Elementary School Fair brings out best and brightest in Belgrave - Sept. 20, 2018
BY DENNY SCOTT
The 98th annual Elementary School Fair in Belgrave has been hailed as a success according to organizers. This year’s installment included expanded offerings for the students involved.
“It was a great day and just fabulous,” School Fair Board Chair Alice McDowell said. “There were a ton of really positive comments from people saying it was ‘wonderful all day’ and ‘the best fair in years’.”
The event welcomed just over 500 students from local schools, including large contingents from Maitland River Elementary School, Sacred Heart Catholic School and F.E. Madill School, as well as individual students from other public schools.
“Maitland River brought all their students from Grades 1 to 6,” McDowell said. “Sacred Heart brought students from [Senior Kindergarten] to Grade 8.”
McDowell said that some additions to the fair, as well as some additions to existing displays, proved to be very popular.
The Pigmobile, a travelling exhibit put on by Ontario Pork, features live pigs that can be observed and, as McDowell explained, it had some additions to it.
“The Pigmobile had three-day-old piglets,” she said. “They were a very popular visit.”
She said the smoke house, a trailer that imitates the realities of being in a house fire, run by Fire Department of North Huron (FDNH) personnel, was also popular.
The newest addition to the event was an interactive robotic exhibit put on by D&D Automation.
“It was a very big and popular one all day,” McDowell said. “There were crowds there the whole time.”
The displays also included the annual 4-H calf and sheep shows as well as an independent horse-showing competition hosted by local ranchers.
The rest of the student exhibits, including produce, art, photography and other creative creations, all saw an increase in entries, McDowell said, a trend that has continued over the past few years.
While having the local Catholic school join the fair has undoubtedly helped in that, McDowell, who lives in East Wawanosh, said that it was a really great growing season for the produce which helped.
“I also think our craft days were very successful,” she said. “We offered two summer craft days and they were well attended.”
While the day was fun on the whole, it started out on a more somber note as it marked the first fair since Ross Taylor’s passing. Taylor had been at all but three of the Elementary School Fairs. One was cancelled, one he was in the field helping a neighbour harvest and, more recently, he missed one while attending his brother-in-law’s funeral.
Taylor was an infant at the first school fair in 1920 and won the cutest baby award.
He passed away in July of this year and his family, which was represented in the opening ceremonies, invited donations to be made to the school fair in his memory. It was reported that $750 was donated to the event in his honour.
Watch future editions of The Citizen for results from the school fair.