2019 Avonmore Fair opening ceremonies
An impressive array of dignitaries welcomed people to the 2019 Avonmore Fair during the opening ceremonies held in the hospitality section of the Superstructure. From the left: front row: Cassidy Porteous, Jersey Ontario ambassador; Rose Danen, 4-H ambassador and Faith Moore, Stormont County Queen of the Furrow; back row: Mike Belliveau, regional vice president, Royal Bank of Canada; Guy Lauzon, SDSG MP; Jim McDonell, SDSG MPP; Jim Wert, North Stormont mayor ; Liz O’Gorman-Smit, OAAS, District 1 provincial director; Jeff Leroy, OAAS, District 1 agricultural director and Jim MacIntyre, RAS president. Thompson Goddard photo
AVONMORE – Under a scorching sun there was a whole lot of fun during the 2019 Avonmore Fair. With the humidex creating temperatures in the mid-thirties and forties on Saturday and Sunday respectively, every precaution possible was taken to ensure the health and safety of fairgoers and participants in entertainment and agricultural shows.
From the Friday night barn dance featuring the popular musical group Ambush, to the closing ceremonies on Sunday afternoon there was plenty to see and do for people of all ages.
Throughout the fair, families could be seen sitting underneath one of the many shade trees with adults visiting and children resting between a run here or there. North Stormont Place, an air-conditioned community hub, was open providing people the opportunity to escape the heat, check out their library branch on Saturday or enjoy a meal or snack in cool comfort.
The Superstructure was a busy venue during the fair, with the southern portion providing children with fun activities, including face painting, the chance to milk an interactive cow and of course displays to view; and in the north end of the building a hospitality area where the opening ceremonies were held on Saturday.
The opening ceremonies provided representatives from all levels of government, the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies, the Royal Bank of Canada, 4-H, the Jersey Association and the Stormont County Queen of the Furrow the opportunity to voice their support for the agricultural community. Perhaps, SDSG MPP Jim McDonell summed it up best when he mentioned how traditionally the local agricultural fair is an opportunity for members of the community to network and advance agriculture. North Stormont Mayor Jim Wert went on to congratulate the Roxborough Agricultural Society (RAS) and commented how 4-H teaches the next generation of agricultural workers not only about agriculture but also life in general by developing a necessary skill set.
Saturday was RBC Day at the fair and during the opening ceremonies Royal Bank of Canada regional vice president Mike Belliveau accompanied by RBC employee and RAS director Charyl McLaughlin, presented RAS president Jim MacIntyre with a cheque for $5,500. Belliveau commented how over the past five years RBC has provided the society with $25,000 and explained that RBC will be providing funding to support 4-H youth in agriculture, through the Careers on the Grow program.
One of the staples of the Avonmore Fair were the entries in the agricultural and home craft divisions, beautifully displayed in the Exhibition Hall and of course the 4-H Beef and Dairy Shows. The cattle shows went on despite the weather. Organizers explained that every effort was made to ensure the comfort, health and safety of the cattle; on an individual basis, parents and participants decided whether or not they would be competing. As the Sunday 4-H beef show began, Jill Robinson of North Stormont mentioned there were 60 dairy competitors in the Saturday Show and 19 registered to compete in the beef show. When asked about major sponsors of the cattle shows at the Avonmore Fair, she provided a list of 28 local sponsors which once again demonstrates the strong support for this important sector of the local community. Robinson expressed that the organizers appreciated “all participants, parents and leaders.”
On Saturday, the Western Gaming Horse Show was held in front of the grandstand, with the horse ring featuring the precision performance of the Capital City Cowgirls on Sunday afternoon. The riders wowed the audience with their horsemanship, and part-way through the performance they took a short break so the animals could cool down, much to the enjoyment of the crowd who had a chance to chat with the riders as they slowly rode around the ring.
On Sunday morning following the musical worship service featuring Rev. & the Choir Boys, the 4-H Public Speaking Club held their Achievement Day in the Superstructure; with the outside area adjacent to the building providing an opportunity for fairgoers to get up close to several classic cars.
Add to the agricultural components of the fair the CrazE-Crew Stunt Shows, the inflatable rides, the bale throwing contest, vendors, musical entertainment and the children’s tractor pull, the 2019 Avonmore Fair was able to demonstrate how an immensely enjoyable fair can be found in the quieter moments where a community comes together to celebrate their heritage.