Providence Bay Fair fun kicks off August 1, boasts new events

PROVIDENCE BAY—The Providence Bay Agricultural Society has been hard at work making plans for this year’s Providence Bay Fair, August 19-21. This year’s fair theme is ‘Life is a Country Song.’

Society secretary/treasurer Dawn Dawson told The Expositor that the hardworking group of fair volunteers has been busy working to merge the new events created over the last couple of years with the more traditional fair offerings.

RedBow will once again sponsor the fifth annual hay bale sculpture and yard decoration competition, with judging taking place Monday, August 1. 

“Our fundraising committee will be hosting a Country Music Bingo Night at the Providence Bay Hall Saturday, August 6,” Ms. Dawson shares.

The week of the fair will be kicked off this year on Sunday, August 14 with the Owen McKelvie Memorial Amazing Island Race. The amazing race typically occurred on the final day of the fair.

In typical fair fashion, the exhibit hall will be open for entries starting the evening of Thursday, August 18.  All entries must be entered before 11 am on Friday, August 19 for judging. 

“We are excited to see the new district competition entries for local honey and maple syrup,” Ms. Dawson says. To enter the exhibit hall, a new exhibitor number is required at a fee of $10.  More information, exhibit items and requirements can be found on the Providence Bay Fair website,  

With the retirement of the fair’s previous midway provider, the fair board has been working on bringing new, thrilling midway rides to complete the fair experience. “There will be something for all ages,” Ms. Dawson assured.

“The one big change this year will be the introduction of our new entertainment partner, Northern Screams,” Ms. Dawson continues.

Northern Screams will be offering a fun, carnival-like experience.  Both Friday and Saturday night, after 7 pm, their fun house will switch into a haunted house, full of scream-worthy frights.  There will be a minimal charge for their attractions. The fair is also welcoming a host of inflatable attractions with no added fee beyond the gate fee, which will see a slight rise—the first in many years.

“The gate price will be a bit higher this year, but we are working at providing a bigger bang for your buck,” Ms. Dawson says. Adult admission will be $10 Friday, $20 Saturday and $10 Sunday, while youth age 6-12 will be $5 Friday, $10 Saturday and $5 Sunday. Kids five and under are free all weekend. A weekend wristband may be purchased for $35 for adults and $15 for youth, including Friday evening.

Part of that gate fee will get you into the massive laser tag game, new this year to the fair.  Two teams of five can play at a time, and you can bring a team or play with others looking to experience the game. 

The fair is welcoming back the Heatwave Blacksmith.  He will be doing blacksmith demonstrations both Saturday and Sunday. 

“Our poplar horse pull will be back on Saturday afternoon only, and on Sunday we will be welcoming the Manitoulin Horse Club, Ms. Dawson enthuses. “They will be hosting a traditional horse show starting at 11 am and later in the day, a Western Horse Show.” 

And don’t worry, the Spring Bay Pentecostal Church will once again be hosting its soap box derby after the ever-popular parade, which runs from the Providence Bay beach to the fairgrounds. Fans of the fair can also look forward to the return of the Fair Ambassador contest and Manitoulin Idol.

Stay tuned for more great events and attractions to the Providence Bay Fair as the summer approaches. 

“We look forward to a safe and family fun weekend!” Ms. Dawson adds.