Elementary School Fair set for Sept. 13 in Belgrave
BY DENNY SCOTT
The Elementary School Fair in Belgrave is marking its 97th year later this month and, after having it grow substantially last year, fair committee President Alice McDowell is excited for what this year will bring.
The fair is set for Wednesday, Sept. 13 and kicks off with a parade featuring the schools involved starting at 11:15 a.m. Opening ceremonies follow. This year’s theme is Canada’s 150th anniversary.
This is McDowell’s second year leading the fair, having taken the committee president position last January, however she has been involved for the event since she moved to the area decades ago.
“I’ve been involved since I came to this area when my own children were there,” she said. “The elementary school fair was something that was important to the communities at the time of transition when several schools were closed and students were sent to Wingham or Londesborough so it’s something I wanted to be involved with.”
McDowell was principal of Blyth Public School, one of the schools that participated, before it closed and was the first principal of Maitland River Elementary School when it was built.
“The community identified it as an important program to continue,” she said.
For a number of years, Maitland River Elementary students, alongside Grade 7 and 8 students from F.E. Madill School participated at the event. Last year the fair welcomed students from Sacred Heart Catholic School in Wingham as well.
“The fair went well last year because we expanded the area,” McDowell said. “Our goal was really to open the fair up to all elementary students in the area and Sacred Heart was a group that hadn’t been involved before.”
How the increased number of students will affect the number of displays at the event hasn’t been fully realized, McDowell said, because some items are yet to come.
“We won’t really know what we’re looking at,” she said. “We will see an increase for the school work exhibits and possibly for the showmanship classes.”
McDowell said there are some minor changes to this year’s event including the addition of a dog show for students. She said events have also been scheduled to make sure that all students can participate in all events.
Anyone looking for more information can contact McDowell at 519-523-9549 or look up the Elementary School Fair on Facebook.