Early Fair for 169th edition
The trailers full of horses and cows and the semi-trailers that transform into those thrilling rides have begun arriving on the Ayer’s Cliff Fairgrounds, getting ready for the 169th Ayer’s Cliff Fair which runs from August 21st to the 24th. The fairgrounds are looking better than they have in years with a fresh coat of paint on the Main Building, a newly-painted roof on the Grandstand, and new fencing around the Midway. “We’ve been a little busier than normal with those renovations this year, and we’ve also refilled all the light horse stalls with new sand. But all the cattle barns still need painting,” explained Keith MacDonald, the Fair’s president.
“Tuesday and Wednesday of this week are always the busiest days, even busier than when the Fair is on. Once it starts it just seems to take on a life of its own! We haven’t had any big challenges this year. We’re very fortunate that everyone steps up to the plate, taking care of their side of things,” added Mr. MacDonald. Amusements Spectaculaires will handle the Midway for a second year in a row while animal judging competitions, a petting zoo, pony rides and craft tables will provide quieter diversions. A Pig Scramble, organized by the Hatley 4H Club, will have about thirty young kids chasing a pig, possibly greased, in front of the Grandstand on Thursday evening, right before the local talent contest that begins at 6:30 pm. Circus acts will be performed by members of the Arestov Circus Acts com-
pany on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, also in front of the Grandstand.
Visitors with children should make sure and visit the Kiddie Corner building this time around – they’ll find something new inside. A portion of the building was taken over for the fair’s educational component, a requirement of the government. In the new section, besides learning about different kinds of farm animals and crops, the kids can play farm-themed games and try milking an automated cow.
“The live, musical entertainment in the Grandstand will begin Thursday night with local favourite Dany Flanders. Friday night’s musical guests are the popular Quebec act Les Country Girls featuring television and film actresses Sylvie Moreau and Sandra Dumaresq. “They sing a lot of old country classics,” said Mr. MacDonald. Canadian Music Awards winning band Doc Walker, all the way from Manitoba, will undoubtedly fill the Grandstand on Saturday night. Local band Slightly Haggard will perform in the Recreation Centre on Friday and Saturday night.
Harness racing and Pari Mutual Betting is back with about ten races on Saturday afternoon, beginning at 1:00 pm. “People can bet as little as a dollar on a race. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to take part,” commented Mr. MacDonald.
And don’t forget, if you’re feeling lucky and don’t mind watching a cow wander around aimlessly until the spirit moves her, try playing Cow Pie Bingo on the Fairgrounds on Saturday afternoon – it’s a fundraiser for the students of Sunnyside Elementary.
The livestock parade on Sunday afternoon, at 1:30 pm, will be followed by the live turkey auction of the Hatley 4H Club to raise money for the Children’s Wish Foundation. “The Truck Pull will be the big finale on Sunday night,” concluded the president.
Fair president Keith MacDonald is hoping for big crowds at the Ayer’s Cliff Fair this weekend.