Providence Bay Fair goes online for 2020 celebrations

PROVIDENCE BAY – The Providence Bay Agricultural Society has decided that the 2020 Providence Bay Fair will have a totally different look. 

“This decision has been a difficult one, however due to the restrictions on group gatherings, the cost to update our standards for safety and security and consideration for the health and safety of our volunteers and guests we will be moving to a virtual format,” a press release from Providence Bay Agricultural Society secretary/treasurer Dawn Dawson states. “The fair weekend for 2020, August 21-23, will offer a different look, but the love of agriculture and community will still be at the heart of our event. We will also offer events leading up to fair weekend.”

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 says.

The fair is also offering new events, the first of which is ‘Adam’s Sunflower Challenge’ in memory of the late Adam McDonald, a Providence Bay resident and board member. There are two categories: largest sunflower and best overall sunflower display. Each category will offer prizes of $50 for first, $30 for second and $20 for third. To enter, email providencebayfair@gmail.com with your address. On August 21, judges will come to your location and review the entries. This is something everyone across the Island can take part in, so get out there and plant your sunflowers.

Next, get your thinking caps on! The third annual hay bale structure competition is back again. 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 providencebayfair@gmail.com before August 1 when judging will take place. A map of all the displays across the Island will be created so families can drive around and enjoy the creative fun. All farms and front yards across the Island are encouraged to take part.

The annual Family Fun Trophy is also gearing up and the ag society is hoping to involve more families this year. There will be points for families that take part in the sunflower challenge, hay bale structure or front yard display as well as virtual exhibit hall items. New this year will be a road rally in place of the scavenger hunt. Details will be found on the Providence Bay Agricultural Society website and Facebook page, coming soon. Other events will be added as the society follow provincial guidelines for gatherings. 

The ag society also announced that its popular Manitoulin’s Got Talent will be going ahead, but in a slightly different way. 

“We are working on a plan for entries to be created and recorded,” Ms. Dawson notes. “A video production will be created and will be presented on fair weekend.” Contact Karlene Scott by emailing karlene.scott@live.com if you are interested in taking part in this fun annual event.

The Providence Bay Agricultural Fair for 2020 will offer a virtual exhibit hall with entries of vegetables, photographs, needleworking, flowers, kids crafts and more. The new exhibit hall sections and categories will be announced in June. The judging of virtually presented items, community at-home projects and self-guided tours will all come together fair weekend. “As regulations change, we will be watching and will announce later in the summer our plan for our popular Saturday morning parade,” the press release continues.

“Thank you to all for coming on board to support the pride and love for agriculture in our community,” Ms. Dawson writes. “Manitoulin has a long history of community value and as an agricultural society we will do our best to provide an opportunity for everyone to participate in some manner. We look forward to announcing more events as the weeks to summer approach!”