The small town of Erin is one of my favourite country store destinations in Ontario, so I was excited to return for their annual fall fair. I was surprised by how busy the town was when I got there. Cars were parked everywhere, along streets, in school parking lots and on back streets. There was a steady stream of people going into the fairgrounds. So my first thought was “How did I not know about this fair before?”
I entered the grounds with excitement as my first site was a flat bed trailer with the biggest pumpkins I had ever seen on display! I’ve been to a few fairs in Central Counties this fall and I’ve seen some pretty impressive pumpkins but Erin took the prize for biggest, best, giant pumpkins in Ontario!
There was lots to do and see at the fair including several of the town’s and regions stores on display in large tents with some great items on sale for the fair. There was also a huge assortment of food trucks and food vendors with lots of tasty dishes and treats including my fair favourite the mini-donuts!
I made my way to the Midway area where the usual Carousel, Ferris Wheel rides were prominently featured amongst the many other midway rides and games. There were plenty of rides and games for the whole family.
My favourite part of visiting the fairs is seeing the animals, so I made my way to the Cattle barn and was super excited. Usually the animals are hiding in pens, but here they were walking about with their owners, as they were being brushed and prepared for competition. I even caught these two beautiful kissing cows having a moment!
Next to the cattle barn was the competition ring. Farmers brought their cattle out for a walk around the ring and then had to hold them steady while their judges inspected each cow. The most popular cattle judging had to be this pee-wee group of young farmers and their baby Jersey cows. I don’t know who was cuter the cows or their owners!
Next to the cattle barns was another large barn filled with sheep. They were all eager and excited to come up and meet you, until they realized you did not have any food! But it was fun to get up close and pet them when they did pop their heads up to say hi!
I made my way past the grandstands which were starting to fill up for the big event of the afternoon the horse pull. I had just a bit more time so I made my way to the big exhibit hall to catch all the art, baking and produce on display for the various fair competitions. There were an assortment of scarecrows on display too, including a very shy Michael Jackson scarecrow!
As I walked around the hall admiring the quilts and displays of produce a great band was entertaining the crowd with some country music. When they stopped playing I knew it was my cue to make my way back out to the grandstands for the horse pull.
I got a front row seat near the fence to watch the many teams of horses line up for their pulls. There first pull was over 4000 lbs and all the horses seemed to manage it with ease. There were some adjustments made to the sled as many of the farmers were having a hard time hooking their horses to it, but the issue was quickly resolved and the horses began their pulls. I’m still fascinated by this feature of the many Ontario fall fairs. The combined weight of both horses is under the pull weight, and they are expertly trained to back up to the sled, wait for the bar to drop and hook up to the weighted sled and they instinctively start hopping and pulling to get enough momentum for a full pull of 15 feet. A small horseshoe attached to a metal chain is placed at the back of the sled and when the chain extends to its full length the judge blows a whistle and the horses instinctively stop and wait to be disconnected from the sled.
The town of Erin really impressed me with their fair. The entire community came out to participate including the local firefighters who were giving tours of their fire truck and showing kids how to use the fire hose. There were raffles and auctions for local goods, lots of treats to eat and lots of great shows and events throughout the 4 day event. Can’t wait to visit Erin again soon, and I’m guessing it will be well before next year’s fair.
Sharon M is a travel blogger and writer at DreamTravelMagazine,com an online travel blog based in Thornhill, Ontario.