Harrow Fair celebrates another successful year

Filed under: Headline,In Our Community |

Harrow-Fair-6    by Adam Gault

Despite cooler-than-average Labour Day weekend weather, crowds of fairgoers could not resist the allure of the 163rd annual Harrow Fair. Thousands converged on the fairgrounds to take in the animals, midway, and live musical entertainment throughout the long weekend.

Brenda Anger, President of the Harrow Fair Board, addressed a crowd during the fair’s opening ceremony, explaining the continued success of the fair is in no small part due to its ability to bring people together from all walks of life.

“Harrow Fair offers a place for friends and neighbours, both rural and urban, to gather,” Anger said. “Some will come to view the displays and exhibits, while others will experience the fun and satisfaction of participation.”Harrow-Fair-4

The hard work of the many volunteers, whose tireless efforts ensure the fair is an annual success, could be seen throughout the weekend in the countless contests, award winning displays, arts and crafts, baking, quilting, and live demonstrations featuring the many facets of husbandry. Their dedication to ensuring all parts of the fair run as smoothly as possible demonstrates the key role the organizers play in managing the logistics of an event as large as this.

HarrowFair-One-youngster-can-barely-contain-her-excitement-before-the-start-of-the-annual-paradeAlways a big hit with the kids are the many opportunities to get up close with a wide variety of barnyard animals. For many children, especially ones from the city, this could be their first experience with a calf or sheep in person and the experience allows them to get a better understanding of each of these animals’ roles when it comes to farm life.

Those who brought their animals to show were happy to answer the near endless supply of questions from the many youths whose eyes would light up at the opportunity to pet an animal, many at this point had only read about in books.

This year’s fair theme was “Sunflowers and Scarecrows,” and it was pretty apparent from the first step taken into the Agricultural Hall. Giant, award winning sunflowers made up many of the red ribbon displays adorning the four walls of the historical building.
One of the fair’s Harrow-Fair-2most mouth-watering events took centre stage once again this year in the form of the annual pie auction.

Homemade pies donated from across the county were auctioned to the highest bidder to raise money for the John McGivney Children’s Centre in Windsor.

Harrow-Fair-1The Centre assists children with special needs at their facility and with personal support at their own schools across Essex. They provide services in education, assessment, and personal mobility devices designed to enrich the lives of children and their families.

This year’s auction featured 54 pies, and raised an astounding $13,500. Scott Waters from Harrow Home Hardware made the highest bid at $3000 on Emily Mayhew’s first-place awarded apple pie, while many of the other pies featured in the auction were also sold for more than several hundred dollars each.

Anger also noted that the Harrow Fair had been awarded, “Best of the Best Local Festival- Family and Fairs” by Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, and thanked all those who had nominated and voted for its selection earlier this year.Harrow-Fair-3