also pleased to report that the exhibit hall book (the guide to entries in all categories for the fair) has been released, each section with between four and six items. “Since there are usually people coming to the Island that may be missing out this year, they may still enter the exhibit sections from home. Anyone and everyone is able to download a photograph to any one of the sections.” 

The download for the pictures may be done on the website, where the exhibit hall book is also located. 

“We have tried to embrace where we are in the world right now with some of our new sections,” Ms. Dawson explained. “Under our food section is ‘sourdough – scoring art’ and a section in our arts and crafts is ‘The new skill you learned during COVID-19.’  Each item has been given a point structure. The winner with the most points in each section will receive an adult weekend wristband for next year’s fair as well as a small gift of appreciation from a local business.”

Those wishing for a traditional paper copy of the exhibit hall book they may phone 705-377-5003. There are also volunteers who are willing to assist in a safe manner in the picture taking and downloading of the photos to the exhibit site if required. “We do not want anyone feeling left out because they do not have access to the proper technology for this process,” Ms. Dawson added.

Don’t forget to enter ‘Adam’s Sunflower Challenge’ in memory of the late Adam McDonald, a Providence Bay resident and fair board member, which offers two categories to win: largest sunflower and best overall sunflower display. Each section has prizes of $50 for first, $30 for second and $20 for third. To enter, email with your address. Judging will take place on August 21.

Islanders are also encouraged to get creative through the fair’s third annual hay bale structure competition. This event, sponsored by Redbow Floor and Wall Fashions, will consist of two categories: large hay bale structure and best front yard display, both incorporating the fair theme of ‘Pioneer Days to Modern Ways.’ Email your address to before August 1 when judging will take place. 

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