The weather for the last weekend of August was perfect for the triumphant return of the Riceville Agricultural Fair.
« The fair was extremely successful., » said Jennifer Fraser, Riceville Agricultural Society president (RAS). « We couldn’t be more happy. »
The August 28 weekend marked the 155th edition of the Riceville Fair, one of the most venerable and continuous annual agricultural fairs in Ontario. During the two past years of the pandemic, the society organized a scaled-down version of the event, including virtual exhibitions of the region’s agricultural heritage.
This years marks the return of the fair to its traditional live displays of livestock, horse shows, and popular entertainment activities like the antique tractor pull. Fraser noted that about 4000 visitor entries were recorded at the fairgrounds gate during the two days of the event.
« Which is huge for us, » she said, adding that most of the feedback she heard over the weekend from fairgoers was relief and excitement at having the fair back as a summer event.
« People were just glad to be able to be out and be able to see everybody again, » she said.
A new addition to the Riceville fair was the St. Lawrence Valley Jersey Show on Saturday, with entrants, young and old presenting their handraised Jersey calves for judging. The Russell Fair has been the regional host for the event in past years. The Riceville Fair won the honour of hosting this year’s event because its exhibition date proved more convenient for most competitors.
« We should be able to host this event for a few more years, » said Fraser.
RAS executive and volunteers are already reviewing results of this year’s Riceville Fair and collecting suggestions and ideas to start planning next year’s event.
« So we can make our fair bigger and better, » said Fraser.