As summer wanes and families start thinking about back-to-school, there’s still an important – nay, time-honoured – tradition to look forward to. The fair!
This year, York Durham Headwaters (YDH) kicks off fair season with a jam-packed Labour Day weekend. Many of our region’s fairs have been operating for 150 years or more. In fact, one of Canada’s oldest fairs is the Markham Fair, which has been running since 1844!
In the past, annual fairs were the highlight of the year in rural communities. Neighbours and friends gathered to enjoy the competition and the entertainment that went along with it. Communities looked forward to their annual fairs for the simple reason that they bring people together.
Today, small town fairs still connect people. Families come together, and visitors pour in to savour the distinctive sights, sounds and smells that are so closely tied to autumn. In modern times, fairs also serve as a reminder of the important work farmers and producers do. Today, we are often at arm’s length from the people who put food on our tables. Fairs educate us on agriculture and farm life with demonstrations and events. Sometimes you can even get your hands dirty and try something new!
Here in YDH, you can celebrate the harvest at one (or all!) of our region’s six fairs. We absolutely love a good fair. The food, the rides, the animals! But we were surprised to learn there’s more to a fair than cotton candy and the merry-go-round!
Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
Small town and rural fairs have a robust agricultural component, featuring competitions for everything from farm animals to vegetables. These contests are for competitors of all ages – from kids in the local 4H club to seasoned farmers. It’s a forum for showcasing the best and learning from the best.
In some cases, the blue ribbon is the crowning achievement. But for many, these competitions are qualifying rounds on the way to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair – aka: the largest combined indoor agricultural fair and international equestrian show in the world! According to the website, hundreds of breeders, growers and exhibitors compete to be crowned Royal Champion in their specialty.
This Year’s Small-town Fall Fairs in YDH
If you’re like us, you’ll want to visit all the fairs in the region! Here’s a handy list of the fairs happening this fall in York Durham Headwaters!
- Orangeville Fair
August 31 – September 2, 2018
- Port Perry Fall Fair
September 1 – 3, 2018
- Orono Fair
September 6 – 9, 2018
- Beaverton Fair
September 15 – 16, 2018
- Markham Fair
September 27 – 30, 2018
- Annual Woodbridge Fall Fair
October 6 – 8, 2018
Celebrate the Harvest in YDH
This fall, we invite you to venture past the midway and the food trucks and get to know the agricultural roots of our small-town fairs. To find out more about fall fairs and other fantastic fall events happening in YDH, sign up for our newsletter!