to cancel Sunday's traditional cattle and horse parade. The midway also closed. With their own generators they did have power, but no customers. One could rightfully say, 'nothing was cookin'' at Brome Fair until Monday.
But the water drained away through the night and Hydro came through with emergency equipment and new transformers, food concessions were back in business and, most importantly, harness race fans found races on schedule and pari-mutuel betting booths open for business after lunch Monday..
The level of stress in the fair office was pretty much back to normal as attendance numbers began to come in. "We won't break records this year but attendance is pretty much what we consider normal," said Guylaine Tetreault, fair secretary and manager. Ernie Banks, director and past president comparing notes with his good friend, director and also a past president Gaylon Davis agreed they slipped past what could have been very discouraging news especially as they begin to contemplate plans for the next fair.
The heavy rain made a soup of the track Saturday, forcing the cancellation of some horse classes scheduled for the judge's circle in front of the grandstand on Sunday. For the most part however, exhibitors were almost relieved there was no parade to prepare for and by Monday afternoon, barns and stables were the scene of family and friends gathering for a social time as they began the chore of getting packed up and ready to leave the grounds after 6pm.
Walking slowly among groups of visitors, conversations seem to hover between a bit of disappointment there was no parade and 'my this is a perfect fair day, not too hot, a bit of sun and not too many people to shoulder through'.
The president Sophie Giroux and several directors commented on the patience and understanding of exhibitors and midway folks and concessionaires on the grounds through a difficult Saturday night and Sunday. They all expressed thanks to one and all, and by Monday closing time, special thanks to the public who made a special effort to come to the fair Monday, no matter what. A walk around the midway proved them right as, by mid afternoon, there were still long lines of young and not so young waiting to take one last ride. Food concessionaires were still busy and kiosks had not started to pack up. “I would say, taking everything into consideration, we'll chalk up another good year," said Gaylon Davis, as closing hour approached and trucks and trailers began to move onto the grounds ready to transport cattle and horses home - or wait - maybe to another fair?